Oranjestad, Aruba

Oranjestad, Aruba

Introduction to Oranjestad, Aruba

With vividly coloured colonial buildings that mirror those in Amsterdam, Oranjestad’s Dutch heritage is clear for all to see. The capital of Aruba, this city is one of the Caribbean’s true gems, combining European style architecture with all the delights you expect to find on a Caribbean island, including glorious white sand beaches, palm trees and even Flamingos.

Oranjestad’s Dutch colonial heritage can be seen in the vividly coloured buildings which line the waterfront and mirror those in Amsterdam. Visit the island’s Butterfly Farm, see the Natural Bridge of Aruba, or simply relax on the glorious beaches, where flamingos can occasionally be spotted balancing on the pristine white sands.

The town’s main boulevard has shopping malls, restaurants and bars. The harbour, packed with fishing boats and yachts, has stalls selling fresh fruit and fish – and open-air cafés from which to enjoy the sights and sounds of this busy port.

Away from the shopping and people-watching, Queen Wilhelmina Park is a peaceful place to walk, with formal lawns and tropical plants and there are a couple of interesting museums as well. The Archaeological Museum covers Aruba’s pre-colonial history, with displays of ceramics, ancient tools, burial urns and other relics. The Numismatic Museum has almost 50,000 coins, collected by three generations of a single local family.

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Atlantis Submarine, Oranjestad

ATLANTIS SUBMARINE (TOUR B)

 

  • Venture into the depths of the sea!
  • Discover what lies beneath during a fascinating submarine adventure!
  • Have your camera to hand to capture images of the varied marine life
Boat Tour
Price£70.00 - £85.00
DurationApproximately 1.75 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Experience an amazing underwater adventure as you join a submarine for a thrilling dive to a remarkable wreck just off the coast of Aruba.

A short transfer by boat will take you out to where you will join the submarine. Once onboard, you begin the journey to a sunken sailboat, Mi Dushi or the coaster The Morgenster. Along with these fascinating wrecks, you will have the opportunity to get up close to marine life whilst diving to depths of up to 39 metres (130 feet). Colourful schools of tropical fish and huge sponge gardens may be viewed, as well as the mystical beauty of the coral fields.

The educational and entertaining narration by an experienced crew will highlight this unique experience. All of this in air-conditioned comfort and with no chance of getting wet!

All too soon your once-in-a-lifetime voyage is over and it is time to cruise back to reality.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/2018 CARIBBEAN SEASON 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility, as it involves boarding a launch for the transfer to the sub, which takes place at sea. Onboard the submarine there is a ladder with approximately 12 rungs to negotiate. The minimum height of any participant must be one metre (three feet) tall. Children should be at least four years of age to participate. What marine life may be seen is obviously unpredictable, as is the clarity of the water at the time of your call. Walking distance to the transfer vessel is estimated to be up to 300 metres (1,000 feet). We do not recommend this tour to guests who suffer from claustrophobia. For your reference, there are no toilet facilities onboard the submarine.

 


HIDDEN GEMS OF ARUBA (TOUR F)

  • Discover some of Aruba’s impressive caves and rock formations
  • Explore the desert landscape of Arikok National Park
  • Admire Arawak rock carvings dating back thousands of years
Activity Tour
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 4½ hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Arikok National Park covers approximately one-fifth of Aruba’s surface area, and is home to historical sites, geological formations and an array of exotic plants and wildlife.

 Your tour begins with a visit to Linear Park, where you will be able to capture your picture perfect Aruba moment. Continue along the southern coast to San Nicholas, before heading to the Arikok National Park. En route, you will encounter the unique Lourdes Grotto, a Roman Catholic shrine built in to the rocks at Sero Preto (Black Hill).

 Your next stop is at the Guadirikiri Caves, famous for the two chambers, lit by streaming sunlight through openings in the ceiling. The darker portions of the caves are home to hundreds of bats. Next, it is on to Fontein Cave, where you can admire 1,000 year old Arawak cave paintings, as well as etchings left by early European settlers; giving an insight into the history of the island.  

