The numbers include the ports of Buenos Aires, Madryn and Ushuaia.
More growth in 2019/20
Further increases are forecast in the 2019/20 season.
The Transport Ministry attributes the growth to incentives and cost reductions that have cut cruise operating costs up to 38%, along with the greater predictability provided by the port authorities at the national level.
Cutting red tape and improving the visitor experience in the ports have helped, too.
Target: 1m cruisers
Everything is part of the government's 'One Million Passengers Plan.'
As a result, more cruise line are including Argentina in their itineraries and are deploying bigger ships. For example, next season MSC Sinfonia will be calling 13 times, carrying a total of 40,000 Brazlian passengers. Eight other new ships have booked for the 2019/20 season.
Public-private sector teamwork
'We have worked hard to reactivate the cruise industry in our country and the results show that we are on the right track,' said Gonzalo Mórtola, comptroller for the General Port Administration.
'We know there is a lot to do but we understand that teamwork between the public and private sectors is the way to do it. The state must be a facilitator and that is what we are doing, so things are happening,' Mórtola added.