MSC Cruises has eliminated the fuel surcharge for all its cruises departing on or after April 1, 2009. The surcharge will not be levied on any new bookings for cruises sailing from that date on, and the accounts of guests already booked on these cruises will be adjusted to remove the surcharge from their balances.
The line also has announced that it plans to drop the fuel surcharge for new bookings on sailings departing from January 1 through March 31, 2009, if fuel prices remain stable going into the new year. Guests booked on these cruises will receive a refund of the fuel surcharge in the form of an onboard credit if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel is at or below $65 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on December 18, 2008.
“I said a year ago when we were compelled to implement the fuel surcharge on our cruise fares that we looked forward to the day when fuel prices would stabilize at a level that would allow us to eliminate this supplement. I am delighted to announce that that day has arrived,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc.
“At MSC Cruises, we believe our guests should not have to wait another year to benefit from the recent drop in oil prices,” Sasso adds. “That’s why we are making this new policy effective starting in April of next year and will apply it earlier if possible.”
Although MSC Cruises can not rule out the possibility that a future substantial increase in fuel costs might require re-implementing the fuel surcharge at a later date, the company reiterated its commitment that all reservations booked with a deposit prior to such a decision would be protected from any additional charge.
“That price protection policy makes this the ideal time for anyone planning a Caribbean or European vacation to book a cruise with MSC Cruises now,” Sasso said. “They can take advantage of our best current promotions and know that the price they’re quoted is the price they will pay, no matter what happens with the cost of fuel in the months ahead.”