docked behind th Celebrity Infinity at the cruise dok in the busy port of Valparaiso just after sunrise
The Norwegian Sun arrived in Valparaiso
before dawn and docked behind the Celebrity Infinity that had been cruising the same route as our ship though I understand the Infinity does not visit the Falklands - shipboard rumours suggest the Norwegin Sun will no longer call at the Falklands after this season but I didn't hear a reason.
Our travel arrangers had arranged for transfers from valparaiso to Santiago
de Chile airport more than an hour from the Port. Like everything else aboard ship, final departures were carefully scheduled and supervised by the crew. on the day before departure, we assembled in the theatre and were informed as to how disembarkation was to be carried out.
sunrise: valparaiso harbour
we would pack our bags, using tags of pre-arranged colours depending on our shore arrangements. as travelers with prepaid transfers and flights departing late in the evening of the 15th, our bags had pink tags so we were required to line up to leave the ship around 2:00pm. Our bags were left in the corridor and collected by the stewards that evening. they were stored by the crew according to tag colour and made available to us at disembarkation for customs inspection. Border formalities were minimal for every country we visited but Chile was the most complicated. We lined up and waited to have our passports and declaration documents examined. then we lined up and watched while drug-sniffing dogs ran around our bags. we were all hoping nervously that the dogs would have no particular interest in our bags and this turned out to be true because our group was released to pick up our luggage and take it through to our bus'
We didn't have an opportunity to see much of Valparaiso or of Santiago de Chile.
If we had booked our own air travel we would have arranged longer stays at the beginning and at the end of the cruise. I remember with horror when the Nixon Administration's support of Pinochet's coup against Salvador Allende's government on 9/11, 1974 and the torture and murder of thousands of chileans by thr dictator with the help of the same people who justified the use of torture, rendition and worse within the bush administration. I wanted to see for myself some of the sites that formed the background of that other 9/11.
We did have an opportunity to see dawn break over the Port turning purple, then orange then watching as brilliant sunlight flooded the steep hillsides where colourful houses clung precariously to views of the loading, unloading and shipping of goods through the harbour