TWO Southampton-based cruise ships are being forced to divert from Argentina as tensions over the Falkland Islands grow.

P&O has scrapped visits to three Argentine ports after the country failed to guarantee permission for their ships to dock there if they had been to the Falklands.

The Southampton-based company have now stopped their ships Arcadia and Adonia from docking there during their round-the-world cruises.

A P&O spokesman said: “As a British cruise company we cannot allow ourselves to be the subject of any political dispute or put our customers and crew into any situation where their enjoyment may be compromised.

“With this in mind, we have had to take the difficult decision to remove all Argentinian ports of call from the itinerary.”

The ships will now not dock in Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia.

It comes as tensions over the islands continue between London and Buenos Aires.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has stepped up her campaign to get Prime Minister David Cameron to hand over the Falkland Islands and a referendum of the 3,000 islanders is set for March.