 Continue your exploration to the centre of the island, via Frenchman’s Pass. Legend has it that French pirates tried to invade Aruba in the early 17th century and were confronted by Indians in this scenic, narrow passage above Spanish Lagoon. Many natives were killed during this invasion, and the route became known as ‘Rooi Frances’ in Papiamento – or Frenchman’s Pass. Your final visit of the tour is to the Casibari Rock Formations. The origin of this collection of boulders remains a mystery, although it believed that they may be a result of a collision of tectonic plates. The Government of Aruba has created a series of walking trails and steps allowing you to climb to the top, where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the island – and perhaps your ship in the distance. Alternatively, browse the large desert rock garden created around the base of the boulders.  

​DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017/2018 CARIBBEAN CRUISE SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately one and a half hours of walking, some of which will be over uneven, rocky and sandy terrain, therefore it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. The ground within the caves may be slippery. Parts of the cave system will be dark – whilst torches are provided, please bear in mind that this element of the tour may not be suitable for guests suffering from claustrophobia. The bats are within their natural environment and so may not be visible during your visit. Please note toilet facilities are available only at the cruise terminal or at Casibari Rock Formation. Comfortable walking shoes are essential – no flip flops. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunglasses, and adequate sun protection. A bottle of water would be a handy addition to your bag. Refreshments and souvenirs may be purchased, at your own expense, at Casibari. For reference, this tour may operate in a different order to that described.


Oranjestad, Dutch Quarter, Aruba

ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS & BEACH TOUR (TOUR D)

  • Gain an overview into the scenic delights of Aruba
  • Visit one of the most beautiful beaches on the island
  • Don’t forget your camera!
Price£28.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

This panoramic tour provides you with an excellent opportunity to take in the charms of this captivating island and admire the unique features of Aruba which sets it apart from other destinations.

Travelling from the pier, you will first enjoy a scenic drive to Oranjestad, Aruba's capital, with its colourful markets and Dutch Colonial buildings. Continuing, you journey by scenic Frenchman's Pass en route to Casibari Rock Formations, where the landscape is shaped by a group of large diorite and granite boulders found nowhere else in the Caribbean.

Next, you travel along the north coast to Baby Natural Bridge, situated next to the former Natural Bridge, which was Aruba's premier attraction until its collapse in 2005. This spot vividly demonstrates the powerful forces of the sea, which over the years has carved through coral and limestone, creating amazing formations and arches in the rocks.

On your route back you will pass by the Bushirbana Gold Smelter Ruins before stopping at the California Lighthouse, where you will be able to admire the beautiful north coast of Aruba. Your tour will culminate in a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters at one of Aruba’s beaches. It's the perfect ending to your day as you enjoy one of Aruba's best assets.

​DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017/2018 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Although this tour has limited walking, guests will be required to board the transport unaided. If you wish to swim, we suggest you come already wearing your swimming costume under casual clothes and do not forget a towel. Water sports may be offered to purchase locally (at your own risk). We cannot guarantee what activities or facilities will be on offer when we call. We kindly request that extra due care and attention is taken when swimming, bathing or taking part in water sports.


Butterfly Farm, Oranjestad

NATURAL WONDERS (TOUR C)

  • Discover some of the island’s highlights
  • Admire the many beautiful species of butterfly at one of Aruba’s most popular attractions
  • Learn about the importance of the aloe plant
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Uncover the full beauty of natural Aruba on a tour that takes you on a journey of discovery.

 A short transfer will take you to one of Aruba’s most popular ecological attractions – the Butterfly Farm. The farm will provide you with an unforgettable encounter with nature, in all of its diversity. You should keep your eyes peeled for the various species of butterflies from all over the world, hiding in the vegetation of the tropical garden. You will also be invited to learn more about the butterfly habits and the miracle of metamorphosis.

Your next stop will be to the Aruba Aloe Balm Facility for a guided tour of the production process – here you will witness the entire operation, from the fields where the leaves are cut, to the end result of lotions and creams.

Continuing, you pass numerous divi divi trees and cacti in this desert–like landscape before arriving at the remains of the Natural Bridge of Aruba. This natural wonder has been carved from solid coral by the relentless pounding of the surf. You can also admire the smaller, adjacent Baby Natural Bridge.

En route back to Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, you journey by the Gold Mill Ruins at Boca Mahos.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/2018 CARIBBEAN SEASON 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that this tour does involve a moderate amount of walking, including approximately 50 metres (165 feet) at the Butterfly Farm; 100 metres (328 feet) at the Aloe Balm Facility and ten steps; and approximately five minutes at the Natural Bridge over uneven ground. It is possible that this itinerary may operate in a different order to that described.


