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March 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Why are Dive Boats Still Making Fuel Surcharges?

from the March, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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The crash in the price of oil will have all manner of economic repercussions, and one would think, keep liveaboard prices down. But long time Undercurrent correspondent Mel McCombie (New Haven CT) writes " I have two trips coming up (February--Caribbean Explorer, St. Maarten--St. Kitts) and April (Provo.) Both are charging a $200 fuel surcharge. I could see this a year ago, but now?"

Airlines often buy their fuel years in advance, so cannot always respond so quickly to a sudden drop in oil prices. However, this should not be the same for liveaboard operators, who are more likely to buy fuel when it's needed. The international price for marine diesel tends to be the same everywhere unless it is subsidized (as it is in Egypt), although some areas of operation may mean vessels need to pay local taxes, which can escalate the price. However, a surcharge implies an additional cost in respect of extenuating circumstances so Undercurrent took a straw poll of vessel operators elsewhere in the world....


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