There's a lot of planning that goes into an Antarctic expedition, but like any adventure, you can't plan for everything.
The cost of world oil prices are factored into the cost of the expedition, however, unexpected rises in the cost of marine fuel can result in a fuel surcharge that will depend on the cost of oil per barrel.
Unfortunately as of the 22nd of July we have begun adding a fuel surcharge per ship night to the 22/23 season. All impacted customers will be contacted and advised of the surcharge details.
For more information on the fuel surcharge, please see our FAQs below.
Fuel surcharge FAQs
Global oil prices are extremely volatile, including record high prices in recent months. This has increased our expected fuel cost by more than 50% for our Antarctic trips. Adding further pressure to the fuel pricing increase, all vessels visiting Antarctica are required to use much higher-grade (and even more expensive) fuel under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty.
With our traveller’s best interest at the forefront of everything we do, the decision to introduce a fuel surcharge was not one we took lightly but one that we couldn’t avoid. We’re doing everything we can to minimise this impact on our travellers without compromising the quality of our trips. That’s why we’ve absorbed all other inflationary increases that have occurred over the past three years and covered a significant percentage of this fuel cost increase ourselves.
A complex number of factors are causing global uncertainties and creating volatility in oil prices. From increased prices when filling our cars to increased freight charges, the cost of fuel is being felt in all sectors, globally.
We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on our travellers without compromising the quality of our trips. That’s why Intrepid has committed to absorbing a significant amount of the total increase in the price of fuel. Plus, in order to provide certainty that the fuel surcharge won't increase if the cost of fuel increases again, we are locking in the price now. This means, once advised our fuel surcharge won’t go up but if the fuel price drops at the time of voyage departure, we will offer a proportional refund in the form of ship onboard credit.
We’ve waited until now with hopes for a reduction in prices, but as the season approaches, we’ve needed to make this decision to give our travellers ample notice of the additional fuel surcharge.
We can calculate the daily fuel requirements per voyage very accurately based on known fuel consumption levels when transiting the Drake Passage and open water crossings to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and when exploring Antarctica. With a medium to long term average price of fuel tracking 50% above forecasted levels, and with Intrepid covering a significant percentage of this, we arrive at the total to be split between guests to arrive at a “per-passenger-per-ship-night” average figure. (*An 11-day expedition includes 1x night pre-voyage hotel accommodation and the final day is disembarkation – this means a total of 9x ship nights).
It is important to note that pricing in remote ports such as Ushuaia and Punta Arenas are not immediately linked to the daily fluctuations of global oil indices such as Brent Crude or West Texas Crude.
As per the Cruise Booking Conditions, we reserve the right to impose a fuel surcharge. While our booking terms and conditions have always included this clause, we’ve never previously had to invoke it in more than 30 years of operation.
In order to provide certainty that your fuel surcharge won't increase if the cost of fuel continues to increase, we are locking in the price now to avoid any future levies. However, if the fuel price drops at the time of your voyage departure, we will provide a proportional refund of the fuel surcharge paid in the form of onboard credit.
Any advice of a refund will be provided by your Expedition Leader on embarkation, with the Proportional refund amount being made available in your Ocean Endeavour ship onboard account. This can be used to purchase ‘Book on board’ paid adventure options subject to availability (Snowshoeing, Day Paddle, Explorer Boats), Australis Spa treatments, Polar Boutique (Gift Shop) purchases, Beverage purchases from the Bar, onboard communications and onboard laundry charges.
Any funds from your fuel surcharge not used during your voyage will be refunded by your booking agent post voyage.
Please be aware that fuel prices in our port cities of Punta Arenas and Ushuaia do not react as quickly as global markets and other global fuel prices aren’t indicators of our operational fuel prices.