Santiago (from Valparaiso) cruises

Known as the Jewel of the Pacific, Valparaíso is one of the biggest cities in Chile, built onto a cluster of 45 hills. Colourful houses, cobblestoned alleyways, vibrant street art and a packed schedule of festivals are waiting to be discovered for passengers on a cruise to Valparaíso

In the 19th century, Valparaíso was the primary stopover port for ships making the journey between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The most common route at this time was through the Magellan Strait, but once the Panama Canal was opened, ship traffic dropped significantly in the port of Valparaíso.

Over the past couple of decades, the city has undergone a cultural revival of sorts, and it is now a popular tourist attraction for visitors arriving from all around the world.

Valparaíso’s cultural heritage

A Spanish ship named Santiaguillo first arrived in Valparaíso in 1536. The captain of the ship, Juan de Saavedra, named the town after his own village of Valparaíso de Arriba in Cuenca, Spain.

At the height of Valparaíso’s booming trade, it became a popular destination for immigrants arriving from Europe. As well as being called the Jewel of the Pacific, it also earned the nickname Little San Francisco, thanks to the similar climate of both cities, as well as the funiculars that trundle up and down the steep hills of Valparaíso.

These funaculars, known locally as ascensores, have been identified by the World Monuments Fund as one of the world’s 100 most endangered historical treasures. There are a number of ascensores still functioning in the city; most of which are national monuments and one that is privately owned by Hospital Carlos Van Buren.

The city of Valparaíso is divided into two sections; the lower part that includes the harbour, and the upper part which encompasses the historic quarter, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

Things to see on a cruise to Valparaíso

Exploring Valparaíso will involve plenty of walking, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear during your visit.

Close to the shoreline, in the area known as El Plan, plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants line the streets. In order to get from here to the top of Valparaíso’s 45 hills you can climb the steep sets of stairs or ride the traditional ascensores, part of the city’s network of public transport. The first funicular in Valparaíso, which opened in 1883, is known as Ascensor Concepción or Ascensor Turri. This steam operated ascensor is still in use today, and riding in its tiny carriages is an experience not to be missed.

Europeans who immigrated to Valparaíso in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had an important impact on the culture and architecture of this Chilean city. Communities from countries such as Germany, Italy and Britain created their own hubs within the city, and these are now historic districts known as Zonas Típicas.

From street art to houses, Valparaíso is a kaleidoscope of colour and culture. Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion are two streets where bright murals can be found on many walls and buildings. The city is home to artists and musicians whose work can be spotted throughout the neighbourhoods, and the schedule of festivals is always busy.

For sweeping views over this remarkable city, head to Plaza Bismarck or Mirador Ciudad de Camogli, and keep your camera ready. 

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Villa Victoria & Heritage

    Step back in time and discover Valparaiso’s historic roots and enjoy free time at Viña del Mar .

    Villa Victoria & Heritage

    Your tour begins with a short drive to Plaza Sotomayor. Dominated by the impressive Naval Command building, this bustling square is often referred to as the ‘heart of the city’.

    Next, you’ll drive uphill to reach Paseo Yugoslavo, for a wonderful view of the port and its cluster of colourful houses. Enjoy a visit inside the most notable building on the hilltop, Palacio Baburizza, which houses the Fine Arts Museum.

    Arriving back at Plaza Sotomayor, you’ll hop aboard a trolley bus and journey through downtown to Villa Victoria. This former 19th century mansion was the home of one of the wealthiest women of the city, Dona Blanca Vergara. She sold the house in 1919 to Spanish immigrants who converted it into a bakery, which was in service for 80 years.

    The current owners Victoria and Kenneth have lovingly restored this antique building to how it would have looked during its heyday, leaving the bakery as part of their tea room. Dressed in the traditional costume of that time, Victoria and Kenneth will lead you on a tour of their living museum and afterwards

    Complete your tour with a cup of tea or coffee, accompanied by one of Victoria’s delicious homemade pastries.

    Afterwards you’ll drive to Viña del Mar to enjoy some free time before returning to the ship.


    This excursion will operate by minibus, trolley bus and on foot. There is approximately 1¼ hours of walking required on this tour, as well as a total of 105 steps to negotiate; 35 steps at Villa Victoria and 70 steps at the Baburizza Museum.The drive from San Antonio is 1 ½ - 2 hours depending on traffic.

    Tour code

    VAP_013

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    7¾ hours

  • San Antonio Private Tour by Car – Half Day

    Explore at your own pace with a private vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide at your service.

