Cross-channel ferry operator SpeedFerries has announced a fuel surcharge to its ticket prices.
It is the first ferry operator to do so, and others are expected to follow suit.
SpeedFerries, which sails between Dover and Boulogne, said its fuel costs have doubled compared to last year forcing it to pass some of the increase on to passengers.
In a letter to its customers, chief executive officer, Curt Stavis, warned that all cross-Channel ferry operators will be forced to raise their prices significantly and, possibly, permanently.
He said: “The world has experienced yet another dramatic rise in the cost of fuel.
“The environmentally friendly diesel used by SpeedFerries has been affected the most and we are now looking at a scenario whereby the price is more than twice that of last year and 2007 was in itself a year of extreme oil prices.
“Although for some time SpeedFerries absorbed this increased cost there is really no alternative but to pass on a proportion of this cost to our customers.”
The surcharge will come into effect on June 10.
SpeedFerries is believed to be the first company to add a fee, common amongst airlines, although the BBC reports that Stena Line has added a surcharge on Irish Sea routes, so such additions may become commonplace.
Photo: SpeedFerries’ "Speed One" at Dover, by Remi Jouan