Luxury super yacht MY Sherakhan, is one of four vessels new to the Falkland Islands visiting in the 2012/13 season beginning next month. More often spotted in the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas, she also ventures further afield to Patagonia, Antarctica, French Polynesia, Asia, and Panama.
Regatta (Prestige Cruises) Ocean Diamond (Quark) and Arcadia (P&O) will also pay inaugural visits.
The season will begin gently with the first vessel, Ushuaia arriving in Stanley on October 6, carrying 84 passengers and returning on October 20.
Two of the smaller class of vessels Polar Pioneer and Ocean Nova will also visit later in the month, with the far larger Costa Romantica planning to drop anchor in the Islands on October 27.
Approximately 50,000 passengers will visit Stanley according to the most recent cruise ship schedule released this week, with AIDACara, Star Princess, Arcadia, Veendam, Celebrity Infinity, Grand Princess and Golden Princess disembarking between 1350 and 2500 of their guests onto Stanley Seafront.
During the season which runs from October until early April, around 90 ship visits are currently scheduled, however, due to severe weather or various logistical difficulties not all normally take place.
Last season 35,159 visitors landed; this was reduced from the expected number due to eight vessel cancellations. Seven of those were due to bad weather and one was health related.
While Stanley will take the bulk of the visits, vessels also plan to call in to New Island, West Point, Carcass Island, Bleaker Island, George and Barren islands Sealion Island and Volunteer Point.
Shipping agents Sulivan Shipping report that they will have five passenger exchanges using LAN this coming season, with one company also having a week long cruise extension in the Falkland Islands.
So far the schedule shows relatively few days where more than one large vessel will visit Stanley on the same day, however on February 19 Stanley tourist guides will be out in force to look after approximately 3,500 disembarking visitors. (PN)