Guidance to Cruise Vessels for 2023/24 Season
Following the formation of the Falkland Islands Maritime Authority (FIMA) in 2019, a full review of the navigational safety in Port William and Stanley Harbour has been undertaken. This review identified several areas where tighter controls were required.
This document aims to highlight the navigational safety requirements that apply to visiting cruise vessels. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the Ports & Harbours Information Booklet, which is available on the FIMA website. All vessels are also to ensure that the information contained in Admiralty Sailing Directions and lists of radio signals is also considered.
Bookings and emergency plans
Only vessels with a confirmed booking will be permitted entry into the Port William/ Stanley Harbour. This does not prevent a vessel seeking assistance in case of emergency.
All vessels are required to supply a copy of their SAR emergency plan, and risk assessments for tendering operations (if applicable) at least 28 days prior to arrival. These can be sent direct to
Falkland Islands Voluntary Ship Reporting System
New for the 2022 season, the Falklands have introduced a voluntary ship reporting system covering West Falklands and its approaches. All cruise vessels wishing to enter the Falklands are requested to comply with the requirements of the scheme. The limits of the system are shown an Admiralty Charts, and can be viewed on the FIMA website Falkland Islands Voluntary Ship Reporting System (FIREP) (falklands.gov.fk)
Due to the age and condition of the FIPASS structure, vessels with a displacement over 10,000t will not be permitted to berth at FIPASS. Local Notice to Mariners 05/2021 (falklands.gov.fk)
Due to the constrained nature of Stanley Harbour and the poor protection provided from prevailing winds, the harbour will be closed to all fishing vessels, cruise vessels and their tenders when wind speeds reach a sustained 30kts and rising. Harbour closure notification will be provided via the vessels agents.
When visibility reduces below 0.1nm the Maritime Authority will implement a fog routine. During such times all cruise vessel tender operations will be suspended. Exemptions may be granted if only one vessel is operating and risk assessments are provided.
Provisional anchorage allocations will be made on receipt of emergency plans. Anchorage allocation will be confirmed on receipt of the 24hour pre-notification of arrival. Larger vessels will be allocated anchorages towards the Western end of Port William dependant of number of vessels and prevailing conditions.
Vessels of less than 143m length, 25m beam and 6.0m draft may request an anchorage in Stanley Harbour. Such requests will only be considered if the vessel has sufficient manoeuvrability, the Master is familiar with the Harbour and there is a suitable anchorage available.
In early 2020, a LNTM was issued which limited the use of the small finger pontoon at the public jetty to zodiacs only. This is due to the instability of the pontoon, which makes it unsuitable for larger tenders.
This LNTM has been fully revised to cover all aspects of passenger vessel tender operations. A full list of the Local Notices to Mariners can be found here
Vessels are to manoeuvre with caution when arriving and departing at the pontoons and to manoeuvre at a reduced speed. Only one tender may arrive/depart at any one time. When vessels are alongside the public jetty pontoons/finger pontoons, they must make their vessels fast by a minimum of one forward spring and one aft spring and their engines must be placed into neutral.
Extra staff to assist on the pontoons
Each vessel tendering at the pontoons, must ensure that at least one staff member from the ship is located on the pontoon to assist with passengers getting on and off the pontoons and when embarking and disembarking the tenders. This responsibility lays with the cruise ship and not with the security staff on the pontoon.
Please note that staff members from the Falkland Islands Maritime Authority will be monitoring tendering activities from cruise ship and will take action if any of the above requirements are not followed.
Any cruise ship tenders / zodiacs must adhere to the speed restrictions when operating in Stanley Harbour. These vessels are requested to keep their speed below 4kts within 200m of the South shore of Stanley Harbour and to also reduce their speed when passing other moored vessels. They should also proceed at a safe speed and navigate with extreme caution when passing other vessels at anchor within the harbour.