The costs of the 2020 International Geography Bee World Championships are now posted below. For further questions, please email Mr. Suopeng Gao at

Two-Tiered Structure: Cruise Fees & Participation Fees
Due to the unique nature of the 2020 International Geography Bee World Championships, the fee structure is different than at prior IGB Worlds. Most notably, the cost of IGB Worlds is divided into two parts: the Participation Fees and Cruise Fees. The Cruise Fees are subject to change, as Carnival (just like an airline) has dynamic pricing, with numerous price variations depending on when the cabin is booked, the number of people in the cabin, the type of cabin, and various other variables. The Participation Fees are not subject to change.

Unlike at prior IGB Worlds, there is no way for IAC to increase the capacity of accommodations. Once the ship is booked out, no further sign ups will be possible. The ship has a capacity of about 2500 beds. As of August 15, it was already slightly over half full (i.e. with non-IGB Worlds affiliated guests). Including beds for IGB Worlds staff that IAC has booked, there are only about 1000-1100 beds remaining.
Furthermore, we are capping IGB Worlds at 350 students and 450 parents, family members, friends, and coaches. We do not expect to be able to raise these numbers (there will certainly be other members of the general public booking the ship during August-October as well).

Cruise Fees must be paid for everyone coming on board. Participation Fees must be paid for all competing students. Participation Fees must also be paid for anyone age 10 or over (as of the time of sailing) who wishes to take part in any IGB Worlds events and watch any competitions that are open to spectators. Family members age 9 and younger do not need to pay Participation Fees but must still pay Cruise Fees. These children are welcome to watch events that are open to spectators (provided they are well-behaved), but are not allowed to compete in the Family Division in events that have one, nor are they allowed to take part in non-competition events (e.g. the Reception, Book Club, Politics Discussion, etc.) which are otherwise open to Family Members, Coaches, and other people (aside from competing students) who have paid the $250 Participation Fees.

Even though the pricing for the Cruise Fees is either very close to or identical to the prices posted on Carnival’s website, the Cruise Fees must also be paid to IAC and then IAC in turn will pay this to Carnival. This is necessary in order for IAC to keep track of who is coming to IGB Worlds, to be able to assign beds and cabins to students coming without a parent or guardian, to fulfill our agreement with Carnival whereby we are being provided with venue space for our events in exchange for bringing a large group on board, and for other logistical reasons.

Finally, please note that in contrast with past IGB Worlds, students and family members will only be considered confirmed to attend once IAC has received the registration on our website, as well as the Cruise Fees, and the Participation Fees in full. Students who have been registered will have their names listed on the list of registered students within 24 hours of their having signed up. However, only upon IAC receiving the Cruise Fees and Participation Fees in full will students (and parents, friends, family members, and coaches) be considered confirmed. If we reach a situation where we are nearing the ship’s capacity, priority will be given to people in order that we receive their payments (and not the order of their initial registration online).

Participation Fees
The Participation Fees are not subject to change and are set as follows:

$1600 for competing student participation in IGB Worlds
$250 for parent, guardian, family member age 10 or over, coach, or family friend
$3000 for combined student participation in IGB Worlds and the 2020 International History Olympiad. The International History Olympiad is also taking place on the Carnival Fascination during the week immediately following IGB Worlds (i.e. from July 19-26).

Application for Waiver of Parent, Guardian, Family Member, Friend, or Coach Fees
Please see the policy here under point 1B if you are interested in participating as an adjunct staff member in exchange for having the $250 Participation Fees for parent, guardian, family member, coach, or family friends.

Cruise Fees
Cruise Fees have three component parts:
1. The cost of the cabin or bed.
2. The taxes and port fees that are in addition to this (as of August 15, this is $100.52 per person).
3. An expected (and thus required by IAC) gratuity in addition to 1 and 2. This is approximately $98.00 per person staying in any room that is not a suite, and $112.00 per person staying in a room that is a suite.

The group base rates for the International Geography Bee World Championships are as follows:
Ocean View Cabin (we have 50 of these in our room block):
1 Person – $1518.00
2 Persons – $759.00 per person ($1518.00 total)
3 Persons – $639.00 per person ($1917.00 total)
4 Persons – $614.00 per person ($2456.00 total)

Interior Cabin (we have 57 of these in our room block):
1 Person – $1378.00
2 Persons – $689.00 per person ($1378.00 total)
3 Persons – $589.00 per person ($1767.00 total)
4 Persons – $539.00 per person ($2156.00 total)

Regardless of occupancy, there person, there is then $100.52 per person to be paid in taxes and port fees, and an additional $98.00 in gratuities (these are required).

