Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego province in the extreme south of Argentina will again be the main hub for Antarctica cruises with an estimated 284 calls involving 36 vessels, according to the provincial Tourism Institute. Overall Ushuaia will receive 375 calls, (Antarctica and non Antarctica cruises) totaling some 120.000 visitors.
Argentina is expecting 490.000 cruise visitors this season and is targeting a million visitors in the following years, and to promote this policy it has announced a drastic cut in port fees and costs, with special emphasis on those vessels which are over 300 meters long.
Luxury line Silversea's 254-passenger Silver Cloud has set sail on its first voyage after a massive makeover designed to turn it into the most elegant polar expedition vessel at sea.
Next Saturday the Holland America cruise Zaandam is expected in Buenos Aires signaling the start of the 2017/18 season, which according to Argentine officials is going to be the best following on four years of sustained retraction. So far the number of docking requests include 110 calls with an estimated number of 320.000 visitors, although there are possibilities the final figure, by 24 April 2018, could reach 328.000.
The 2016/17 cruise season officially begins this week in Uruguay with the arrival of MS Zaandam and Insignia. Zandam belonging to Holland America Line with capacity for 1.432 passengers usually calls several times in Montevideo during the season.
Tierra del Fuego Tourism Institute (Infuetur), in extreme south Argentina, is expecting 25% more cruise visitors this 2015/16 season, most probably breaking the 100.000 milestone, with 336 calls involving 47 cruise vessels. The estimate is 112.170 passengers by April 2016, of which 79.486 non Antarctic and 36.684 Antarctic visitors.
Ushuaia, in the extreme south of Argentina is expecting 22.000 cruise visitors during the month of January to which must be added to the 17.000 that already landed in Tierra del Fuego since the current 2014/2015 season officially opened last September, according to the provincial Tourist office.
Ushuaia, the world's southern most city and gateway to Antarctica cruises expects this 2014/2015 season an estimated forty vessels and 295 calls, according to Tierra del Fuego province port authorities. As usual the first vessel to arrive was Chilean flagged Stella Australis with 210 passengers, at the end of September, which is also expected to close the season in April next year.
Buenos Aires expects 168 cruise calls in the 2012/13 season, according to Terminales Río de la Plata, up from 158 calls in 2011/12. National Geographic Explorer is booked as the first arrival, on Oct. 21, with Splendour of the Seas to wrap the season on April 15.