Swan Hellenic’s decision to increase fuel surcharges to £14 per person per day has been defended by its owner.

Roger Allard, chairman of All Leisure, which owns the cruiseline, said the increase from the current £2.50 will be added to all summer season sailings from May 23 and comes as the cost of oil continues to soar. The price is now about $120 per barrel.

However, he added the daily surcharge will be reduced as the operator, according to the European Union Package Directive, absorbs the first 2% of the entire cost of any booking, meaning Swan Hellenic will fund up to £6 of the daily cost of each individual’s surcharge.

While Royal Caribbean is raising the surcharge to a maximum of £4 per person, Allard said this is largely down to economies of scale as Minerva carries only about 330 passengers.

Allard added that many Swan Hellenic itineraries are off the beaten track, meaning fuel costs increase as the ship is forced to fill up at less mainstream ports, where costs can be higher.