Argentina Turns Away Carnival Ships as Falkland Spat Escalates

Argentine port authorities blocked two British cruise ships owned by Carnival Corp. from docking yesterday after the vessels made a port call in the Falkland Islands.

The ownership of the islands is at the center of a dispute between the U.K. and the South American country.

The Star Princess, which is operated by Princess Cruises, and P&O Cruises’ Adonia sailed to Punta Arenas in southern Chile after being denied entry to Ushuaia in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, spokeswomen from the two cruise liners said separately.

Star Princess is on a 14-night South American cruise that departed Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 18 and Adonia left Southampton, England on Jan. 13 for an 87-night tour of the region.

“We are extremely disappointed about this alteration of the cruise itinerary,” Julie Benson, vice president of public relations at Princess, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “This decision was based on the current political conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom.”

Argentina claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which it calls the Malvinas. Its troops occupied South Georgia before invading the Falklands in a 1982 war that it lost to the U.K.

Argentina this month accused Britain of escalating the dispute by deploying a modern destroyer to the region and sending Prince William, the second-in-line to the throne and a military-helicopter pilot, to the Falklands for six weeks.

Port authorities in Argentina, which is observing a national holiday yesterday, didn’t answer telephone calls from Bloomberg News.

Carnival’s share price fell by less than 0.1 percent yesterday to $29.96.

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