The first tourist voyages to Antarctica started in 1958 and since then the activity has been mostly reserved for a well-travelled elite. Tourism in Antarctica has increased significantly and expanded to embrace different ways of visitation. Considering Chadefaud’s (1988) diachronic model of the evolution of tourist destinations, this contribution provides an analysis on the evolution of Antarctic tourism through Ushuaia as a gateway city, where most tourists arrive and /or depart. The temporal scope comprises the whole period from the first voyage in 1958 to the 2017/2018 tourist season. In this period, two phases could be clearly identified in the development of Antarctic tourism in accordance to Chadefaud’s model: myth creation and maturation of the tourist product.