    San Antonio Private Tour by Car – Half Day

    This exclusive private tour is designed to give you the freedom to customise your time ashore so you can discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle.

    With your private vehicle, and the personal attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you’ll have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests, and take in the sights at your own pace. See the famous sights, or go beyond to create your own special and memorable day ashore.


    This excursion will operate by private car. Private cars are ordered per vehicle (not per person) and will accommodate up to two guests. Only one person in the party needs to book the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. Entrance fees for attractions, meals, refreshments and gratuities are not included. In many destinations, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited, so guests are encouraged to secure their private vehicle reservation as early as possible.

    Tour code

    VAP_700

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Valparaiso & Viña Del Mar

    Experience Valparaiso from the comfort of your coach, followed by a stop at Viña del Mar and the Fonck Museum.

    Valparaiso & Viña Del Mar

    Sit back and relax onboard your coach as a panoramic drive introduces you to some of the highlights of the city of Valpariso. During the drive your knowledgeable guide will provide you with interesting facts about this colourful, colonial city. A stop will be made at Plaza Sotomayor, which is dominated by the Naval Headquarters and the impressive monument to the Heroes of Iquique.

    As your coach climbs up the hillside it will lead you to Los Cerros, and on the 42 hills you will find a mass of fine mansions, tattered houses and shacks spread along the narrow streets. Several funiculars and steep winding roads connect the port with the hilltop areas.

    Continue to ‘The Garden City’ of Viña del Mar, which was once the retreat for affluent ‘portenos’ from Valparaiso, who built mansions and large gardens. These have since become the city’s parks and are filled with exotic plants from around the world. Past and present intermingle in this bustling tourist resort and, as you enter, you’ll see the famous landmark, the Floral Clock.

    Round off your tour with a visit to the Fonck Museum. Founded in 1937, the museum features artefacts from Arica and San Pedro de Atacama, Central Zone and the South District of Chile. Indian silver items and unique pieces from Easter Island can also be seen.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 20 minutes of walking, on over even, paved ground, as well as three steps to enter the Fonck Museum. Flash photography is not permitted inside the Fonck Museum.You’ll have Free time at Viña del Mar to purchase lunch. Journey time to Viña del Mar is approximately 1½ - 2 hours.

    Tour code

    VAP_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    7½ hours

  • Valparaiso in Depth

    Visit Pablo Neruda’s museum, La Sebastiana, take a ride on the funicular and experience some spectacular views.

    Valparaiso in Depth

    Valparaiso consists of two different districts and an uphill drive will take you to the first, ‘Los Cerros’. Spread across 42 hills you will see a jumbled mass of superb mansions, tattered houses and shacks. Your first stop will be at the promenade ‘Paseo 21 de Mayo,’ where you’ll have a superb view over the city. Next, descend to ‘El Plan’ across the historical business centre with its fine office buildings on narrow streets.

    As you drive along Prat Avenue, you will see majestic buildings and the notable Turri building, with its impressive clock at the top. Your tour continues through Plaza Victoria and past the Cathedral. Afterwards, you have the opportunity to experience a ride on one of the picturesque funiculars of Valparaiso.

    Your scenic drive continues along Alemania Avenue, crossing most of the Valparaiso hills to reach ‘La Sebastiana’. Visit the interesting home of the laureate Nobel Prize winner, Pablo Neruda. Typical of many houses built on the steep slopes of Valparaiso hills, it is five storeys high, but what sets it apart from the others is the vast collection of memorabilia he brought here from all over the world.

    A stop will be made during the tour to enjoy a refreshing glass of wine and light snack.


    This excursion will operate by coach, funicular and on foot. There is approximately two hours of walking on this tour, some of which is over steep inclines. Approximately 150 steps must be negotiated during the tour. There are different floors within La Sebastiana which are accessed via several stairs.You’ll have Free time to purchase lunch during your tour.

    Tour code

    VAP_010

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    7¾ hours

  • Santiago Highlights

    Surrounded by the peaks of the Andes, Santiago is a fascinating blend of old colonial buildings and bustling new expansion.

    Santiago Highlights

    An insightful, panoramic drive will introduce you the most important highlights of historic and modern Santiago de Chile. During the drive your knowledgeable guide will enlighten you with interesting facts about this charming city. Have your camera ready as you pass by the Club Hipico Horseracing Track, Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral, before continuing through the newer residential areas. Pause at a view point half way up San Cristobal Hill, where you’ll be treated to spectacular sweeping views of Santiago and the impressive Andes Mountain Range.

