Cruise Ship Law

Hawaiian Company Plans To Offer Shuttle Trolley For Cruise Ship Passengers


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

Cruise vacations can be a lot of fun, but without proper shore excursions, the vacation just wouldn’t be complete. Different ships offer a variety of activities for guests while in port, but sometimes things can go wrong. Shore excursion accidents can take place for a multitude of reasons, sometimes beyond the control of the line. However, when serious injuries – or fatalities – take place, victims are entitled to seek legal help and the cruise line may be held accountable – at least in part – for any pain and suffering the victim and their loved ones have endured.

It is important to exercise caution when going on a shore excursion, whether it is sponsored by the cruise line or not. Even in the most controlled conditions, accidents can still occur. These are things that a Hilo, Hawaii company has to think about as it awaits approval for a tour excursion. The company plans to offer cruise ship passengers a shuttle trolley that would transport them around town with a $15 day pass, but the plans were put on hold when the company had to reapply to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for a new permit.

According to the Hawaii Tribune Herald, Ink 4 Less, owned by Jan and Jay Trombley’s Keikana Enterprises, received a permit from the PUC to operate the bus for their other business, Intimate Hawaiian Nuptials, so wedding parties could be taken to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The newspaper reported that the Trombley’s were inspired to provide the cruise passenger shuttle after meeting a passenger in town who had been trying to get back to his ship but did not have transportation. They then launched the “Hoppa-on, Hoppa-off” bus on Nov. 25, but had to take it out of service on Nov. 30 until the PUC gives them the approval.

Approval is necessary both to satisfy state laws, but also for passengers to have peace of mind that the shuttle meets the necessary safety criteria. Too many accidents occur on transportation services that are offered to cruise passengers, so obtaining the proper permits is a must. It won’t be too long before the shuttle is running again, though. According to the shuttle’s website, the service is expected to resume at the beginning of the year.

Being left behind while on a cruise vacation is not a pleasant experience. Between the unfamiliar location and language barriers, not having a way back to the vessel is extremely frightening, especially because sometimes vessels depart without all their passengers being accounted for. The shuttle is a great idea to help passengers who like to venture off on their own without going on a ship-sponsored shore excursion make it back onboard before the ship departs.

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