Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Cruise Cowards?

Silversea Cruises is the latest line to pull out of cruise calls to the Falkland Islands following threats of intimidation at Argentine ports.

They join a list of companies, including Holland America, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania Cruises and German Aida Cruises who have all cancelled Falklands visits after being told their "safety" couldn't be guaranteed at the likes of Ushuaia and Buenos Aires if they also called at Port Stanley.

Excuse me? The safety of ships visiting Argentinean ports can't be guaranteed, so you cancel calls to the Falklands?

Doesn't that sound totally twisted in terms of logic? Moral cowardice, even?

If Argentina can't guarantee ship safety at their ports (and somehow makes it a Falklands issue), isn't the answer not to go to Argentina? Exactly like P&O Cruises announced, by cancelling their visits to Argentina.

It's perfectly feasible for ships to miss the likes of Ushuaia and Buenos Aires and instead call at Punta Arenas (Chile), Montevideo (Uruguay), South Georgia and Port Stanley. If they want to.

Why in the name of all that's sane would you go to the "unsafe" ports and cut out the ones that still welcome cruise ships and go out of their way to accommodate them? Isn't that just giving in to a bully?

Silversea's UK general manager, Mike Bonner, in the ultimate example of Orwellian double-speak, insisted: "Due to ongoing political uncertainty, Silversea has taken the decision to cancel scheduled calls at Port Stanley for voyages departing in the coming weeks. These voyages will now include alternate ports of call and, where possible, guests will be notified prior to embarkation. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these schedule changes. The safety of our crew and passengers remains our foremost concern.”

So, "political uncertainty" in Argentina means you still go there? Really? In the same way that, for example, political uncertainty in Egypt means cruise lines cancelling calls to Alexandria. Do you see a difference?

Come on, Mike. That is absolute baloney and you know it. The cruise lines may think they need Argentina, but that is definitely not the case. And, if you tell your customers the real story, I'm sure the majority will back you up.

Boycott Argentina - NOT the Falklands.