An estimated 60.000 visitors will be landing in Punta Arenas, extreme south of Chile during this 2014/2015 cruise season, according to the manager of the Austral Ports Company, Ignacio Covacevich Fugellie. This includes 54.000 from international vessels and another 6.500 of Chilean flagged cruises on domestic tours.
This is a significant number to which must be added another 12.000, crewmembers, since according to our stats a third of them usually come ashore, and this also represents an injection of money for the economy of Punta Areas, said Covacevich Fugellie.
The top official from the local port authority pointed out that the project to expand the main jetty, Muelle Prat is part of an overhaul of terminal facilities.
What we are looking at is to specialize the terminals. The Prat jetty will be mostly used by large cruise vessels and scientific ships, while the Mardones jetty and the planned inner harbor will be for fishing and cargo vessels plus the navy, but this in no way will interfere with the landing of tourists.
Covacevich Fugellie underlined that port officials are well aware that tourism is one of the main activities of Punta Arenas and we are committed to increase the number of visitors from international cruises.
On Monday the cruise Zaandam from Holland-America with 1.319 passengers was expected in Punta Arenas. Another vessel in the area was the Le Soleal, from Ponant, a yacht-cruise with 132 passengers which after calling last week left for a tour of the canals.