Tour boats

On this page, you will get more information about the Danish Maritime Authority's surveys of small passenger ships (tour boats) navigating ports, lakes and rivers, viking ships as well as ships for special purposes carrying more than 12 passengers.

Survey contents

In 2014, the Danish Maritime Authority changed the manner in which passenger ship surveys are held. In the view of the Danish Maritime Authority, safety management, operations and maintenance are different aspects of the same issue. Therefore, the survey covers technical issues (renewal surveys), safety management (ISM) and maritime social security issues (MLC). This means that the renewal survey, ISM audit and MLC survey of a ship are combined into one survey.

The Danish Maritime Authority recommends that the shipowner submits a plan for the carrying out of the survey no later than 14 days before the survey in cooperation with the ship surveyor who is to carry out the survey. The plan is to be submitted to the ship surveyor who is to perform the survey.

In general, the survey must be made while the ship is in operation and has passengers on board. If this is not possible due to the ship's size, it is possible to make an individual agreement. The shipowner must ensure that the ship is ready to set to sea and that a crew is available during the survey. It is, for example, not possible to carry out the survey if the ship has been laid up for the winter or if it is berthed and only the shipowner is present.

The shipowner must plan at least one operational drill which is based on the theme of the year. The shipowner is responsible for the planning, arrangement and carrying out of the drill, and it must reflect how the shipowner is working with safety on a daily basis.

Please observe that a technical test, such as the testing of alarms is not considered an operational drill. An operational drill must be able to verify the crew's effectivity, communication, interaction and confidentiality with the operation of the equipment in consideration of the ship's procedures and the human factor. A technical test consists in testing the equipment to demonstrate the correct operation and functioning of the equipment.

The shipowner is not required to submit the ship's SMS (safety management system) to the Danish Maritime Authority prior to the survey since this will be discussed and verified by means of random checks during the survey. Thus, the SMS of the ship must be available. According to an individual agreement between the Danish Maritime Authority and the shipowner, it can be agreed to submit documentation prior to the survey. This may, for example, consist in the latest internal audit of the ship and the shipowner.

The certificates and other documentation of the ship and the crew, such as employment contracts, must always be available during the survey.

Furthermore, the shipowner must be aware that the Danish Maritime Authority does not forward checklists for preparing surveys.

Kick-off meeting

The survey is initiated by a kick-off meeting at which the ship surveyors and the crew are present. At the meeting, the final plan and the frames of the survey are agreed, including for example the scenario for the planned operational drill.

Tour of the ship and voyage

After the kick-off meeting, the ship departs.

During the voyage, the ship surveyors will walk around the ship, take a look at the technical equipment and talk to the crew members. The dialogue with the crew members will be based on the individual persons' field of work and responsibility and may, for example, be about occupational health (chemicals, heavy lifts or falls), marine accidents, maintenance, conditions of work (MLC) as well as certification, education and training.

In addition, the operational drill will be held during the voyage. After the drill, the crew must evaluate it in order for the Danish Maritime Authority to evaluate the safety management of the shipowner in practice. Furthermore, technical tests will be made in the form of random checks. The technical tests may, inter alia, consist in tests of batteries, alarms and public address systems.

Final meeting

At the final meeting, the shipowner will receive a report consisting, inter alia, of an overall evaluation that pays just as much attention to the conditions on board that work well as those where there is room for improvements. The evaluation will be discussed with the crew.

The evaluation consists of the following:

  1. The crew's handling of a marine accident (competences and quality of drills and training)
  2. Safety management and communication (how is the safety culture on board?)
  3. Maintenance management system.

The report will also contain any requirements and non-conformities that may have been found during the survey.


Ship Survey, Certification and Manning