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Canuker

Just how much fuel does a cruise ship burn?

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I'm trying to get my head around these "fuel surcharges" (for that's what they're called), especially now the Carnival boys have upped the ante to 7 buck per day per passenger.

Bear in mind that one of the key reasons the cruise industry took off in the first place was because the cost to move people from one port to the next, per person, was (still is) peanuts - a tiny component of total costs (why do you think the new vessels are always getting bigger & bigger?)

I've been doing some research on the web and if my numbers are in the ball park, a cruise ship burns about 1.75 gallons of fuel per person per day (that's fuel for travel, generators, the lot) on your typical 7-day port-intensive loop. (I'll stand corrected on this if someone wants to do the math).

A gallon of gasolene (yes, cruise ships burn diesel) runs around $3.50 per gallon, retail (I bet they pay less than retail!). So thats about 6 bucks per person per day for fuel.

Now, even allowing for a 50% error in my research, how on earth does Carnival justify a $7 fuel surcharge?

Help me with this, someone.

Or am I being niaive in thinking this is just (for that's what they call it) a fuel surcharge?

And, if it is more than a mere fuel surcharge, are they lying to us?

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The QEII burns something like 200 ga/mile or something like that. That's one big reason why the ships of today are more flatbottomed. So they get better mileage. I was on the old Norway 3 times and that used to get like 15 ft/gal. depending on the sea conditions.

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Cruise ships don't burn gallons of fuel - they burn TONS of fuel.

My ship burns about 1200 tons of fuel every 7 day cruise.
Last year the bunker fuel we use cost about $300 per ton.
This year it costs around $650 per ton - and the price is rising fast.
We carry around 3,000 passengers every week.

You work out the math.

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Assuming a surcharge of $7/pppd, the total surcharge amounts to about 19% of the total fuel cost for the week.

A few ships out there have even switched to cleaner burning blends, which I would guestimate cost twice as much as bunker "C".

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[quote name='Philip217']Cruise ships don't burn gallons of fuel - they burn TONS of fuel.

My ship burns about 1200 tons of fuel every 7 day cruise.
Last year the bunker fuel we use cost about $300 per ton.
This year it costs around $650 per ton - and the price is rising fast.
We carry around 3,000 passengers every week.

You work out the math.[/quote]
There are tables out there that rate ships on gallons per mile. Easier for the average person to comprehend. Of course, one of the cars I own does burn tons of fuel.

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[quote name='Philip217']Cruise ships don't burn gallons of fuel - they burn TONS of fuel.

My ship burns about 1200 tons of fuel every 7 day cruise.
Last year the bunker fuel we use cost about $300 per ton.
This year it costs around $650 per ton - and the price is rising fast.
We carry around 3,000 passengers every week.

You work out the math.[/QUOTE]

That would work out to $260 per person for a 7 day cruise to pay for fuel.

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That's less than if a person drove for 7 days. That is if one person was in the car. And you get food.

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[quote name='klfrodo']That would work out to $260 per person for a 7 day cruise to pay for fuel.[/quote]

I get your math.

Now, show of hands, please..
How many people believe that of what they pay for a 7 day cruise that $260 of it is burned in fuel?

If what Philip217 is saying IS true, then the cruise industry is going broke as we speak.

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[quote name='Canuker']I get your math.

Now, show of hands, please..
How many people believe that of what they pay for a 7 day cruise that $260 of it is burned in fuel?

If what Philip217 is saying IS true, then the cruise industry is going broke as we speak.[/quote]

I don't know much about ships so my show of hands would be just a WA guess. I also know that you can't compare apples and oranges but: my 34' motor home gets around 8mpg (on a good day).:( It weighs about 10 tons. Most of the ships I've been on that do 7 day cruises are in the 120/150,000 ton class. It must take a heck of a lot of fuel to move them a mile especially through the resistance of the water (and air) as compared to a vehicle moving just through the air. Any Marine Engineers out there that can settle this question?:)

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Canuker,

There is a really great website called [url]www.google.com[/url].
Don't take my word for the numbers. Check them out for yourself.

