When it comes to the safety of passengers and crewmembers, our cruise accident attorneys know that vessel operators should do everything in their power to keep everyone onboard from harm. And due to recent protests in Argentina regarding the independence of the Falkland Islands from the UK, some cruise ships have decided to cancel port calls in order to make sure no incidents take place that can lead to injuries for those aboard. As of last Thursday, two additional cruise ships have cancelled their visits through 2013. UK-based P&O Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., announced that the 2,016-passenger Arcadia and 710-passenger Adonia will no longer visit Argentina in 2013 as part of world cruises.
Several Argentine port workers have threatened cruise operators, trying to deter cruise operators from calling on the Falklands or face repercussions, including being refused port services. The UK’s Foreign Office has fired back, accusing Argentina of trying to stifle the economy of the Falklands by discouraging cruise ships from visiting the region. The issue dates back to 1982 when a war between the UK and Argentina over the Falklands erupted. Although under British rule, Argentina believes the islands, located roughly 310 miles from the Argentine coast, are rightfully theirs.
Vessels from two other Carnival Corp. brands have also cancelled calls in Argentina in recent days. Holland America’s 1,350-passenger Veendam and Seabourn Cruise Line’s 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn both cancelled visits to Ushuaia, Argentina in early December. The cancelled calls followed delays experienced by the Seabourn Sojourn, after port workers detained the vessel for seven hours in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Dec. 4, demanding the ship not visit the Falklands.
Earlier this year, P&O Cruises’ Adonia and Princess Cruises’ Star Princess both were refused entry to Ushuaia because they had previously visited the Falklands. Currently, P&O Cruises is the only cruise line to cancel future calls in Argentina. Holland America, Seabourn and Princess still have scheduled sailings stopping in the South American country. Meanwhile, two other vessels, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, have cancelled upcoming calls in the Falklands while leaving Argentina on the itinerary.
Due to the fact that P&O Cruises is based in the UK, the line may face more difficulty than others when it comes to sending ships to Argentina. P&O’s ships are flagged in the British overseas territory of Bermuda, and last February, Argentina’s transport workers union declared that it would boycott vessels flying the British flag because of the Falklands dispute.
“As a British cruise company we cannot allow ourselves to be the subject of any political dispute or put our customers and crew into any situation where their enjoyment may be compromised,” said P&O Cruises in a statement. “With this in mind, we have had to take the difficult decision to remove all Argentinean ports of call from Arcadia and Adonia’s 2013 itineraries.”
Photo Credit: cruises.co.uk