Crystal Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Majestic America Line and Viking River Cruises are the latest cruise lines deciding to charge passengers a fuel supplement to offset escalating fuel prices that are hampering the cruise industry. Crystal is implementing a fuel surcharge of seven dollars per day per guest for all 2008 cruises that are not paid in full by January 1. Crystal's current five-dollar daily fuel surcharge will not change prior to 2008. "We set our 2008 cruise fares in late 2006, yet the price of fuel rose 66 to 70 percent from February to November," said Gregg Michel Crystal's president.
Windstar Cruises and Majestic America Line, both operated by Ambassadors International, announced a fuel surcharge of $8.50 per person per day. The surcharge for Windstar applies to all currently published sailings through March 2009 that are not paid in full by December 15. Similarly, Majestic America's surcharge applies to new bookings made after December 15 and to existing bookings that are not paid in full by the same date. "We regret having to take this action and hope our guests understand the impact that fuel prices are having in today's economic environment," said Diane Moore, who is executive vice president of both Windstar and Majestic America.
Meanwhile, Viking River Cruises instituted a daily surcharge of seven dollars per guest for all reservations that are not paid in full by December 19. Viking's current pricing structure was established when a barrel of oil cost $60, said Richard Marnell, senior vice president of marketing for Viking in North America. It now costs closer to $100. "While it is an unforeseen circumstance," said Marnell, "we hope that our guests will understand how this situation has affected all companies whose product or service involves travel or transportation." (DE)