The suite and balcony rooms are ONLY available to families and students staying with their families. Students attending alone must stay in an Ocean View or Interior Cabin. Since we do not have any of these rooms in our block, the rates are based on availability and subject to change. The following rates are from August 28, 2019:
1 Person – $2754 total
2 Persons – $1377 per person ($2754 total)
3 Persons – $1081 per person ($3243 total)
4 Persons – $913 per person ($3652 total)
*$100.64 per person in taxes and port fees and an additional $98.00 in gratuities (these are required).

Junior Suite
1 Person – $3294 total
2 Persons – $1647 per person ($3294 total)
3 Persons – $1272 per person ($3816 total)
*$100.64 per person in taxes and port fees and an additional $111.93 in gratuities (these are required).

Grand Suite
1 Person – $3694 total
2 Persons – $1847 per person ($3694 total)
3 Persons – $1405.33 per person ($4216 total)
4 Persons – $1168 per person ($4672 total)
*$100.64 per person in taxes and port fees and an additional $111.93 in gratuities (these are required).

Note that while the size of our room blocks are not the full extent of our ability to accommodate Olympiad participants (i.e. if our block sells out, we can still get people on board until the ship itself sells out), we can then no longer guarantee these rates (and indeed, rates once our block has sold out are likely then to be much higher). Note also that while rates on Carnival’s website may look cheaper, our IGB Worlds group rates as posted here come with the ability to cancel the Cruise Fees at the following rates:

No cancellation fee per canceled participant until April 28, 2020
$250 of the fees per canceled participant from April 29 through May 18, 2020
50% of the fees per canceled participant from May 19 through June 13, 2020
75% of the fees per canceled participant from June 14 through June 28, 2020
No refund available at all per canceled participant after June 28, 2020

Note the following general guidelines regarding how to interpret these rates:

A. If you are registering just one student who is not requesting specific roommates upon registration, do not worry about the single occupancy supplement. IAC will find a roommate for your child, and your child’s Cruise Fees will be calculated at the standard double occupancy rate. However, IAC reserves the right to place your student in a triple, quadruple, or quintuple occupancy room. If this occurs, the amount owed does not change further (i.e. you would not receive a further discount as described below). There is also a very small chance that a student (e.g. if their presumed roommate drops out three days before our departure) may have a single occupancy room. In this circumstance, no single occupancy supplement would be due; IAC would cover this with Carnival if needed.

B. Some rooms have triple, quadruple, or quintuple occupancy. You are welcome to submit a specific roommate request with 1, 2, 3, or 4 other specific students. If you are submitting a roommate request, all students must request the same group of roommates. All students requesting such an arrangement must be of the same gender unless all of them are related. All such students do not need to attend the same school or even be from the same country, but there can be no more than three years difference between the oldest and youngest student in the room.
IAC will then check with Carnival to see if a multiple occupancy room is available. If one is, then IAC will add up the cost of the first, second, third, and so forth persons in each room, divide by the number of people requesting the room, and then all students will owe that averaged rate.
For example, for the current rate for an interior room, this would lower the cost for all persons in the room from $689 to $539 (with taxes / port fees and gratuities extra).

C. If a group of 3-5 students register as a group, and one drops out, IAC will place an additional student in the room. No further discount or surcharge will accrue as a result of this.

D. Families who are requesting multiple occupancy rooms can likewise take advantage of the fact that the cost for the third, fourth, and fifth persons in each room is less per person than the double occupancy rate, subject to room availability.

E. Students are welcome to either stay in a cabin with their families or with other students. However, if a sole parent or guardian is coming with a student, and the student does not plan on staying with them, the sole parent or guardian is subject to the single occupancy supplement unless they specify a roommate, or request that IAC find one for them. IAC cannot promise that this will be possible, however.

Our sponsor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt graciously helps to underwrite the prizes provided at the US National Championships of the International Geography Bee. For the 2019 and 2020 National Championships, the various prizes are listed in the files here. The same prizes and amounts are on offer for both 2019 and 2020.

