As of next 6 November Chile’s port cities will display their best since on that date the official 2012/13 cruise season begins which extends until mid April and the country has great expectations of recovering a leading position in the region.
Only last year the number of cruise calls in Chilean ports was up 25% over the previous year, according to Sebastian Moreno, head of the Conosur Ports Corporation and this season he anticipates a confirmation of that tendency which has become very significant for the Chilean tourism industry.
“This coming season the Chilean ports which will receive the highest number of calls are: Puerto Montt with 51; Punta Arenas, 47 and Valparaiso, 39”, said Moreno who revealed that the first visit this season will be the Veendam, next 6 November, which will be calling at the port of Coquimbo. The same vessel will end the season 14 April also calling at Coquimbo.
To the north of Chile, Arica will receive the first cruise 15 November, the Seabourn Sojourn and the last will be the Celebrity Infinity, on March 3. Another five vessels are expected to call at Arica during the season.
Iquique also expects seven cruises, with the first arrival 12 November, Le Boreal and the last the Hanseatic on March 17-
Antofagasta is the Chilean port with the lesser cruise activity, only three vessels, with the Seven Seas Mariner the first on January 26, followed by Regatta on January 28th and Hamburg, February 4.
Valparaiso will be the third most important port in the number of calls, beginning 7 November with the Veendam, and the last of the season on 13 April.
Puerto Montt, by far will be the port most visited by the ‘giants of the sea’ totalling 51 calls, beginning with the Veendam on 9 November and the same cruise will close the season on 11 April.
Puerto de Castro will receive 11 cruise vessels, the first call Seabourn Soujourn on 22 November and Princess Daphne the last call on 6 March 2013.
Veendam will make the first call at Puerto de Chacabuco on 10 November and Princess Daphne will close the season on 21 March 2013. Chacabuco is planning for 24 calls.
Punta Arenas will be the second most visited port with 47 cruise vessels, The Veendam will open the season calling on 13 November and the last in calling at the end of the season 6 April 2013.
Puerto Natales will receive four cruise vessels: Le Boreal on 23 November and the last to call will be Hanseatic on 7 March 2013.
Last year Chile passed a bill which authorizes the cruise vessels to operate their casinos while in Chilean waters, which had been banned since the privatization of the industry in the country. Moreno said that the full impact of the measure will only be entirely assessed in 2 or 3 years more since the cruise industry plans itineraries with several years’ anticipation.
Chilean tourism authorities estimate that the average expenditure of each cruise passenger when they come ashore is in the range of 97 US dollars plus all the other activities that the cruise industry generates in the different ports.