While diplomatic and military tensions continue between the Falkland Islands and Argentina, the islands have stirred up a controversy after denying entry to Princess Cruises’ Star Princess (2002/108,977gt) on 14 January while she was on a 14-day cruise from Valparaiso to Rio de Janeiro.
In following normal procedures, the ship declared to the island’s health authorities that 64 passengers (2.48 per cent of 2,584 in all) and ten crew members (0.94 per cent of 1,068) had reported ill to the ship’s hospital during the cruise with norovirus-like symptoms. By the time the vessel reached Port Stanley on the sixth day of the cruise, only 20 people actually had the virus.
Princess was not happy with the decision, more so considering that the numbers affected had not even reached the three per cent which the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention uses to classify the illness as an outbreak. Star Princess was forced to abort her call and go to Buenos Aires, her next stop.
The Falkland Island authorities deny that their decision had anything to do with the fact that there was a large contingent of Argentinian passengers on board the ship.