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Cruising on Shabbat


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Sivan 4, 5769
My husband and I wish to embark on a cruise, but the one that suits us, leaves on a Monday, and ends on a Saturday. My question is; for someone who is Shomer Shabbat, can we disembark on Shabbat if we arrange to walk off with nothing, have our luggage organized, and stay at a hotel in walking distance to the port? Thanking you,
The Shulchan Aruch [OC 404] discusses the case where a person reaches the shore during Shabbat whether he can or can't leave the ship and how much can he walk in the place he reached; this is without the issue of having a non-Jew carrying your belongings on Shabbat for you. I have discussed this issue with Rav Yakov Ariel and he agrees that in the olden days where a man knew when the boat leaves but not when it arrives, these questions may come about and need to be dealt with as a "Bediavad" situation, nowadays where you plan your cruise to the last detail, arriving on Shabbat should not be an option for a Jewish person.
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