Tuesday 6 March 2012

Politics spoil cruise experience in South America

Port of Ushuaia (Argentina) is the gateway to Antarctica
One of the world's most exotic and expensive cruise ship circuits is being threatened by political strife, as Argentina's dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands and social protests in Chile prevent thousands of passengers from going ashore along the tip of South America.

Argentina, the Falklands government and Chile have succeeded in attracting more high-end cruises in recent years. Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city, takes in 450 visits a year from ships that sail between Rio de Janeiro and Chile's main port city of Valparaiso, stopping in isolated ports and even Antarctica.

But for mostly political reasons, a half-dozen ports of call have been canceled at the last minute in recent weeks, marring itineraries that include the islands, Ushuaia and Chile's scenic Aysen region.

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