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Montevideo, August 14th 2022 - 09:05 UTC



Punta Arenas satisfied with 2021/22 cruise season, “we successfully managed to re launch activities”

Saturday, April 2nd 2022 - 09:29 UTC
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The cruise season took off in Punta Arenas on November first 2021 with the French flagged adventure vessel “Le Commandant Charcot” The cruise season took off in Punta Arenas on November first 2021 with the French flagged adventure vessel “Le Commandant Charcot”

Next Tuesday a cruise vessel will be calling at Puerto Williams in Chile officially marking the end of the 2021/22 cruise season in that country, which local authorities from Punta Arenas consider very satisfactory, given the activity generated since November 2021, after 18 months of pandemic restrictions.

The cruise season took off in Punta Arenas on November first 2021 with the French flagged adventure vessel “Le Commandant Charcot”, the first after 18 months of forced closure because of the Covid 19 pandemic.

“We are very satisfied because as a team,we managed to successfully address the challenge of resuming passenger transit in our terminals, with operations carefully programmed to guarantee the sanitary security of all those involved. For that besides setting up equipments, drafting protocols and other measures we sponsored coordination meetings with representatives of workers and operational teams as well as with all the different actors involved in this activity”, pointed out Austral Ports Company (EPA) CEO Rodrigo Pommiez, the company that runs Punta Arenas terminals.

He added that the ports from Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica were the only ones in the country which kept a standing transit of arrivals during these months, which confirms our national leadership in this activity“

Likewise ”we continue to operate as home port for Australis, Hurtigruten, Silversea and Ponant, which acknowledges not only the quality and capacity of our services, but the relevance of Punta Arenas as the supply and passenger transfer terminal”

According to stats from EPA, 90 calls were registered this season, 70 international and 20 domestic with 11,720 visitors (9,520 international passengers and 2,200 domestic). Of the 90 calls, 74 were in Punta Arenas, Puerto Williams 13 and Puerto Natales three. All of Puerto Williams traffic was to Antarctica.

Lieutenant Commander Rodrigo Esparza Bastías, Punta Arenas port master said the “cruise season presented no inconveniences and complying strictly with the protocols from sanitary officials, which enabled the transfer of passengers, safely avoiding any contagion of Covid 19”.

The regional manager of Cruceros Australis, Gerardo Alvarez pointed out that for his company and the whole sector, “this was undoubtedly a very special season which has the main objective of re-launching the industry following on the abrupt paralyzing from March 2020. Several of us during 2021 believed we could not re start, and once effectively on the move, feared another anticipated stoppage”

“Anyhow our turnover was 15% lower than our pre-pandemic record; we had 33 nationalities compared to 80 in the last good season, but on the bright side there was a considerable increase in the number of Chilean passengers, which we consider very encouraging for next season's market”, added Alvarez.

During the last normal cruise season, 2018/19 Punta Arenas and contributing terminals received 134 calls and 70,229 passengers. But in 2019/2020 the season ended abruptly on March 15, 2020 as a prevention measure and meant the cancelling of all activities.

For Magallanes region this meant cancelling of 22 calls plus two previous ones from international cruises because of climate conditions and itinerary adjustments. So the final score was, 140 effective calls (93 international and 47 domestic) with 83,566 visitors of which 77,331 international and 6,235 domestic. Punta Arenas received 120 calls, 9 Puerto Natales, and 11 Puerto Williams

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