See & Sea Island Tour, Oranjestad

SEE & SEA ISLAND TOUR (TOUR A)

  • Explore the wonders of the underwater world without getting wet!
  • Experience a journey in a state-of-the-art semi-submarine
  • Discover the natural beauty of Aruba on land too
Boat Tour
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Admire the full beauty of Aruba on a tour that takes you around the island and under the sea!

Following a short transfer to the pier, you will embark your transfer boat for a scenic cruise to the Seaworld Explorer. A knowledgeable narrator will be onboard to point out the beautiful coral formations and spectacular tropical fish which are waiting to be discovered in this amazing underwater world that surrounds you.

The Seaworld Explorer is a state-of-the-art semi-submarine, developed in Australia for use on the Great Barrier Reef. The vessel does not submerge; instead you descend into the hull of this cruising underwater observatory and sit in air-conditioned comfort, one-and-a-half metres (five feet) below the surface, exploring the sea life through large clear-glass windows.

Keep your eyes peeled for the wreck of Antilla – the largest wreck in the Caribbean – a 135-metre (440-feet) German freighter, which was destroyed during World War II. This huge ship lies on her side in 18 metres (60 feet) of water, just under the surface of the ocean.

Returning to the shore, you board your bus for the short drive to the California Lighthouse, where you will be able to admire the magnificent views of the crashing waves of the windward coast and the tranquil waters of the leeward shore. From here you will travel to the Casibari Rock Formations, where you may decide to climb the rock gardens to the top of the highest boulder if you wish.

Your concluding stop will be at the second largest natural bridge on Aruba, where you will be invited to marvel at this wonder, which has been carved from solid coral by the relentless pounding of the surf. En route back to Oranjestad you pass by the Gold Mill Ruins at Boca Mahos.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/ 2018 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that there are approximately 12 steps to negotiate onboard the semi-submarine. The transfer between the launch and the semi-sub will take place at sea; therefore all participants will require a good degree of mobility. Please note there may be a small charge to use the toilet facilities on this tour. What marine life may be seen is obviously unpredictable, as is the clarity of the water at the time of our call. We do not recommend this tour to guests who suffer from claustrophobia. At the Natural Bridge, there will be approximately five minutes of optional walking over uneven ground and three steps to negotiate into the store. If you choose to visit the Casibari Rock Formation, walking will be over uneven ground with approximately 30 steps to negotiate.


TOUR E - 4X4 ISLAND TOUR & BEACH

  • Admire the highlights of Aruba from your four-wheel drive
  • Have your cameras to hand to capture the main sights
  • Relax and soak up the sun at Arashi Beach
Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 4½ hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

Discover the main sights of Aruba as you explore onboard a four-wheel drive vehicle, before enjoying time at leisure at one of the island’s top beaches.

Your tour begins with a visit to Casibari Rock. Referred to as the Stonehenge of Aruba, it is believed the rock formation was created when tectonic plates collided. A walk to the top rewards you with impressive views of your surroundings.

Your journey continues to Baby Natural Bridge – a natural coral limestone bridge formed by thousands of years of being pounded by both wind and surf, and a testament to the power of nature

Next, make your way to the Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins, which were used to extract gold from 1872 to 1882. Your tour continues with a visit to Alto Vista Chapel. Alto Vista, meaning ‘highest view’, was built in 1952 on the same site as the original and first Catholic church in Aruba, which was constructed in 1750.

At the tip of the north of the island lies the California Lighthouse, named after the SS California, which sunk nearby. Today the lighthouse offers spectacular views from its 29-metre (98-foot) platform.

Your final stop is at Arashi Beach, one of the best beaches in Aruba. Enjoy approximately 45 minutes of time at leisure to relax on the white sandy beach or take a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, prior your return to your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017/18 CARIBBEAN CRUISE SEASON 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over uneven, rocky and sandy terrain, and there will be a few steps to negotiate at each stop, therefore it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility. Please note there is a maximum of eight guests per Land Rover. If you wish to swim, we suggest you come already wearing your swimming costume under casual clothes and do not forget a towel. Please note that this tour is not self-driven, a driver is provided. For your reference, you will be transferred to and from the starting point by coach, where you will join your 4x4 vehicle.


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