Rising fuel costs create rough waters for Pride of the Susquehanna

Fuel costs for the historic paddle wheel river boat have more than doubled since last year.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Like many other things, a river cruise in Harrisburg costs a little more these days.

Ticket prices to ride the Pride of the Susquehanna have increased since last year due to COVID-19 and other rising costs.

Now the price of refueling the boat is at an all-time high.

“Our prices for our diesel fuel [are] more than twice as much [they were] this time last year,” said Deb Bradshaw, the boat’s captain.

It’s skyrocketing costs that the company hasn’t accounted for this season.

“We have no way of returning that money because our ticket prices are already set and everything is in line so we can’t really change anything now,” Bradshaw said.

Staffing issues and rising food costs are also affecting the boat.

“A lot of people are really worried about our dinner cruises starting up again, but honestly it’s difficult to find a caterer who can commit to food prices,” Bradshaw said.

She says the increased expenses are hurting the company’s bottom line.

“We probably won’t make as much money as we should this year because we have more expenses, which puts us into the winter season where we might be a little behind on repairs and maintenance,” Bradshaw said.

For pride, the biggest obstacle is figuring out how to balance everything.

“We’re trying to save as much as we can on little things, down to things like our snacks,” Bradshaw said of being out here.”

Amidst all of these challenges, Bradshaw says, there is a silver lining.

So far this season demand has been through the roof.

“People are on the island,” she said. “We had a really good weekend last weekend, even today, and I think a lot of people were out of work today, but we had really good numbers for a Monday.”

The hope is that demand will remain high and that the Pride will help it recover from the pandemic and get through this difficult period.

“We’ve battled our way through two really, really difficult years and now although some things are going up I think we’ll be fine if our numbers stay up,” said captain Bradshaw.

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https://www.fox43.com/article/money/rising-fuel-costs-pride-of-the-susquehanna-riverboat/521-5bb15208-09d9-4f22-a5e4-3ae587dba71d Rising fuel costs create rough waters for Pride of the Susquehanna

Alley Einstein

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