|Star Princess // Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises|
As the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War approaches, Argentina and the United Kingdom are apparently still having plenty of political issues, and the spat between the two countries is beginning to affect cruise ship and cargo ship schedules.
The U.K. Foreign Office said yesterday that it's very concerned by Argentina’s refusal to allow the P&O Adonia and Star Princess to dock this past week at Tierra Del Fuego, which is located on Argentina's southern tip; the ships had just come from a call at the Falklands.
The foreign office said its diplomats in Argentina were still trying to clarify the events, but essentially it appears the vessels were denied entry because they had just visited the Falklands.
Argentina's Naval Prefecture said the ships changed their destination and denied they were refused entry.
However, Princess Cruises (www.princess.com) says that's not accurate.
"Following its call at the Falkland Islands on Saturday February 25, the local port authorities have not permitted Star Princess to berth at Ushuaia, Argentina today," the line said in a statement. "This decision was based on the current political conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands. Because the ship had previously called at Stanley, it was denied entry to Ushuaia."
Princess said it was "extremely disappointed about this alteration of the cruise itinerary" and is refunding the cost of any shore excursions for Ushuaia purchased by passengers.
The ship is currently proceeding to its next port of call, Punta Arenas, Chile. Star Princess is on a 14-night South America cruise which departed Rio de Janeiro on February 18, 2012.
And in a sign of additional trouble on the horizon, yesterday the Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT) approved a boycott of vessels flying the British flag or the Red Ensign of other U.K. Overseas Territories from entering and leaving Argentina's ports. That will, at the very least, cause delays for those ships.
The U.K. Foreign Office now says it's in talks with the cruise lines about the situation.