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[quote name='Canuker']I get your math.

Now, show of hands, please..
How many people believe that of what they pay for a 7 day cruise that $260 of it is burned in fuel?

If what Philip217 is saying IS true, then the cruise industry is going broke as we speak.[/QUOTE]


I don't know where you got your research. My research indicated that it takes 15 gallons to move a cruise ship 1 foot.

However, I've also read a lot of Phillips posts. He seems to be very knowledgable about the industry and has never given me any reason to question his integrity. Therefore, my vote goes with Philip.

Besides, your last statement validates why the cruiselines are instituting a fuel surcharge.

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Just back from our cruise.
Our cruise director told us that HAL Zaandam burns 150 tons of diesel fuel per day.

FYI--- HAL reimbursed us for the fuel charge.

Pat

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It depends on the type of engine, but a medium speed diesel engine, which is what most of the cruise ships use the consumption is around 180 grams per kilowatt and hour. I don't have any info here on the power to tonnage relation, but I found a typical figure of 37 MW. So, asuming an average usage of 30 MW, this would make a total of around 900 tons of fuel for a 7 day cruise.

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Curro and SassyRed Hat both got it right.

An older ship like Zaandam burns more fuel - even though she is small. 150 tons a day would put her at 1050 tons per 7 day cruise.
Her younger and slightly larger sisters burn a bit less; around 900 -1000 tons per 7 days.

The much larger ships - even though new - tend to burn a bit more.
The large RCCL Ships and QM2 are in the 1300 ton range, depending on itinerary and weather.

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Fascinating subject, have always wondered how much money in fuel is spent on a single voyage. If a typical 3,000 passenger vessel is burning 1,000 tons or 2,000,000 pounds of fuel a week, figuring diesel weighs around 7 pounds per gallon @ $4.00/gal, that would be about 1 million dollars spent on fuel for a 7 day cruise or approximately $300 per passenger. The new fuel surcharge's would pay for about 15% of this total fuel charge. I guess that's not too bad considering diesel as gone up much more than that.

Looks like up to half of our cruise fares goes right to fuel costs. No wonder they want these ships full at the time of sailing. Wouldn't take too many open cabins to have a ship sailing at a loss.

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[quote name='Scooter-n-GB']Assuming a surcharge of $7/pppd, the total surcharge amounts to about 19% of the total fuel cost for the week.

A few ships out there have even switched to cleaner burning blends, which I would guestimate cost twice as much as bunker "C".[/quote]
Not sure many ships still burn "bunker C". In my youth I used to take a barge out to fuel them with this heavy black oil but they were mostly older ships.

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Carnival Corp was paying $499/metric ton in fuel costs for the 1st quarter 2008 (last bullet on page 1): [url]http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/14/140690/USCCL_Earnings.pdf[/url]

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[quote name='keyguide']Not sure many ships still burn "bunker C". In my youth I used to take a barge out to fuel them with this heavy black oil but they were mostly older ships.[/QUOTE]

I think most of them use now marine diesel oil. I am not sure about cruise ships, but most of the medium speed engines use this type of fuel. Heavy fuel oil is often used for low speed engines, wich are more efficient, but are too large and heavy for cruise ships. Also, using a number of medium speed diesel (or gas turbines) for both power generation and electrical propulsion is a more versatile system wich allows for backup in case of failure.

Any way, I've got the feeling that Philip217 will be able to confirm this for sure.

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Carnival usually gets a much better volume deal than the rest of us.
It also depends on which country you are in when you refuel. Taxes on fuel vary considerably.

Carnival is primarily also burning the low cost high-sulfur fuel that is still allowed in the Caribbean.

If you cruise in Canada, California, Alaska, Hawaii, and some parts of the Mediterranean, the governments there force the ships to burn a much cleaner - and much more expensive - diesel fuel.

And for those ships (like mine) with gas turbines; each turbine burns an average of $60,000 in jet fuel every 24 hours.

