Awaiting Your Return From Shore
Located 70 miles, or about a two-hour drive,
from the capital city of Santiago, Valparaiso is Chile’s principal port.
With a population of close to half a million, it is the commercial and
administrative center for a vast region and the seat of a major university.
A large part of the city is clustered along a crescent of hills in a maze of
alleys, winding streets, connecting stairs and funicular railcars. The
business center at the foot of the hills lies partially on reclaimed land.
Ingenuity has turned a piece of coastline into one of the world’s most
picturesque ports; it is especially striking when seen from the sea at dusk,
with its semi-circle of lit-up hills cascading down to the water.
Valparaiso has no clear date of founding. During the 17th and 18th centuries
the port had only seasonal activity; for the remainder of the year it lay
dormant. In the early 19th century, following the country’s independence
from Spain, the ports of Chile and the Americas were opened to world trade.
Due to Valparaiso’s convenient location along the shipping routes circling
the tip of South America, the port experienced a tremendous boost. English,
German and French immigrants brought foreign capital to finance development
of copper, silver and nitrate mining. Valparaiso became the country’s
leading commercial center and established the first banks and a stock
Just six miles out of Valparaiso lies Chile’s main seaside resort, Viña del
Mar, often dubbed "the garden city" because of its beautiful parks and
gardens. Excellent beaches are lined by fine promenades with a range of
hotels, restaurants and a casino.
Santiago, with over four million people, is the fifth-largest city in South
America. Standing in a wide plain 1,800 feet above sea level, Santiago
boasts a beautiful setting. Snow-capped peaks of the Andes chain provide a
dramatic backdrop. Tastefully laid-out public gardens contribute to the
beauty of the city. However, Santiago also suffers from horrendous traffic
and a high percentage of pollution. The heart of Santiago is the Plaza de
Armas, flanked by the cathedral, the archbishop’s palace, the National
History Museum and fine arcaded buildings lined with shops. The
two-mile-long Avenida O’Higgins is the major thoroughfare, commonly known as
the Alameda. There is a splendid view over the city from San Cristobal Hill,
crowned by the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Please Note: Guests on the Pre- or Post-Cruise program may check with the
Silver Sea Hospitality Desk at the hotel for sightseeing possibilities and
information on dining and shopping during their stay in Santiago. Staff will
also advise about transportation arrangements to the ship. Guests
disembarking in Valparaiso will receive instructions from the Tour Staff on
board ship concerning airport and Santiago city transfers.
Caution: As in many large cities, pickpockets and purse snatchers can be a
problem both in Santiago and Valparaiso. Be aware and don't wear valuable
jewelry or carry large sums of cash on your person.
Awaiting Your Return