The number of tourists coming to Chile as passengers on cruise ships is expected to grow by five percent in 2007, according to Destination Management Chile, which handles 70 percent of all tours and sightseeing trips involving cruise passengers.
The ports most frequented include Arica, Iquique, Coquimbo, Puerto Montt and Puntas Arenas. Despite Valparaíso's high disembarkation costs, it continues to be a favorite with the tourists. The number of luxury line cruise ships calling at Chilean ports grew to a record 120 in 2005, up by 20 percent over the previous season. Passengers who visit Chile aboard the cruisers spend on average US$100 in each port, and the packaged tourism deals sold to the passengers have increased by 30 percent the past several years. Chile's most popular cruise ship destinations include Cape Horn, the southern fjords and glaciers, Torres del Paine, and Antarctica. In a recent development, cruise passengers now tend to spend additional time in Chile as they disembark from the vessels. Patricio de la Sotta, marketing manager with cruise liner Interexpress, explains that Chile has great potential for developing these additional tourist activities. "Passengers are no longer disembarking in Valparaíso to take the airplane home. They spend an extra couple of days in the country, visiting vineyards and flying over Antarctica," Sotta said. U.S. citizens, Canadians and Europeans account for 60 percent of all cruise passengers coming to Chile. The Santiago Times - News about Chile