An Earthship at the end of the world: Peace Boat passengers consider sustainable tourism in Ushuaia

Photo: Peace Boat's red-funneled Ocean Dream lines up next to other ships at the port of Ushuaia.
Peace Boat’s red-funneled Ocean Dream lines up next to other ships at the port of Ushuaia.

Between October and April every year, scores of gleaming cruise ships bound for Antarctica join the usual array of fishing boats, oil tankers, and freighters at the harbor in Ushuaia, Argentina.

Last month alone 22,000 cruise ship passengers and crew disembarked from ships like the Celebrity Infinity, the Golden Princess, and Peace Boat’s Ocean Dream. Most passengers filed past a placard welcoming them to the end of the world, and onto Ushuaia’s main drag where shops sold tax-free North Face jackets, merino cardigans, and fin del mundo embroidered t-shirts.

The tourist industry constitutes around 10% of Argentina’s GDP and employs some 10% of its population. In Ushuaia, which is separated from the mainland by the Magellan Strait, it has an especially stabilizing effect on the economy.

But cruise ships – often described as ‘floating cities’ – also dispose of hundreds of thousands of gallons of waste, contributing to an ever-growing garbage mountain on the outskirts of city.

Speaking through an interpreter, Vivian Remy, who works for Ushuaia’s municipal government said, “It’s a big issue because space is very limited in Ushuaia, and all of that cruise ship waste —> Read More Here


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