Chile Cruises

Cruising in Chile

Chile’s main cruise port, Valparaiso is an eye-opener in more ways than one. Just sailing into port, you can’t fail to notice the many brightly painted houses climbing up the hills that curve around the bay, which match the colours of the traditional fishing boats moored in the harbour. Valparaiso has attracted artists and poets for many years, but this brightly painted town makes it seem as if everyone is an artist; look closer, and many of these houses are also covered with extraordinary brightly coloured murals. Because of the steep hillsides, the problem of getting around the town was solved long ago by the building of staircases and funicular railways, which give fantastic views of the city and the bay. You can hire a bike and explore the city’s maze of narrow streets and alleyways, or go for a leisurely ride along the promenade.

If you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach, this area of Chile’s long coastline, known as the Litoral Central, is a seemingly endless stretch of beautiful white sandy beaches and coastal resorts. Viña del Mar, just around the bay from Valparaiso, is Chile’s largest, glitziest beach resort. Less than a half hour’s drive north of here, beyond the town of Concón, the concrete begins to fade away and the coast is more wild and undeveloped, with large expanses of dunes and rocky shores.

Cruise ships also visit the south of the country to explore the islands of Chilean Patagonia and the landscape of mountains and glaciers, stopping at the port of Punta Arenas. Although the city contains a monument naming it the ‘end of the Americas’, it is less a barren frontier outpost than a lively, cosmopolitan town with all the comforts and luxuries you could desire, in a land of grand snowcapped mountains, penguin colonies and national parks.

Ports in Chile

Cruise lines that visit Chile

Popular countries in South America

Cruise guides & features