Despite the partial legalization of cannabis in Germany, effective April 1, “weed smoking” remains prohibited on board AIDA, Mein Schiff and Co. Additionally: the use of medically prescribed cannabidiol (CBD) products continues without being allowed. .

There is still a zero-tolerance rule for drug use on board cruise ships. And there doesn't seem to be any easing in the immediate future due to new legal regulations.

Regulations for the “recreational use” of cannabis vary widely across the EU. Regulations range from “illegal” as in Sweden to a classification according to different tolerance limits for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (psychoactive ingredient) between 0.2 percent (Italy) and 1 percent in Switzerland to partial legalization as in Germany or a specific legalization for each area. Legalization as a “new food” as in Great Britain.

Cruise operators must comply with both the regulations of the flag state and the legal regulations of the destination areas. Finding a coherent line here seems largely impossible.

Summary of regulations on cannabis consumption in European countries, based on currently available information (as of April/2024):

country Doctor recreational consumption
Belgium Legal (medical products only) Illegal but decriminalized
Denmark Legal Mostly decriminalized
Germany Legal Partially legalized
Estonia Legal, no program Illegal (largely decriminalized)
Finland Legal Illegal
France Legal (medical products only) Illegal, partially decriminalized
Greece Legal Illegal
Ireland investigate release Illegal but decriminalized
Italy Legal Illegal
Croatia Legal Decriminalized
Latvia Only CBD products without THC are legal Illegal
Lithuania Illegal Illegal
malt Legal Decriminalized
Netherlands Legal Decriminalized, “coffee shops” are allowed
Austria Illegal (cannabis-based pharmaceuticals allowed) Decriminalized
Poland Legal Illegal
Portugal Legal Decriminalized
Sweden Only CBD products without THC are legal Illegal
Spain Legal “Cannabis clubs” decriminalized
Hungary Technically legal, no access Illegal
United Kingdom Legal Illegal
Cyprus Legal Illegal
Iceland Illegal (cannabis-based pharmaceuticals allowed) Illegal
Liechtenstein Illegal Illegal
Norway Illegal (cannabis-based pharmaceuticals allowed) Illegal

In addition, cannabis is often smoked. Smoking is now strictly prohibited on board. As soon as children are on board, the consumption of cannabis products would also be excluded under the new legal regulations in Germany.

Cannabis remains prohibited on AIDA and TUI Cruises

AIDA has already reacted on its website and states: “Despite the partial legalization of cannabis in Germany, cannabis/THC remains prohibited on board the AIDA.” The fleet sails under the Italian flag and is subject to flag state regulations in certain areas. . This also includes regulations on drug handling.
An AIDA spokeswoman adds: Possession of cannabis remains prohibited in Italy. Therefore, it is generally prohibited to carry this medication on board all AIDA ships. A violation may result in exclusion from the trip. Additionally, any guest found with illegal drugs or other prohibited items should expect legal sanctions depending on the legal situation in our destination areas.

Regarding the use of cannabis with a medical prescription, the AIDA guidelines are currently being reviewed. However, the zero tolerance rule applies until a decision is made.

It is prohibited to carry drugs on TUI Cruises. No distinction is made between legal and illegal drugs. In the current travel recommendations you can only find information that medically prescribed marijuana/THC is also subject to the ban.

Zero tolerance also in the river

A-Rosa, German river cruise market leader, comments: “Most of our trips have children on board, for whom we offer a kids' club program at various points on the ship. Therefore, the consumption of cannabis in our fleet would violate the aforementioned legal regulations. For this reason, it remains prohibited to carry or consume cannabis on board.”

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