    A delicious luncheon accompanied by Chilean wine, will be served at a local restaurant.

    Afterwards, proceed to the Los Dominicos handicraft market where you can enjoy some free time to browse the numerous handicraft shops or take a moment to observe the artisans hard at work.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive from the pier to Santiago is approximately 1½ - 2 hours each way depending on traffic. To enjoy this tour to the full, there is some walking involved, including stairs.

    Tour code

    VAP_011

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9½ hours

  • Live the Chilean Spirit

    Experience the best of the Chilean ‘spirit’, including a horse show and wine tasting.

    Live the Chilean Spirit

    Discover the Chilean Spirit viewing the coastal cities and enjoying the wines of Casablanca Valley. Begin with a drive from San Antonio to Viña Del Mar, the fashionable seaside resort city in the coast to enjoy a visit to the Fonck Museum, where you will be able to view an extensive and interesting collection of artefacts from Easter Island and the Chilean mainland, including a wonderful exhibition of Mapuche silver.




    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately one hour of walking. At Puro Caballo the ground is uneven and rough. Flash photography is not permitted at the Fonck Museum.

    Tour code

    VAP_008

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    7½ hours

  • Santiago On Your Own

    The perfect option for those who wish to explore the beautiful city of Santiago, independently.

    Santiago On Your Own

    Leaving the pier you’ll journey to Santiago via the fertile Casablanca valley.

    Disembark your coach at a designated drop-off point in downtown Santiago for your day of independent exploration. Perhaps visit Plaza de Armas Square, often referred to as the heart and soul of the city. You may also choose to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral or the Ahumada Boulevard with its many interesting stores and shopping arcades.

    This is the perfect opportunity to tailor your day to suit your needs and make the most of your time in this wonderful city.

    At a specified time, the coach will depart from the pick-up point for the return drive to the ship.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. It is non-guided and does not include any meals, refreshments or entrance fees. The drive to Santiago is approximately 1½ - 2 hours each way depending on traffic. An English-speaking escort will accompany you on the coach to provide information on how to make the most of your day. City maps will also be provided. Your time in Santiago and the return journey will be unaccompanied. Please note that only local currency is accepted on public transport within the city.

    Tour code

    VAP_012

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9 hours

  • San Antonio Private Tour by Car – Full Day

    Explore at your own pace with a private vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide at your service.

    San Antonio Private Tour by Car – Full Day

    This exclusive private tour is designed to give you the freedom to customise your time ashore so you can discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle.

    With your private vehicle, and the personal attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you’ll have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests, and take in the sights at your own pace. See the famous sights, or go beyond to create your own special and memorable day ashore.Private Cars are ordered per vehicle (not per person) and will accommodate up to 2 guests. Only one person in the party needs to book the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. Entrance fees for attractions, meals, refreshments and gratuities are not included. In many destinations, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited, so guests are encouraged to secure their private vehicle reservation as early as possible.


    This excursion will operate by private car. Private Cars are ordered per vehicle (not per person) and will accommodate up to 2 guests. Only one person in the party needs to book the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. Entrance fees for attractions, meals, refreshments and gratuities are not included. In many destinations, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited, so guests are encouraged to secure their private vehicle reservation as early as possible.

    Tour code

    VAP_701

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    8 hours

  • Casablanca Winery & Scenic Drive

    Visit a winery in the Casablanca Valley for a tour and tasting before a panoramic drive of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar.

    Casablanca Winery & Scenic Drive

    Since 1875 there have been vineyards in the Casablanca Valley, but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that the true potential of the valley was discovered. It was determined only recently that the soils and the conditions were, in many ways, similar to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California. The valley is oriented in such a way that daily ocean breezes cool the grapes on the vine and result in intensely fruity wines. Travel into the heart of Casablanca Valley to visit a local winery where you will be shown the wine making process and have the opportunity to taste some of the wines produced.

    After visiting the winery, enjoy a panoramic tour of the resort city; Viña del Mar, and Valparaiso. Pass famous landmarks such as the Floral Clock and Plaza Sotomayor, which is dominated by the Naval Headquarters and the impressive monument to the Heroes of Iquique.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 45 minutes of walking, over some uneven ground at the winery.

    Tour code

    VAP_004

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    6 hours