The port of Ushuaia in the extreme south of Argentina is undergoing an emergency dredging on its southern access ahead of December 16 when the cruise Celebrity Eclipse with its 3.000 passengers and 1.100 crew is scheduled to dock.
According to Tierra del Fuego province authorities, the emergency contracting of an international dredge to deepen the south area of the Ushuaia port to nine meters and sixty centimeters has been spurred by an understanding with Celebrity Cruises to make navigation safe for the 121.878 tons, 317 meters length and 8,30 meters draft vessel.
The Vitus Bering dredge started operations on Wednesday in a 400 by 100 meters area south of the pier, and good weather allowing, the task should be over by next Monday on time to receive the jumbo cruise.
The Tierra del Fuego Ports authority said the emergency dredging followed on the central government's decision not to expand the pier, as had been anticipated but given budget restrictions was cancelled.
The whole task will demand the removal of 30.000 cubic meters to the south of the pier and eventually another 20.000 cubic meters to the north.
Several companies were involved in the bidding process but it was finally awarded to Compañia Sudamericana de Dragados SA, with an overall cost of US$ 1,350.000