Cruise Industry

The cruise industry encounters a unique range of legal and business issues because of its combined role in maritime transportation and luxury hospitality. Cozen O’Connor is one of the few leading law firms with the array of practices necessary to offer cruise industry clients truly comprehensive counsel.

The firm represents international and domestic cruise lines, ferry operators, and cruise industry participants, including service providers, suppliers, concessionaires, financial institutions, and ship management companies. Attorneys at Cozen O’Connor have worked on behalf of the world’s largest cruise brands as well as fast-growing niche cruise companies.

Cozen O’Connor’s transportation group is internationally renowned for its regulatory capabilities. We advise clients about U.S. laws (including those administered by the Federal Maritime Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Environmental Protection Agency, and Maritime Administration, among other agencies), all applicable international conventions, and the complicated interplay between the two. Our attorneys frequently audit and design compliance programs.

Firm attorneys also handle major corporate transactions on behalf of the cruise industry. We negotiate purchase and sale of ships, mergers and acquisitions, joint venture agreements, ship charters, concessionaire agreements, ship construction contracts, and asset-backed ship financings. To every transactional engagement, we bring critical maritime antirust/competition experience and up-to-the-minute knowledge of global deal terms and structures.

Cozen O’Connor also represents cruise industry clients in litigation and government investigations. Firm attorneys have represented cruise lines in a range of issues from commercial and maritime disputes to environmental, antitrust, consumer protection, and white-collar investigations. The firm has a dedicated State Attorneys General practice that defends clients in consumer protection, deceptive trade, and advertising claims.

Another capability that distinguishes Cozen O’Connor is its Washington D.C.-based government affairs group, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies. Our advocacy professionals know the federal and state legislative and executive bodies overseeing the cruise industry well and have successfully pursued regulatory changes and waivers on behalf of the cruise industry.

It is rare to find a firm with this combination cruise-related experience; it is rarer still to find one that operates as leanly and efficiently as ours. Cozen O’Connor maintains a low-leverage staffing model and uses individualized fee arrangements in order to provide optimal service at a price point that appeals to well-managed clients.   


Federal Maritime Commission Seeks Public Input on Cruise Refunds

October 13, 2020

Jeff Vogel discusses the FMC's ANPRM seeking public comment on potential regulatory changes to its passenger vessel operator financial responsibility requirements.

Cruise Lines Forced to Face Helms-Burton Claims [Alert]

April 24, 2020

David Loh and Chris Raleigh warn American companies considering doing business in Cuba to investigate whether their operations could arguably constitute “trafficking” in property that was confiscated by the Castro regime and subject them to claims under the Helms-Burton Act.


Jeffrey F. Lawrence

Co-Chair, International Practice

(202) 463-2504


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