Uruguay is expecting 203 calls this coming 2019/20 cruise season, which represents an 11.6% increase over the previous season. The announcement was done by Tourism minister Liliam Kechichian during a conference on the cruise and tourism industry held in the Atlantic seaside of Punta del Este.
At the VII regional meeting of cruise and fluvial tourism, which brought together government and private sector operators from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Mexico, Kechichian said that Uruguay's two main call ports, Montevideo and Punta del Este have consolidated as permanent destinations of the South American cruise circuit
In effect the Southern Cone tours normally take off from Brazil, call in Uruguay, Argentina, Falkland Islands and end in Chile. A few extend to cover Antarctica, but mostly operate from Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego.
Montevideo has become a passengers exchange port, with some leaving and others boarding given the good air connectivity of the Uruguayan capital, while Punta del Este is an emblematic call. Both Montevideo and Punta del Este have helped make cruise visitors some of the best promoters for incoming tourism in Uruguay.
Minister Kechichian also pointed out the cruise tourism has been integrated to the Mercosur agenda, given its significance, including the participation of Chile as an associate member of the trade block.