Planning to Book a Carnival Cruise? You Might Be in for Sticker Shock Soon — Here's Why. Get ready to pay more for your vacation at sea.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Carnival is eyeing price hikes — not surcharges — amid increasing fuel costs.
  • Diesel prices in the U.S. have risen about 11 cents over the past month to around $4.56 a gallon.

The travel industry's made a strong recovery post-Covid, but cruise lines welcoming passengers aboard in droves have another problem: skyrocketing fuel prices.

Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line posted its first profit post-pandemic last week, but it anticipates a significant fourth-quarter loss amid rising fuel prices. Chief financial officer David Bernstein said the company is looking at instating higher prices rather than fuel surcharges in response, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Related: Carnival Cruise Line Under Fire Over Veteran's Disappearance

Diesel prices in the U.S. have jumped about 11 cents over the past month to around $4.56 a gallon, partly because traders are concerned refineries will not be able or willing to sell enough fuel to meet global demand, per The New York Times.

Carnival implemented a fuel surcharge, or temporary extra fee tacked onto goods or services when fuel prices spike up, to combat high prices in the past. Fuel reached $148 per barrel in 2007, and customers were "very accepting" of the cruise line's surcharge, Bernstein told the WSJ.

Current prices sit around $90 per barrel, and Carnival doesn't intend to introduce a surcharge. "What we think about [with surcharges] is, will that get us more money than just raising the price, because if you can get future people to pay more, you're probably better off," Bernstein explained to the outlet, adding that the company hopes to make its fleet more fuel efficient, too.

Related: Carnival Cruise Phasing Out Beloved, But Underused Amenity

The company is also trying to pay down the debt it accumulated during the pandemic. Earlier this year, Carnival Corporation sold a $1.31 billion leveraged loan and $500 million in junk bonds to replace that debt and reduce interest costs, Bloomberg reported.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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