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[SIZE=4]We were told last week on the Mariner of the Seas that the captian Told all of us on a symposium that he runs 35000, gallons of fuel each day. To me that is alot of fuel and everyone complains about paying a few extra dollars a day like 5.00 pp per day on fuel... I felt that if you want to have a good time you gotta pay the price!!:D [/SIZE]

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[quote name='RED HOT ITALIAN TRAVELER'][SIZE=4]We were told last week on the Mariner of the Seas that the captian Told all of us on a symposium that he runs 35000, gallons of fuel each day. To me that is alot of fuel and everyone complains about paying a few extra dollars a day like 5.00 pp per day on fuel... I felt that if you want to have a good time you gotta pay the price!!:D [/SIZE][/quote]

or about 116 metric tons, based on 300 gal per ton. A metric ton is 2200 pounds, and given the specific gravity of diesel, 300 g/ton is an approximation. That's a mere $69,600 USD per day for fuel, assuming $600 per ton.

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Two weeks ago while doing a transatlantic (RCI Jewel of the Seas) a bridge officer said they changed out the gas turbine for a Diesel as its about half
the fuel cost per ton.

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I just got off a cruise last week and asked your questions. Your looking at it from the wrong view. Yes it does cost around 200 to 250 bucks a person...but the crew laid it out for me. Philip is correct is in the 1200 tons of fuel burned for a ship around 120,000 tons of displacement...such as Royal or Carnival ships. On my particular cruise of 2600 passengers, and 5 day per day fuel charge for a 7 day cruise thats $35 per person X 2,600 passengers = $91,000 the cruise gets [I]towards[/I] fuel...it wont cover all of it.


Ships hold more then they burn for a whole cruise, but for simplification purposes we will just talk about what they use. Fuel is bought in contracts for about a year....they pay spot prices if they use more then contract allows..but at the last Royal cruise it was about $600 a ton for fuel. $600 per ton of fuel X 1200 tons = $720,000 per fill up

So now lets talk about what customers pay to get on the ship. This is more estimated then the ther figures. The cheapest rooms were about 650, but I was told the average of all the rooms, is around $800 a person.

$800 per person X 2600 people = $2,080,000 per cruise....each week

$2,080,000 in customer payments
+ $91,000 fuel surcharges
- $720,000 in fuel costs
________________________
$1,451,000 before paying its employees...which isnt as much as you think...most jobs on the ship pay low becasue tips are involved...minus officer, and engineers and cooks. But lets also as to the equation the cost of your fruity drinks. $7- to $9 .....trust me they make a decent profit per cruise....easily a million..... so do not feel bad for them. They do mighty fine.....and you really are only paying $91,000 out $720,000 for fuel...thats only 12.6% so no complaints.

-J man

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On a tour of Fort Lauderdale in March (on the water taxi) the guide was telling us about the QM. Said it took 1 gallon to move her 1 inch!?????:eek: :confused:

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If you want to cruise, do you REALLY care how much fuel it burns??? I mean--this is "discretionary" money you're spending--it's not your necessary income!
Think of how much fuel an airplane uses... if you want to fly--would that really stop you?

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[QUOTE]On a tour of Fort Lauderdale in March (on the water taxi) the guide was telling us about the QM. Said it took 1 gallon to move her 1 inch!?????[/QUOTE]

Humm... that doesn't sound right.

The great circle distance between Southampton and New York is just over 3300 miles, so let call it 3300 miles, which is 209,088,000 inches.

One U.S. gallon of bunker fuel weighs around 7-8lbs (give or take). I'll use 7lbs.

Which means the QM2 would need over 600,000 tons of fuel to cross the Atlantic.... perhaps your guide was "misinformed" :rolleyes:

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[quote name='klfrodo']I don't know where you got your research. My research indicated that it takes 15 gallons to move a cruise ship 1 foot.

However, I've also read a lot of Phillips posts. He seems to be very knowledgable about the industry and has never given me any reason to question his integrity. Therefore, my vote goes with Philip.

Besides, your last statement validates why the cruiselines are instituting a fuel surcharge.[/quote]

Agree... Here, here to Phillip.

Am I the only one that does not have a problem with a fuel surcharge?

