Australian travel agents linked to the cruise industry visited Puerto Williams in the extreme south of Chile to check on the facilities, services and infrastructure with the purpose of planning cruise calls on a regular basis. Puerto Williams in located on Navarino island across from Ushuaia in Argentina.
Lisa Bolton from Aurora, together with Thomas Holik Polar Operations manager and Milenko Buljan, regional agent for Agunsa, met with Governor Nelson Cárcano to discuss the situation and prospects for the near future.
We believe Puerto Williams is back on the path of growth following a long stagnation period, and this is good news because it is a strategic port for traffic between the Pacific and the Atlantic, said the visiting Australian delegation.
It is also a jumping board for Chilean policies referred to Antarctica, pointed out Governor Cárcano.
Since the IAATO annual meeting held in Punta Arenas last April, the International Association of Antarctica Tourism Operators have expressed a growing interest is the development of Puerto Williams as an alternative for Ushuaia.
Puerto Williams is more attractive for domestic and international operators beginning in the 2014/15 season, although some basic infrastructure is still missing such as the main jetty for docking and sufficient infrastructure to ensure services pointed out the Australian delegation.
Among the services mentioned were fuel, drinking water, garbage disposal and other requirements which have become mandatory for the cruise industry.
Governor Cárcano described the Australian delegation visit as a great first step forward and an enormous opportunity both for local tourism operators and the region because competition is always positive” particularly for customers.