|In an unusual-for-the-cruise-industry move, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises has announced that it will levy a fuel surcharge on all new bookings made for 2005 sailings on Radisson Diamond, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager and Paul Gauguin. New customers will be assessed $2.85 per person, per day. Folks who have already booked 2005 cruises (and who haven't made their final payments) on these ships from May onward will also have to cough up the extra charge.|
Assessing fuel surcharges has been quite a common practice for airlines; for instance, British Airways recently raised its per-person fee on long-haul flights from 10 pounds, or $20, to 16 pounds, or $31. But at the State of the Industry panel last month at Seatrade, the cruise industry's annual convention, speakers -- including Carnival Cruise Lines' Bob Dickinson, NCL's Colin Veitch, Royal Caribbean/Celebrity's Jack Williams and MSC Cruises' Rick Sasso (RSSC president Mark Conroy did not participate) -- downplayed the overall rise in fuel prices, saying that for the most part, onboard cost efficiencies balanced the additional cost.
In a statement released in late March, RSSC also says it will assess passengers who have booked 2005 cruises to Europe or French Polynesia, and who have purchased their air through the cruise line, a fuel charge on top of that levied on the voyage itself. For those heading to French Polynesia on Paul Gauguin, the fee will be an additional $30 each way. Passengers bound for European cruises will pay $19 to $40, depending on the airline. Customers who have already paid in full will not have to pony up the air surcharges.