Sunday, December 28, 2008

Will Cruise Lines Fuel Surcharge Suspension Increase Bookings?

Pretty much all of the cruise operators have done away with the fuel surcharge for 2009 bookings with the price of oil dropping way down over the last two months. With oil now hovering around $40 a barrel, its is hard for the cruise lines to justify the added charge that varied from $7 to $15 a day per passenger depending on the cruise line. There is no saying how long this could be. If oil shoots back up, it wont belong before the surcharges get reinstated so this could be as good enough reason to book now. But oil is down for a reason, and that reason is the economy is down as well. This is going to have some impact on bookings for 2009. Just how it will affect bookings will not be known for some time but dropping the surcharge can't hurt their image and hopefully encourage those who may have not booked before change their mind. Ships don't want to cruise empty and people will be looking for deals. I don't see the former happening, but a lot of the latter being the norm this year.

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