Argentina and Chile begin reopening for tourism

   November 17, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Argentina and Chile began reopening for tourism which means that travel to the Antarctic could soon be back. 

Argentina started to make progress towards opening its borders, though only for neighboring countries at the time. The government had implemented the longest lockdown of any country globally but has now also realized that tourism is vital for the collapsing economy. 40000+ tourists made their way through Port Ushuaia (cruise ship homeport for Antarctica) between October 2019-April 2020.

Chile's government made it clear that citizens from all countries worldwide might enter the country, provided they had a negative COVID PCR test taken a max of 72 hours prior to traveling.

There are a number of ways to travel to Antarctica but now there are more options as Australia and New Zealand closed their borders. Antarctica is easier to reach through South America. From Argentina's Ushuaia (world's southernmost city) Antarctica is a day and a half cruising across Drake Passage.

There are several options to travel to Antarctica from Chile. Ships leave from Puerto Williams Chile while flying across the Drake Passage is also an option.

Last year 80000+ people visited Antarctica on an expedition ship. In 2020, the pandemic meant that new ship arrivals were delayed. The expedition voyages to the North pole, Svalbard, and Greenland were canceled and most of the Antarctic sailing season has been put on hold.

All companies will be eagerly awaiting the end of Argentina and Chile's lockdowns, so cruise vessels will be able to sail to Antarctica again. A total of 72 different passenger ships visited Antarctica in 2019, and predominantly via small cruise lines.