As fuel prices continue to decline, Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) has announced that it will suspend fuel supplements for its six North American brands effective for all voyages departing on or after December 17, 2008.

The fuel supplement suspension applies to the following brands: Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn.

A refund of the fuel supplement will be made in the form of a shipboard credit for all bookings within the final payment period for departures on or after December 17, 2008. All bookings outside of the final payment period for departures on or after December 17, 2008 will be adjusted to remove the fuel supplement and guests will be provided with a revised final payment amount.

“As the price of oil has dropped to $46 per barrel, it has now reached a level where we are able to suspend the fuel supplement,” said Bill Harber, director of marketing for Carnival Corporation & plc. Harber cautioned that the fuel supplement could be re-instated if oil prices increase significantly.

The company reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day (except Seabourn, which would be up to $15 per person per day) should the price of light sweet crude oil according to the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index) increase above $70 per barrel.

“It is our hope that fuel prices have stabilized and will remain at a more rational level. The complete suspension of the fuel supplement makes the inherent value of a cruise even greater and that is increasingly important in the selection of a vacation in the current economic climate,” Harber added.

The fuel supplement for five of the six Carnival Corporation & plc brands is currently $9 per person per day for the first and second guest (not to exceed $126 per person per voyage) and $4 per person per day for third, fourth and fifth guests (not to exceed $56 per person per voyage). Seabourn’s fuel supplement is $15 per person per day for the first and second guest (not to exceed $210 per person per voyage) and $4 per person per day for third and fourth guests (not to exceed $56 per person per voyage).

Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ibero Cruises, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.

Together, these brands operate 88 ships totaling more than 169,000 lower berths with 17 new ships scheduled to enter service between March 2009 and June 2012. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Tours and Princess Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.