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Falklands : ARGENTINE BULLIES BLAMED FOR CRUISE SHIP CANCELLATIONS
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 28.11.2012 (Article Archived on 12.12.2012)

The Hon Mr Mike Summers, MLA has held a press conference at Gilbert House at 1000hrs on Monday, 26 November 2012.

ARGENTINE BULLIES BLAMED FOR CRUISE SHIP CANCELLATIONS


By J. Brock (FINN)


 


The Hon Mr Mike Summers, MLA has held a press conference at Gilbert House at 1000hrs on Monday, 26 November 2012.


 


Speaking about two recent cruise ship cancellations Mr Summers said, it is abundantly clear that the Aida Cara cancelled her visit for the 3rd of December, following an attack on their agent’s offices in Buenos Aires by Quebracho Militia.”


 


He went on to say that Carnival Cruise Lines responded directly to the attack by cancelling Aida Cara’s port call in the Falklands.


 


“We are clearer about the reasons why the Veedam is not coming in but all the indications are that they are probably being threatened,” he said.


 


 


Tony Mason, Managing Director of the Falkland Islands Tourist Board, is meeting this week with the Vice President responsible for Public Relations at Holland America who said that she will give him a full briefing on her company’s position on port calls in the Falklands.


 


“Later this week we should be clearer about that,” said Mr Summers.


 


He went on to say that the AIDA Group had not been contacted directly but he had written to the CEO of the Carnival Group in Miami expressing the Falkland Islands’ Government’s disappointment at the capitulation by the Aida Cara and the apparent withdrawal of the Veedam visits.  Indeed, when the website is accessed, there are no Falklands visits mentioned. 


 


Mr Summers would like the Company to take a corporate view on whether responding to bullying in this manner is an appropriate thing for a group like Carnival to be doing.  However, Carnival UK has given assurances that it will not give in to bullying.


 


Debbie Summers will be in the Sea Trade Conference in Marseille this week and will confer with Princess Cruise Lines directly on MLA Summers’ behalf to get assurances about Princess Cruise visits for later in the season.


 


“There is a lot going on at different levels and bits of information will be coming from them,” he added.


 


News reports indicated that there was no police presence during the firebombing of Carnival Cruise Line’s offices in Buenos Aires but Mr Summers said it was uncertain where pressure to damage the offices came from.  If it was proven that the Argentine Government approved the action there would be grounds for a restraint of trade suit against them.  At this point he is not sure about any action by Chambers of Commerce in Argentina like there had been the case in the past.


 


If the cruise lines would pull out of the Falklands it could look bad for them and they will lose trade when people wanting to add the Falklands on to their tour won’t have the option with them.


 


The Veedam’s Captain has blamed the weather in the past for not landing in Stanley but it is unsure why the weather is so often unsuitable for his ship.

 

This article is the Property and Copyright of Falkland Islands News Network.

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