Five ships will make their inaugural visits to the Falklands during the coming cruise ship season, reports the Penguin News.The luxurious Seabourn Sojourn (450 passenger capacity) will be among these, along with Island Sky (118 pax) mega yacht L’Austral (264 pax) MS Artania (1200 pax) and Adonia (710 pax).
Tourism Coordinator Sulivan Shipping Ltd Samantha Marsh said, “The amount of ships coming to the Falklands for the 2011/2012 is roughly the same as last season.”
Twenty-nine different vessels visited then, while 30 are scheduled to visit the Falklands this season.
Miss Marsh said, “The big decrease has been for the outer islands, we are seeing less and less of the small expedition vessels. “Last year there were over 90 calls to Camp, this year we presently have just over 60 booked. This will have a big effect on them.”Sulivan Shipping will be operating four passenger exchanges this coming season, “which is fantastic news,” she said.
“We are working really, really hard to keep the ships coming back, and trying to get vessels to stay longer in terms of the passenger exchanges. “We’ve been pushing this at Cruise Shipping Miami, the International Association of Antarctic Operators (IAATO) and Sea Trade South America in Sao Paulo.“South America is a very expensive region and this has had an affect on the traffic in this region in general,” she cautioned.
“Sulivan Shipping has several new tours on offer in the upcoming season and the three top tours last year were Bluff Cove Lagoon, followed closely by Stanley Highlights and Sparrow Cove Penguin Adventure, “We are always looking to involve different people and different products to showcase the Falklands. If you feel you have something to offer or would like to get involved in the industry in general - feel free to contact us or call in for a chat.”
Sam Davies speaking on behalf of Penguin Travel (Falkland Islands Company) confirmed the ships for which they are agents will make a total of 23 visits to the Islands, “with a total capacity of almost 20,000 passengers.
Penguin Travel is agent for the Seabourn Sojourn which alone is scheduled to make six visits. Miss Davies said, “We hope the increases in number this year will continue in the future.” They will also be offering new tours to the visitors and have also expanded their fleet of coaches and minibuses.
She said: “We are working on providing the best possible service to clients,” and with regard to those interested in working in the industry as drivers or guides, “we advertise, but people are welcome to contact us.”
Penguin Travel declined to discuss their planned new tours, but also confirmed that Bluff Cove Lagoon was still the favourite tour with their clients.
Two new tours for cruise ship passengers on offer from SeAled PR, in conjunction with Sulivan Shipping, are a combined town and country walk, and a bird watching tour.
The first involves a stroll through central Stanley, viewing the main attractions, before clients are transferred to a trek in the countryside to look at native flora and fauna.
For the truly fanatical country lovers and twitchers the ‘Bird Watching in the Falklands’ tour offers, “an exclusive opportunity” to get really close to birds and plants, with portable hides used at various points throughout the tour.