Cost reductions, incentives entice more cruise ships to Buenos Aires

Twelve new ships are coming to the Port of Buenos Aires this cruise season and next Twelve new ships are coming to the Port of Buenos Aires this cruise season and next PHOTO: Port of Buenos Aires

Cruise season at the Port of Buenos Aires is scheduled to open Oct. 29 with a maiden call by AIDAaura, one of the new ships enticed by reduced costs and incentives. Costs will drop further in the 2019/20 season with a 56% cut in the passenger head tax.

13% more passengers

During the upcoming season, which lasts until April 29, Buenos Aires is set to attract 13% more passengers than in the 2017/18 season.

This springs from new measures and policies implemented by the public and private sectors since the 2016/17 cruise season. Examples include reduced immigration and fuel tariffs, lower rates for ships demonstrating sustainable practices and incentives for vessels longer than 315 meters (to encourage lines to deploy larger, newer ships).

In addition, the Port of Buenos Aires introduced new passenger services, invested in infrastructure and innovated with a new airport bus service.

The result is that new lines and ships are charting the Argentine capital. Besides AIDAaura, Costa Luminosa will be visiting as part of its 106-day world cruise, and the recently introduced Azamara Pursuit will call, along with the brand-new luxury expedition ship Scenic Eclipse. The first call by a Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Eclipse, is another highlight of the coming season. Other maiden calls include MSC Fantasia, Viking Sun and Royal Princess.

As well, the Ministry of Transport, through the Administración General de Puertos S.E., which operates the Port of Buenos Aires, along with the National Customs Directorate, are working on measures to reduce costs and streamline customs procedures related to provisions and fuel, and to simplify the manifest requirements.

Head tax is going from $45 to $20

In addition, new developments to enhance the port's cruise business include, from the 2019/20 season, a 56% reduction in the passenger head tax, from US$45 currently to $20.

'Today we're seeing the results of the work we started in 2016 to improve the competitiveness of our cruise business. With low costs, predictability and clear rules we managed to get companies, in just two years, to announce the arrival of 12 new ships for this and next season. This translates into more work and income for our port and country,' said Gonzalo Mórtola, controller of the Administración General de Puertos S.E.

Posted 04 September 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review