Managing Disembarkation Process at Valparaiso

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#1
Ottawa, Canada
86 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
We are booked on the Infinity March 2014 around the Horn cruise from BA to Valparaiso and would appreciate advice on how to manage the disembarkation process. The ship is scheduled to dock at 0500hrs. We want to get off the ship as quickly as possible to take a cab to the bus terminal in Valparaiso for a bus to Santiago. What should we expect? How much time should we allow for getting off the ship and into a cab. (We want to buy bus tickets in advance). Do we have to make specific arrangements beforehand on the ship for customs and luggage to ensure an early exit? What are the procedures for disembarkation? Are there plenty of taxi's within reasonable walking distance from the ship? Appreciate any advice and suggestions you experienced Celebrity cruisers can offer us.
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#2
Great NW
1,564 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
When you get off the ship it is very organized. There are vans or cars that you can share or just travel by yourselves. I think it is about $80 per cab, and don't mess with a bus. They with take you right to Santiago . It is a great trip and spend some time in the city.
#3
4,633 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We left from Valpo in March so I can't help a whole lot with your specifics. Generally the ship must be cleared by Chilean officials. That took a while on your itinerary this year from reports. There were still a few disembarking passengers in the terminal when we arrived around 11.
You will take a shuttle bus from the pier to the port gate facility. There is storage space under the bus. To exit the building there is a ramp to the right of the stairs. You will find cabs there.
I don't know what you have scheduled upon your arrival in Santiago. If you are flying out on the same day you will have to keep your luggage with you. If you are checking into a hotel make sure they have a held luggage facility as most will not have rooms available in the mornings.
In lieu of self disembarkation if you want to get off asap, and catching a cab to the bus station, stowing your luggage on the bus, transfering from the bus station to another cab to your hotel, please consider a shared ride from the ship to your hotel. There will be many groups forming the transfers on your Roll Call. You can check out some of the preferred tour guides who also arrange transfers on the Ports of Call boards for South America.
We had a van for 8 and they picked us up at two hotels about 20 minutes apart. The driver loaded all of the luggage and unloaded at the pier double checking that the stevedores took care of our luggage. We paid $50 per person. There were plenty of transfers that cost less.
If time is a consideration a direct transfer will be much faster.
I know you will enjoy your cruise.
FYI, at some point the Chilean government will apply the reciprocity fee already approved for land/cruise passengers that now exists for passengers arriving by air. It was $160 per person this year. Keep an eye out. The government is just working out the kinks before the fee is applied. If you are planning on the bus to watch pennies you should also be aware that this is also a possibility.
#4
Cambridgeshire Fens, UK
7,564 Posts
Joined May 2008
Unless things were different when we arrived in Valparaiso, Merriem has missed out one stage of the process. You have to catch a bus from the ship to the terminal buildings. It is a very long journey through a commercial dock. I am not sure how that affects early disembarkation but I would think that you may need to wait for a full bus load before you can move to the terminal buildings.

Once there, you have to queue for Immigration/Customs. Clearly there is at least a bus load in the queue. Whilst waiting, there will be officials with sniffer dogs [who, we were told, are looking for wool products but, I imagine, other contriband as well].

Once through Immigration/Customs, everything goes quite smoothly. We got a porter very easily and, as described, all the buses, vans and taxis are waiting outside very close to the buildings. So there is no problem about taking luggage long distances.

If you need to disembark early, I suggest you speak to Guest Relations as early as possible once you are on board.

Sue
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Sue


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#5
Ontario, Canada
2,017 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by Project_gal
Unless things were different when we arrived in Valparaiso, Merriem has missed out one stage of the process. You have to catch a bus from the ship to the terminal buildings. It is a very long journey through a commercial dock. I am not sure how that affects early disembarkation but I would think that you may need to wait for a full bus load before you can move to the terminal buildings.

Once there, you have to queue for Immigration/Customs. Clearly there is at least a bus load in the queue. Whilst waiting, there will be officials with sniffer dogs [who, we were told, are looking for wool products but, I imagine, other contriband as well].

Once through Immigration/Customs, everything goes quite smoothly. We got a porter very easily and, as described, all the buses, vans and taxis are waiting outside very close to the buildings. So there is no problem about taking luggage long distances.

If you need to disembark early, I suggest you speak to Guest Relations as early as possible once you are on board.

Sue
We disembarked following this process. It was easy to pick up a can outside the terminal, and we took one to our hotel in Valparaiso. We were there before 9am without doing early disembarkation. The following day we took a cab to the bus terminal and went on the bus to Santiago. We didn't buy tickets in advance, there were plenty of buses and the trip was very cheap, from my notes it was the equivalent of $7 each. We took another cab to our hotel in Santiago. We did the trip in February this year.
#6
Ottawa, Canada
86 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I guess the important step is to talk to guest relations about an early self-disembarkation. Does anyone have an idea how soon after docking this can be done? I am quite happy to take the bus to Santiago. Inter-city buses are good in Chile and all part of the travel experience. I am also quite happy to spend only $8 rather than $80 All things considered, I guess booking a 10:30 departure from the bus station should be achievable.
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#7
Ottawa, Canada
86 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by smtcan
We disembarked following this process. It was easy to pick up a can outside the terminal, and we took one to our hotel in Valparaiso. We were there before 9am without doing early disembarkation. The following day we took a cab to the bus terminal and went on the bus to Santiago. We didn't buy tickets in advance, there were plenty of buses and the trip was very cheap, from my notes it was the equivalent of $7 each. We took another cab to our hotel in Santiago. We did the trip in February this year.
We want to get to Santiago ASAP so that we can see a bit of the city before taking a bus the next morning across the Andes to Mendoza. You did it right. I don't understand the aversion to public transportation. Some people have more money than sense.
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