March 26, 2022
(Updated 6:14 p.m. EDT) -- Small ship cruise operator Celestyal Cruises announced Friday it would begin introducing fuel supplements for new bookings made as of April 1, 2022 and departing from April 18, 2022 onward.
The line will add an additional $8 per person, per day (6 Euros per person, per day) to all applicable bookings made after April 1. Any booking deposited by March 31, 2022, will not be affected.
Celestyal -- which primarily operates three, four and seven-night voyages through the Greek Islands from Piraeus (the port for Athens, Greece) -- sent an email to travel partners indicating that the changes were made due to the rising costs of fuel.
"Following the significant and continued increase in global oil and fuel prices over recent weeks and months, Celestyal Cruises will be introducing a fuel supplement on all new, unnamed and non-deposited 2022 bookings effective April 1st, 2022, for 2022 sailings departing April 18th onward until further notice," the line said in the email. "We are disappointed that we have had to make this decision but is necessary under current circumstances."
Celestyal states that should the price of fuel fall, the surcharge amount would be returned to passengers in the form of an onboard credit two weeks prior to sailing. It did not specify a threshold for fuel to fall below in order for the credit to be issued.
The line becomes the second to return to the process of adding a per person, per day surcharge to cruise bookings in order to cope with rising fuel costs in over a decade. Strasbourg-based river and ocean cruise operator CroisiEurope also introduced a fuel surchage to new bookings earlier this month.
Cruise lines and airlines began adding fuel surcharges in the fall of 2007 as the price of oil reached $100 per barrel. These were still in place in the summer of 2008, but by the end of the year most cruise lines had ceased to charge the increased fees on most bookings from 2009 onward.
In removing their fuel surcharges, nearly every line stated it reserves the right to reinstate the fee if the price of oil rises above a certain point - usually around $60 or $70 per barrel.
The price of oil currently hovers around $112 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate on the New York Mercantile Exchange, or NYMEX.
Cruise Critic will update this article as more information becomes available.