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Found this on snopes. It doesn't tell you how may MPG a ship uses but how may FEET per gallon the QE2 gets ! ! eeeek !!!!!:)


[U][COLOR=#de203e][URL]http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/trivia/qe2.asp[/URL][/COLOR][/U][URL="http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/devilspool.asp"][/URL]

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[quote name='Deaf Dude']Found this on snopes. It doesn't tell you how may MPG a ship uses but how may FEET per gallon the QE2 gets ! ! eeeek !!!!!:)


[U][COLOR=#de203e][URL="http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/trivia/qe2.asp"]http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/trivia/qe2.asp[/COLOR][/U][/URL][/quote]

Wow! that's a real eye opener isn't it? Just glad there are 3 or 4,000 other people to help share this expense.

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I posted this on another fuel topic, so thought I'd repost here. Of course, the figures aren't exact, but it'll give you a general idea.

_____________________

According to Wikipedia, the average cruise ship (950 feet long) uses 1 gallon of fuel for every 40 to 50 feet traveled. I wouldn't BEGIN to know how many "feet" a cruise line travels in a weeks time, but if you figure 50 feet per gallon, and there are 5280 feet in a mile, that's approx 105 gallons per mile. Times that by $3.00 per gallon (I'm being conservative on the price) that's $3168 per mile! Most ships that size don't hold over 2000 people and that includes those that are 3 and 4 in a cabin. Guessing that 1500 of the 2000 are only 2 in a room, the fuel surcharge adds up to $94500, The other 500 would pay the lesser surcharge adding up to $14000...grand total of surcharge, $108,500. Divide that by the cost per mile and the surcharge pays for 34 miles

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From RCCL's 2007 Annual Report

2007 fuel cost $354,371,000
2007 passenger days 26,594,515
Cost per passenger per day $13.33

Anticipated 2008 fuel costs $595,000,000 (or $484/metric ton)
Anticipated 2008 passenger days 28,721,000
Cost per passenger day (2008) $20.71

Hmmmm.....$ 7.00 per day increase....sound familiar.

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From Carnival's 2011 annual report; they used 3,395,000 metric tons of fuel in 2011. There are 307.86 us gal. per metric ton or Carnival used 1,045,184,700 gallons to move 9,559,000 passengers that year. That is an average 109.34 gallons per passenger in 2011. Edited by Inside Cabin Cruiser

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This is all very interesting. Lots and lots of numbers, but amongst it all seems to be a thought that a fuel surcharge has been imposed.

Did I miss something? AFAIK, while the cruise lines reserve the right to impose the $xx per person, per day fuel surcharge, very few have actually done so.

Cunard is the only one that actually started to do so, if I recall correctly.

Are there others? Edited by thinfool

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The $7 per day mentioned earlier is from 2008 - this is an old post Edited by Waynetor

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We seem to have some varying numbers, but also seem to have settled on about 50 feet per gallon. I cannot speak for cruise ships, but once calculated our aircraft carrier's fuel usage -- 1 gallon moved us about 10 yards at our most efficient speed. We were not as hydrodynamic as some of the newer ships, so the 40 - 50 feet per gallon sounds reasonable.

It is, however, impossible to untangle the entire equation for a cruise line's costs and profits, but suffice it to say that fuel is more expensive, and the fuel surcharge is one way to raise prices slightly but still explain why. I wish I weren't paying $4 a gallon now, but I am and it's more than it used to be!

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People, you need to re-calculate.
As of August 2012, one ton of bunker fuel (the fuel that most cruise ships burn most of the time) is averaging US$800 per ton in North American ports.
This price is going up very fast.

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[quote name='BruceMuzz']People, you need to re-calculate.
As of August 2012, one ton of bunker fuel (the fuel that most cruise ships burn most of the time) is averaging US$800 per ton in North American ports.
This price is going up very fast.[/QUOTE]

You need to realize that you're looking at posts from 2008. Someone decided to reopen a thread that had been dormant for four years. None of the posts made in the last couple of days makes any assumption or statement about the price of fuel.

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