The arrival of cruise ships grows in Uruguay
Tourism Minister Liliam Kechichian announced that for the 2019 - 2020 season, more than 200 ships are projected to arrive in the country
It is expected that for this 2019/20 season the arrival of the cruise ships will grow by around 30%: 134 stops in Montevideo and 68 in Punta del Este, which makes a total of 202 stops. On November 20, the Viking Sun cruise ship, with a Norwegian flag with 879 passengers and 449 crew, arrived at 8:00 a.m. and at 6:00 p.m. departed for Puerto Madryn.
Minister Kechichian stressed that in the last season the arrival of cruise ships rose in both ports (Montevideo and Punta del Este). Between October 2018 and April 2019, they docked 146 ships in Montevideo (55%) and Punta del Este (45%), 4.3% more than in the previous season. 256,000 visitors descended to the ground, an additional 5.7%. The contribution of foreign exchange to the national economy was 9.6 million dollars, 24.4% more than the previous year.
Balance and perspectives
Uruguay "bets on cruise tourism as an engine that contributes to job creation, the boost to infrastructure and the improvement of the country's image," Kechichian added during the season's launch. Hence the importance of adopting a multi-destination strategy for the entire region, appealing to the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR).
On the other hand, the Port of Montevideo is consolidated as a passenger replacement point, he emphasized. The Minister recalled, according to the surveys carried out by the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) to cruise passengers every year, last season what was most pleasing in Montevideo was "the treatment of people and their friendliness", while in Punta Eastern, mainly referred to the beaches. In both ports, the main nationality of the cruise passengers, was the Brazilian.
Cruising does not only contribute to the economy of the country, due to the direct expenses incurred by passengers and crew, but also generates income from port services, ship agency, provision of food products, water, flowers, fuels, the sale of packages tourist, among others pointed.
At the same time, the official announced that the arrival of new vessels is expected, from different navigation lines such as: Coral Princess, Crown Princess, Island Princess, Fram Lautral and Norwegian Star. The deputy secretary of Tourism, Benjamin Liberoff; the person in charge of the product Cruises in the MINTUR, Mónica Lozano; the director of Tourism of Montevideo, Elizabeth Villalba; the Captain of the Viking Sun ship, Lars Juel Kjeldsen; General Manager Norbert Tesar, the Financial Officer; Arneka Tuki; and the Cruise Director, Vicky Van Tassel, between operators in the sector and the media.
Also, the Uruguayan ports won the award-winning “World Travel Awards” - known as the “Oscars” of travel - who position Uruguay as a leader in the region and the world with their recognition of the “South America's Leading Cruise Destination 2019 ”and“ South America's Leading Cruise Port 2019 ”. These awards have been presented for 25 years, recognizing excellence in tourism services.
For the 2020/21 season
Montevideo will have a cruise terminal at the current headquarters of the Ministry of Tourism, in the former Santos building, perfecting the current infrastructure.