Cruise on Shabbat


Hi there, wanted to know if I am allowed to be on a cruise on Shabbat? That’s if I have boarded the ship before Shabbat and left the ship after Shabbat? Now the real question is, would this be applicable for an airplane?



  1. This issue is actually discussed as early as Talmudic times. The Talmud states, Tractate Shabbat 19a, it’s forbidden to set sail within three days of Shabbat. The commentaries offer many explanations for this rabbinic prohibition. The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 248, cites the reason offered by Maimonides, that there is a concern that one might become seasick and this will interfere with the celebration of Shabbat. It generally takes three days to ‘get your sea legs.’

    The Talmud, however, permits one to leave on a ship even within three days, if one is traveling for the purpose of a mitzvah. Some authorities rule that in this regard, traveling for business or to visit a friend is considered a mitzvah, because it’s a mitzvah to provide for your family and to strengthen your bonds of love and friendship.

    Furthermore, ships today are more stable than they used to be and motion sickness is less likely. Based on this, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, permits traveling on such a ship within three days of Shabbat.

    There is no Halachic problem with remaining on board on Shabbat. There is an Halachic problem disembarking (or boarding) a boat on Shabbat itself. As of now the issue of an airplane is not a practical one.

    Best wishes from the Team