Record Number of Cruise Ships Coming to Argentina, Uruguay

Asuka II

Japan’s Asuka II will make its maiden voyage to Uruguay next year. (Photo: Tom Borslid)

When the first cruise ship of the 2011/12 Season arrives in Montevideo three weeks from today, it will mark the beginning of the longest and most profitable year for cruise operators in Argentina and Uruguay.

“We’re going to have a record year with the arrival of 230 cruise ships in Montevideo and Punta del Este,” Uruguay Tourism official Liliam Kechichian tells UPI.

While the number of arriving cruise ships keeps growing, the length of Southern Cone cruise season keeps getting longer. It will be fall by the time the last ship arrives in Montevideo May 15, 2012 meaning the cruise calendar is now a solid six-month season. In 2010/11, Buenos Aires received 135 cruise ships and a record 365,000 passengers, and the new US$22 million port facility should receive twice that many ships and passengers in 2011/12.

The growth in Argentina and Uruguay cruise traffic means more foreign visitors are getting exposure to two of the most livable countries in the Americas. “These ships don’t just bring us tourists who spend a few hours in our country, they have become a great promoter of the country, because many foreigners who first arrive on a cruise ship return to vacation with their families for 10 to 15 days,” notes Kechichian. (Full Story in Spanish)

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