Chile, Argentina and Uruguay plan greater coordination to boost cruise industry

PUNTA ARENAS – The Punta Arenas Austral Ports Company, EPA, was part of the Chilean stand at the Seatrade Cruise Global fair which took place in mid March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attracts the best of the cruise industry, operators and port terminals from all the world.

EPA and Punta Areas displayed all the opportunities, logistics and attractions which the austral city offers visitors, both as a call port for cruise vessels sailing along the South American continent, but also for the Antarctic cruises.

The seat of Chile’s Antarctic Institute is located in Punta Arenas and most country members of the Antarctic Treaty have their logistic vessels operate and load provisions at the local terminal.

EPA attended the fair with its General Manager Ignacio Covacevich and the president of the board, Mario Maturana, who participated in the round of conferences on the tendency and future of the cruise industry.

At the end of the several days event, Covacevich said it had been a very useful experience and among other issues he had a most encouraging discussion with the Hurtigruten cruise line, which operates to Antarctica from Punta Arenas.

“They told us they were very pleased with the season’s results, expectations were more than met, some 400 passengers in each call for a vessel with a 500 passenger capacity. This is great, they underlined”.

Covacevich also mentioned that the company is building the Ronald Amundsen hybrid cruise vessel, the most sustainable of the world and which is scheduled to begin operating from Punta Arenas in 2018.

The EPA general manager, who is also vice-president of the Conosur Ports- Corporation said he met with representatives from Argentina and Uruguay ports and government officials to coordinate policies and reach several understandings.

“Prospects of the cruise industry worldwide are very encouraging, one of its best moments, so we are working together to make a joint promotion and improve options. We’re planning a survey of tourist services and terminals of each of the ports in the Valparaíso/Buenos Aires/Montevideo circuit. I think we can say this is an important strategy for our countries under the umbrella of the Ports Corporation”, indicated Covecevich.

Punta Arenas expects to have received over 105.000 visitors for when the current 2016/17 cruise season in over next month.