An estimated 58.000 visitors have been confirmed for this coming 2013/14 cruise season at the extreme south Chile cities of Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, although the overall number is slightly less than the 62.000 of this last season according to Epaustral, the Austral Port Corporation.
Of the 103 calls confirmed (30 August), fifty are foreign flagged while the remaining 53 correspond to Chilean operated vessels: Cruceros Australis and Stella Australis, 31 and Via Australis 22.
According to calendar the first vessel to arrive this coming season will be the National Geographic Explorer, on November first, although the ‘season has already started’ since Stella Australis called at Punta Arenas on 11 September.
Puerto Natales will receive calls from National Geographic Explorer on 4 November and 21 March; Le Boreal on 17 November and 5 March, and Bremen on March 3.
The last call from an international vessel, Zaandam is scheduled for 5 April 2014, while the season will be officially closed by Stella Australia on April 12.
According to Epaustral one of the main improvements this year which demanded an investment of almost four million dollars was the repair of the Arturo Prat pier and the construction of 190 metres long wave breaker reef to avoid a repeat of the flash tide effects last year