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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – COVID-19 put the cruise ship industry on hold for the last two years. But, that is changing as a Carnival cruise ship left out of Mobile earlier this month.

So, will the increase in fuel prices force cruise ships to charge travelers more? AAA Alabama Spokesperson, Clay Ingram, told News 19 he doesn’t expect fares to change.

Ingram told News 19 they have seen an influx in bookings and he believes if prices rise, it won’t be because of gas prices. Instead, it’ll be because there are not as many cruises available anymore.

“I don’t think it’s going to have too much of an impact to be honest, maybe a little bit,” Ingram explained. “You might see prices a little bit higher than a couple of years ago because availability is less. There aren’t quite as many cruises in general as far as number of cruises for the Summer.”

The last time fuel surcharges hit the industry was in 2008. At the time both Royal Caribbean and Carnival added fuel surcharges of $5-10 per person, per day.

Research done by AAA shows that 23% of Americans are considering a cruise in the next 2 years. Of those, 43% say they are pleased with how cruises have responded to the pandemic.

Ingram also added if you do plan to book a trip, it’s important to book earlier than normal as it appears demand will continue to increase.