Willemstad Cruises, Curacao Island
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
You’ll board a brightly-coloured trolley train for this tour, which ticks off a long list of historical sights as you pass them by. For starters, there’s Pietermaai Cathedral – the biggest and most impressive on the island. From a distance you’ll see the Mikve Israel Emmanuel Synagogue, too. It’s the oldest in continuous use in the whole of the western hemisphere. Then there’s Queen Wilhelmina Park, dedicated to the Queen who ruled the Netherlands for half a century, and Waterfort Arches – the site of the Willhem III Barracks. You’ll also stop off at Bolo di Bruit in Scharloo. It's known as the ‘wedding cake house’ because of its decoration. Lastly, there’s Fort Amsterdam, which was built in 1635 to guard the harbour. Today, it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you’ve finished the tour you can either head back to the ship or stay in town and make your own way back later – it’s only a short walk.
You’ll get to see three of the island’s biggest attractions on this tour, starting with the Curacao Museum in Otrabanda. The upper floor of this place is kitted out like a 19th-century Curacao mansion, and it gives a really good impression of what life was like back then. The basement exhibition is all about the island’s geological history, and there’s another space dedicated to contemporary art. Afterwards, you’ll drive past the island’s salt flats and on to the Hato Caves. They were formed below sea-level millions of years ago, and today they’re full of stalagmites and stalactites. Next up, we’ll head over to the Chobolo Liqueur Factory, passing the Queen Juliana Bridge on the way. At the factory, you’ll get to see how the island’s famous Blue Curacao Liqueur is made. The drink is distilled from the dried peel of bitter oranges, and you’ll get to taste it for yourself. Lastly, you’ll head back to the ship via downtown Willemstad – you can get dropped off if you’d rather stay and have a look around.
This tour starts with a 30-minute boat ride, so you’ll get fantastic views of the harbour and the coast. Then you’ll arrive at the Wet & Wild Beach at the Sea Aquarium – one of the island’s most popular stretches – and the rest is up to you. Head to the shops, take a dip in the sea or just laze on the sand. There’s plenty in the way of watersports, too, if you fancy something a bit more active. Later on, we’ll head back to the ship by boat. Or, you can stick around and make your own way back later.