Varsity and Junior Varsity Divisions
Middle School and Elementary School Divisions

For students outside the USA, IAC is also providing discounts as follows:
Students who win their age division in the International Geography Bee either the 2019 or 2020 IAC Asian, Canadian, or European Championships receive a reduction of $150 USD in Participation Fees. These are also now cumulative; hence the maximum possible discount could be $300 for a student who won the Bee in both years.

Please also note the following:
1. All discounts are applied against the Participation Fees not the Cruise Fees (i.e. the discounts do not impact the amount of tax or gratuity due).
2. Discounts ARE cumulative. If a student is eligible for multiple discounts, they can be added together for both 2019 and 2020. Multiple discounts can be earned each year only if a US student competes at Middle School (or Elementary School) and Junior Varsity Nationals)
3. For discounts earned in 2020 by students whose fees have already been paid, discounts will take the form of a partial refund check or transfer that will be sent in late June 2020 after all IGB Championship level events have finished in 2020.

What is included in the Cruise Fees
– Accommodation on board the ship
– Meals on board the ship. This includes all food at Guy’s Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, and complimentary room service (excluding tips) until 10pm.  It also includes unlimited lemonade, coffee, tea, and water (but notably not soda). Ice cream and pizza are included and available at all hours. Room service food is available free of charge until about 10pm. The burger joint, and cantina provide continuous lunch and dinner from about 11am-8pm; the buffet provides continuous food as well. Dinner is available in the main dining room between 6pm and 9pm; this is included in the rate.
-Almost all activities that Carnival provides on board the ship except spa treatments, the casino, art auctions, and other shopping.

What is included in the Participation Fees for Student Participants
-All competition and non-competition IGB Worlds events for competing students.
-One night of lodging in San Juan on 11 July for competing students. Students can stay with their families instead, but then they won’t get a refund for the cost of the hotel night. IAC staff will meet students staying at IAC arranged accommodations in San Juan at baggage claim at San Juan International Airport.
-Transfer from San Juan International Airport for students staying at the IAC provided accommodations on 11 July, transfer to the cruise port on 12 July, and transfer back to the airport on 19 July after the cruise returns to San Juan.

What is included in the Participation Fees for Family Members, Friends, and Coaches
-Competition and non-competition events for Parents, Family Members, Friends, and Coaches as outlined here.
-The ability to watch medals ceremonies, the opening and closing ceremonies and events that are open to spectators. These are not open to the general public, nor to anyone who does not have a wristband with the exception of younger siblings aged 9 and younger.

What is notably not included in either fee
-Any alcoholic beverages except those provided at the reception (the drinking age on board the ship at all times is 21; this will also be visible through the wristband color that participants will receive and must wear at all times).
-Gratuities for food or drinks.
-Onshore excursions except for the Old San Juan tour, the Barbados tour, and the visits to the Pirates Treasure Museum and the Skyride on St. Thomas. These events are included for competing student participants only.
-Transfer to and from San Juan International Airport for students not staying at the IAC provided accommodations on 11 July (i.e. students who wish to stay with their parent or guardian at a different hotel that night). In this case, students and their families must meet IAC staff at the cruise port on 12 July; competing students may then still take part in the Old San Juan tour if they choose.
-Transfer to and from San Juan International Airport for parents, family members, friends, or coaches.
-Any visas that may be needed.
-Travel to and from San Juan.

Refund Policy
Refund policies for the Cruise Fees are subject to Carnival’s standard refund policies.
For the Participation Fees, the following policies apply:
1. A $100 processing fee will be due for any refund provided.
2. Aside from the processing fee, refunds of the participation fee will be provided in full as long as space remains available for students to register, or until 1 February, 2020 whichever comes first.
3. From 1 February or whenever registration closes due to the ship being full (whichever comes first) – 1 May, 2020, a 50% refund will be provided.
4. After 1 May, 2020, no refunds will be provided.

Further Information
1. Payments will be accepted by the following methods: US $ denominated check, Credit card via Paypal (fees apply), Wire transfer (fees apply), Flywire (for payments from outside the USA only) – has slightly lower fees than Paypal or wire transfers.
2. An invoice will be provided upon registration with payment instructions; if desired, a receipt can be issued as well.