Parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings (a subsidiary of private equity company Apollo Management, L.P., which also has a 50 percent ownership stake in NCL) announced that effective November 10, both lines will eliminate fuel supplements on all new bookings made for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2010.
For existing reservations on voyages departing in 2010, the fuel supplement charge will automatically be removed from passengers' final payment balance.
For those booked on sailings that depart in 2009 (regardless of booking date), Oceania and Regent have adopted a protocol for issuing fuel supplement refunds, to be determined on a quarterly basis.
Simply put, if the closing price of West Texas Intermediate fuel is below $65 per barrel two weeks prior to the beginning of the calendar quarter during which your cruise sets sail, the company will refund whatever fuel supplements you paid in the form of an onboard credit. The current supplement for all new 2009 bookings is $15 per person, per day.
Calendar quarters and relevant closing dates are as follows:
On December 18, 2008, Oceania and Regent will note the closing price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate fuel. If that price is below $65, passengers departing on cruises between January 1 and March 31, 2009 (first quarter 2009) will earn a refund in the form of onboard credit.
On March 18, 2009, if the price is less than $65, passengers departing on cruises between April 1 and June 30, 2009 (second quarter 2009) will earn a refund in the form of onboard credit.
The June 17, 2009 price will determine whether passengers departing on cruises between July 1 and September 30, 2009 (third quarter 2009) will get the onboard credit.
The September 17, 2009 price will determine whether passengers departing on cruises between October 1 and December 31, 2009 (fourth quarter 2009) will get the onboard credit.
The new fuel supplement policies apply to all passengers regardless of country of residency. And, of course, the line could reinstate surcharges at any time, depending on the price of oil.
See our At Your Service piece for a full list of cruise line fuel surcharges.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor