With the arrival of the Magellan Explorer, Ushuaia officially announced the beginning of the 2023/2024 cruise season which is expected to attract 548 vessel calls and some 195,000 visitors to the most southern port of Argentina in Tierra del Fuego province.
Local authorities consider the coming season that will extend until 13 April 2024, could mark a record of calls and visitors. The number of calls is split between 436 heading for Antarctica, 51 taking advantage of cruising two oceans and 58 regional along the famous channels in Tierra del Fuego.
In a brief ceremony, on board the Magellan Explorer, provincial authorities congratulated the directors of Antarctica 21, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary as cruise operator, and also includes the vessel Sylvia Earle, scheduled to reach Ushuaia in April 2024.
The head of Tierra del Fuego ports Roberto Murcia welcomed officers and crewmembers for their commitment in support of Ushuaia as the leading terminal for bi-oceanic and Antarctic expeditions.
Dane Querciali, head of Tierra del Fuego Tourism operations INFUETUR, said the Sunday arrival of the Magellan Explorer confirmed Ushuaia as the leading cruise gate to Antarctica as well as for regional cruising.
This season among midsized vessels, Ventus Australis is expected to make 26 calls in Ushuaia followed by Ushuaia, 16, Ocean Albatros, 15, plus World Navigator and World Traveller, 14 calls each. Regarding 'heavy weight' cruises they include Celebrity Eclipse with a 2,859 pax capacity, Princess Cruises, 2,670 visitors and Royal Caribbean International with 2,400.
INFUETUR also mentioned that during the 2022/23 season it was clear that the cruise industry, following the pandemic, was retaking its pace with 509 registered calls and 143.182 visitors.