This South America season the Seabourn Sojourn is cruising between Valparaiso, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Through the Chilean fjords and around Cape Horn, this is one of the most popular segments of a South American cruise; and for that reason they are going to be repeating it for the entire two and a half month season.
When the Sojourn came through Montevideo, guests and crew came-up to see my new apartment. They had just come from Port Stanley in The Falklands, where they had a glorious day and saw king penguins, etc. The next day the cruise was to end in Buenos Aires. Some of you may know that Argentina has been raising concerns again about the sovereignty of The Falklands and has been threatening to not allow cruise ships into Argentina that have been to The Falklands. My friends said they did not know what impact if any their visit would have.
After the next cruise began in Buenos Aires, the Soujourn stopped in Montevideo where again I had lunch with the same friends. It seems the Argentines were not happy that the ship had gone to the The Falklands and told them they would be unwelcome in the country were they to do it again. Well, as it is part of their published itinerary - they did. As luck would have it weather was bad and they could not get in to port; nevertheless they had committed themselves in the attempt.
The next stop was to be Ushuaia, Argentina. They were informed they were not welcome and were being labeled a “pirate ship.” The ship went on to Chile where extra time was added in Puerto Montt. No final decision has been made regarding how to handle the rest of the season.
Seabourn is not the only cruise line affected by Argentina’s actions; Holland-America, Princess, Oceania, and Regent have similar itineraries. They have only two choices; eliminate the call in The Falklands or avoid all Argentine ports. Avoiding all Argentine ports includes Buenos Aires which is not only a major draw for guests but is also the turn-around port where cruises begin and end. Without Buenos Aires additional arrangements must be made to fly passengers in and out of nearby Montevideo - that could be costly. Eliminating The Falklands is much easier but takes away the much relied upon revenue from the seasonal cruise ship visits.
For a good look at the down line affect on the community please click on the link.