CARNIVAL CORP. AND NCL CORP. both hiked their fuel surcharges last week; the bump is the second increase for both companies in less than two months.
• NCL's surcharge rose from $9 to $11 per person, per day, for the first and second guests in a cabin, and from $4 to $5 for the third, fourth and fifth passengers in a cabin, effective June 20 for new, individual bookings or group space without specific names and deposit.
• Carnival is increasing its fuel fee from $7 to $9 per person, per day, for six of its brands; surcharges for additional passengers will rise from $2 to $4 per day. The increase takes effect for new bookings on or after June 12. Carnival's fuel surcharge is capped at $126 per person, per voyage, for the first and second guests and at $56 per person, per voyage, for additional guests in a cabin; NCL has no cap.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES will begin offering seven-day, year-round cruises from Baltimore aboard the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride beginning Sept. 13, 2009. An eastern Caribbean cruise will call at Turks & Caicos and the private, Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay; a Bahamas/Florida cruise will call at Port Canaveral, Fla., and Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas. Carnival said it expected that the Pride would carry more than 115,000 passengers a year from Baltimore. Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill said that "considering that Baltimore is within a day's drive for millions of northeastern U.S. residents, these new seven-day voyages provide a convenient and affordable vacation option."
REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES will offer private-jet and luggage transportation services, Regent said. The line reached an agreement with Private Jet Services to offer guests private jet transportation to and from its vessels. The firm's aircraft accommodate between 20 and 106 guests in jets that include lounges and stand-up bars and a concierge on every flight. Regent also upgraded its luggage delivery service by contracting with Luggage Free, which can provide passengers with door-to-door luggage shipping.
CRUISE GROWTH IN THE BALTIC REGION has outpaced the overall industry growth over the past six years, according to a market review by the Cruise Baltic organization. The number of passengers visiting Baltic ports has increased by an average of 12% per year since 2000, despite a slight decline in calls and turnarounds in 2007, Cruise Baltic said; the numbers are expected to climb this year, the study found. Copenhagen was the biggest cruise ship destination in 2007, with around 420,000 passengers, the study said, followed by St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm and Helsinki.
AMERICA'S VACATION CENTER, meanwhile, held a graduation ceremony for more than 100 of its independent affiliates who became certified Cruise Baltic specialists. Through America's Vacation Center University, AVC partnered with Cruise Baltic to launch the Cruise Baltic certification program for AVC independent affiliates this spring.
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