Ushuaia, the Argentinian gateway to the Antarctic, will officially see cruise tourism re-starting from October 20, 2021.
At the Southern tip of Patagonia in Argentina, Ushuaia was, before 2020, a major hub for tourism cruises towards the Antarctic. The city has long been a magnet for adventure travellers. And they will now be able to come back as Argentina officially announced the opening of the 2021/2022 bi-oceanic and Antarctic cruise season starting October 20.
Sanitary protocols have now been approved for Patagonia allowing the return of cruise activities. 50% of the population in Tierra del Fuego is already vaccinated against Covid and this number is likely to reach 70% by October. The high number of vaccinated locals in the Tierra del Fuego province thus gives the necessary immunity for the welcoming of foreign travellers.
According to Roberto Murcia, head of Ushuaia Provincial Ports, the fact the government in Buenos Aires approved the Ushuaia port sanitary protocol is finally giving cruise operators predictability, boosting requests for vessels calling at the port of Ushuaia. Many cruise operators had announced prior to the protocol that they were looking for alternative plans in the region – particularly in Chile.
The demand for cruises to the Antarctic from Argentina should be sustained. According to regional authorities, the port of Ushuaia is scheduled to receive some 68 tourism vessels and 488 calls for the season 20211/2022. The Provincial Ports site indicates that the first cruise vessel is expected on 25 October and the last visit should be in May 22.
Photo – top of page – Ushuaia – by 66 North / Unsplash