Star Princess arrived in Valparaiso, Chile earlier today as scheduled but, the line says it recognizes passengers are having difficulties reaching the ship as planned due to the fact that air flights are still operating in and out of SCL on a limited basis for at least the next few days. Princess has decided to hold the ship in Valparaiso until noon on Thursday, March 4th, in order to provide passengers additional time to meet the ship.
At that time, Star Princess will depart on a revised itinerary for the next cruise, calling at the ports of Ushuaia, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, and ending in Rio de Janeiro on March 16th. Passengers who are able to embark Star Princess in Valparaiso at the time of sailing on March 4th will sail on the revised itinerary, and will be advised after departure on their cruise details.
Passengers who are currently onboard Star Princess and are unable to fly home because of limited air flights, have two options. They can disembark the ship as planned on March 2nd, or they can remain onboard for the next cruise, and can disembark from any of the ports on the sailing up to and including Buenos Aires.
Princess says passengers who booked affected flights in and out of Santiago through Princess are being re-booked, and any needed modification to pre- or post-cruise packages are being handled by the line. Princess says it also is assisting passengers currently on the Star Princess who made independent travel plans.
Santiago is more than 200 miles northeast of the epicenter of the quake and was less affected than the closer city of Concepcion, but Santiago’s airport has been shut down for most of the past two days.
“This is a fluid situation and can change at any time,” the line notes. “We are continuing to provide updates to our passengers as we receive new information.”
Other lines have stated that they are not revising their itineraries in the region.
Oceania is operating as planned and Silversea will visit Punta Arenas, Chile as scheduled Wednesday and will continue stopping at other planned Chilean ports of call through Saturday when their Silver Spirit cruise ends in Valparaiso. Nond of the ship’s stops are close to the region impacted most heavily by the earthquake.
“We are in direct contact with our local ground operators in Chile who are assessing all land and cruise operations,” said Brad Bell of Silversea. “As we closely monitor the region, we will provide guests and travel agents with any relevant information.” Silversea does expect the ship’s next voyage to operate normally from Valparaiso on March 8th.