Yo can arrange for a car and driver from your hotel. Taking the bus with luggage s not a good option - too much hassle.
You can go by bus or arranging a transfer. Also you can arrange a tour with drop off at the cruise port. you can contact www.chileabout.com , they form small groups doing the same as you want. Good luck!
No, we are are on the Holland America Veendam sailing March 4 and will be arriving in Santiago on the 2nd. That would have been a great idea though. Thanks for the thought.Edited: 6:02 pm, September 05, 2011
Thanks for the website. That sounds like a good idea and I'll check it out.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with Leo recently.
He is a private guide with lots of knowledge and very good english skills.
He can tailor an "outing" based on your requirements.
For example he can pick you up at the airport and drop off at a hotel. He can give you a half day or full day tour of Santiago or Valparaiso. Just let him know what you need. His rates are very reasonable.
Following is his contact info as well as some links to some testimonials on Tripadvisor.
Bilingual Tour Guide & Private Tours
Cel: (56-9) 91390672.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Site : https:/…
I am doing the same we are going to stay in casa artilleria 199 we are taking a cruise I ask the owner and here is how the ttransfer could be made from the airport take a turbus o centropuerto to the bus station name PAJARITOS and from there the busses leave every 15 minutes for only $8.00 per person including luggage they will take you to valparaiso and from the bus station in valparaiso is about $10.00 for a taxi to the cruise port I think this is good and inexpensive and they sais is very safe I know we are doing it this way he seems very nice and with knowledge and he says is about 1 hour 30 minutes and beautiful ride enjoy. GLADYS>Edited: 9:26 am, February 19, 2012
We just returned from the Princess Cruise around Cape Horn, Feb. 2012. We reserved our transfer from Valparaiso to Santiago with PortCompass tours. What a wonderful choice! The van met us at the port and we spend the day touring Valparaiso, Vina del Mar and Santiago. We had a wonderful tour guide who spoke great English and was so passionate about the experience! We paid $109 each for the day and there were 10 of us. Portcompass is online and will make small groups for this. We saw the main sights of all cities, had lunch at a wonderful local restaurant, and they delivered us all to our separate hotels in Santiago. Don't try to fly out the same day...it takes too long to get to Santiago.
Agree with Gladys. Public transportation is just find if you don't have more than 2 bags per person and can manage some stairs and a bit of Spanish (few people in the bus terminals will speak English, but they will be very helpful if you ask for help in a bit of spanish).
If you decide to pay for a private transfer, I recommend doing it through your own research (here, or Tripadvisor companies that are highly ranked in Chile, or transportation info in your travel book) or via your hotel or hostel in Santiago. Just so you have an idea, most transfers cost about $200 USD for a simple transfer in a 4 person sedan without a guide or $500-800 USD in a 8 person van with a guide. Keep in mind, if there are 6 of you in an 8 passenger van, you can't have too much luggage. Any company ranked on Tripadvisor in Stgo or Valpo can help you with this information.
Obviously you can save about 40-50% if you avoid the cruise company transfers and get the same if not better quality of service.