BUENOS AIRES – Argentina will have a 33-ship Antarctic fleet entirely for tourism thanks to the addition of eight more boats, the transportation ministry said Friday.
With the new vessels, the fleet’s capacity will surpass the 119,790 passengers it transported this last season, the ministry said in a statement.
The number of tourists travelling to Antarctica grew 21 percent during the 2017-2018 season compared to the previous season and 32 percent compared to the 2014-2015 season.
“The cruise industry is very important because of the large number of new tourists who are coming to discover our country, its wilderness and its unique landscape,” Transportation Minister Guillermo Dietrich said.
The minister added that the job growth linked to this industry is “unprecedented and very positive” for Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city.
With these new boats, the ministry explained, Argentina is attempting increase its market share and compete with Chile, which has a larger Antarctic cruise industry.
“According to industry forecasts, the number of Antarctic boats for tourism and exploration will continue to increase in the next three seasons, reaching a 40 percent growth,” the ministry said.