Posted June 17th, 2012, 10:05 PM
I took the Turbus from Santiago to Vina Del Mar last December. Valparaiso would be the same deal.
I had been staying in Santiago for several days and just took a taxi to the Parajitos bus station. Inside, there are separate areas for Pullman and Turbus. I went to the Turbus side, stood in line for maybe 5 minutes and got a ticket and seat reservation for the next bus to Vina Del Mar for 3800 CLP (about $7.50). You may be able to get tickets in advance from the website, but it is all in Spanish. I believe you can also start at Alameda.
There are several buses per hour, so I didn't have long to wait. You give your bag to the guy loading the luggage and tell him where you are going ("terminal" seemed to work OK) and take your seat. We stopped briefly at a couple of suburban places in Santiago where some people got on, then it was mostly freeway to Vina Del Mar, where we stopped a couple of times to set people down before reaching the terminal. The journey took a bit over an hour. There are taxis on the right as you exit the Vina Del Mar bus terminal.
Overall, it was a very straightforward and inexpensive transfer. I'd do it again.
I went to Vina Del Mar rather than Valparaiso because that was where I had decided to stay before my cruise (I wanted to visit the Museo Fonck to see the Easter Island stuff). From Vina Del Mar, I used the Merval (subway/light rail) to visit Valparaiso. The Merval terminus in Valparaiso (Puerto) is near where the ships dock, but the actual entrance to the cruise ship terminal is a couple of stops earlier (Baron). The Merval isn't that convenient if you have luggage (it's a subway in Vina Del Mar with stairs for access, and it's a bit of a hike from Baron to the cruise terminal) so I used a taxi to get to embarkation.
The bus terminal in Valparaiso is said to be in a seedy area, but my taxi to the ship went by there (language problem) and it seemed OK with plenty of taxis.