In the fourth week of the 2023 summer season, the Fuegian capital, Ushuaia, is preparing to receive one of the most important cruise ships in the world, the Sapphire Princess. The vessel will call at the Argentine continental port for several hours and continue its journey from the neighboring country, Chile, the Malvinas Islands, Buenos Aires and Montevideo (Uruguay).
The cruise ship, manufactured by the Japanese company Princess Cruises, was launched in 2004 and last refitted in 2018. It is the twin of the Diamond Princess and can transport about 4 thousand people, between passengers and crew with 2,670 and 1,100 respectively. This colossal ship will arrive in Ushuaia Y will increase the number of more than 92,700 cruise passengers who arrived at the fuegian capital.
According to the Provincial Directorate of Ports (DPP), this year the record of arrivals to Ushuaia of different types of boats, including bi-oceanic, Antarctic and tourist boats such as the Sapphire Princess. They are expected to take place in the fuegian port a total of 530 calls, which constitutes 157,900 more cruise passengers in Tierra del Fuego than those already counted so far.
The Fuegian capital concentrates 90% of maritime traffic to the Antarctic continent, which is why it is considered the “great gateway” to Antarctica. Also, almost inevitably, the vessels that begin their sea voyages from Chile and intend to reach Uruguay, will pass through the port of Ushuaia, in addition to Buenos Aires. Regarding this port, work is being done on the 104-meter-long extension to better meet the new demand, already projected to be higher than in previous years.
Fuegian Institute of Tourism
The president of the Tierra del Fuego Tourism Institute, Dante Quercialli, assures that the province is immersed in a record cruise season, promoting the regional economydespite the fact that these boats are usually stopped for only a few hours.
He asserted that infrastructure projects are required to cover the new demand and that the province is already committed to the issue. The Fuegian highlighted the astonishing number of landfalls that the port of Ushuaia and, according to his own estimates, it will bring about 200 thousand visitors.