Cruise Ship Cancels Calls to Falkland Islands

November 25, 2012
(9:30 a.m. EST, November 26) -- Editor's note: In our original version of this story, posted yesterday (Nov. 25), we were led to believe that Holland America Line's Veendam had cancelled a call at the Falkland Islands due to the protests in Argentina. This is not in fact the case. HAL cancelled the stop from the itinerary in July, due to the unreliability of the weather.

(3:00 a.m. EST) -- A cruise ship has cancelled a scheduled stop at the Falkland Islands following protests in Buenos Aires, reports the Daily Mail.

AIDA's AIDAcara has reportedly cancelled a stop planned at Port Stanley on December 3.

Meanwhile,Holland America Line's MS Veendam cancelled a stop at the Falklands due on Friday in July -- not as a result of the protests.

Both lines are owned by US-based Carnival Corp and were the first big cruise ships due to the islands this summer season.

A Holland America Line spokesperson told the newspaper: “Regarding our scheduled calls to the Falkland Islands, when the weather is good and predictable we go there, when it is not – which is most of the time – we don't.”

Sulivan Shipping in Port Stanley tweeted: “The AIDAcara due to visit on December 3 has cancelled her visit due to the current political situation in Argentina. A huge blow for all involved, let's hope this doesn't continue throughout the season.”

AIDA Cruises could not be reached for comment.

In February, P&O Cruises's Adonia and Princess Cruises' Star Princess were both refused entry to the Argentinian port of Ushuaia, because they had visited the Falklands. The concern for the Falkland Islanders is if the protests continue it could mean other lines pulling the Falklands from their itineraries. Cruise ship stops are estimated to be worth at least £10 million to the island's economy.

The Foreign Office condemned the protests, which took place on Monday (Nov. 19):

“We are deeply concerned to learn that a cruise company has taken the decision to cancel a visit to the Falkland Islands following a violent act of intimidation against their shipping agents in Buenos Aires. It is shameful that elements within a large country like Argentina should seek to strangle the economy of a small group of Islands. Such action benefits nobody and only condemns those who lend it support.”

A statement on the FCO website about travel to Argentina reads:

“There have been recent protests against British interests in Argentina in the context of the higher profile being given to the Falkland Islands issue during 2012 - the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict. You should avoid all protests and demonstrations in all parts of Argentina.

“The Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT) has approved a boycott of vessels flying a British flag. Some Argentine provinces have passed legislation banning the entry to port of vessels supporting hydrocarbons activity in the Falkland Islands.”

On Tuesday, the Antarctica cruise season was delayed by strikes which took place across the country including ports and airports.

--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor