Willemstad, Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao, Caribbean

Introduction to Willemstad, Curacao

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, there's much more to Willemstad than beautiful beaches and a wonderful warm climate. With charming 18th century houses decorated with cool pastel colours and striking yellows and royal blues, you would be forgiven for mistaking Willemstad with Amsterdam.

Willemstad on Curacao has narrow-gabled, 18th century houses in cool pastel shades, juxtaposed with intense yellows and royal blues - fairytale Amsterdam, with a warmer and slightly more arid climate.

Situated not far from the waterfront, there are many duty-free shops and quaint cafes to lose yourself in. Willemstad is actually divided into two sections - Otrobanda and Punda; both boast a rich culture and heritage. You can reach both sides of Curacao by crossing the Queen Emma Bridge, also known as the Swinging Old Lady; a pontoon bridge powered by diesel, which swings open many times a day to allow ships in and out of the harbour.

At Scharlooweg 77 is the house known as the 'Wedding Cake' - a near perfect example of Dutch colonial architecture, making Willemstad a jewel in the crown of the Caribbean.

See All Willemstad, Curacao Cruises

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Beach Break, Curacao

BEACH BREAK (TOUR E)

  • Relax and make the most of the Caribbean sun, sea and sand!
  • Enjoy approximately two and half hours of time at leisure at the Seaquarium Beach
Price£25.00 - £35.00
DurationApproximatel 4 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

Relax and soak up the Caribbean atmosphere at the stunning Wet and Wild Beach at Seaquarium.

Enjoy the cooling breeze and admire the beautiful scenery of the harbour and coastline as a short boat transfer takes you to the Wet and Wild beach. Upon arrival here, enjoy a complimentary refreshment, before you are invited to relax and soak up the atmosphere. You will have approximately two and a half hours of time at leisure in which to swim, bask in the sunshine or explore the shops of this resort area.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2016/17 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? A complimentary beach chair and one non-alcoholic drink is included in the cost of this tour; further refreshments will be at your own expense. If you wish to remain longer at the beach, you may do so, but the return cost will be at your own cost. Don’t forget your swimming costume, a towel and sun protection. Hotel room access is not included in the price of this tour. The transfer boat does not have toilet facilities. This tour will not be guided, therefore we ask that all guests exercise due care and attention when swimming. Please note that there is a walk of around 400 metres (1,300 feet) to board the tour transport. A bar, restaurant, restrooms and showers will all be available (at your own expense).


BEACH EXPRESS (TOUR EX)

  • Tour Curaçao’s unspoilt west coast on a colourful, open-air beach bus
  • Unwind and make the most of the Caribbean sun, sea and sand
  • Enjoy approximately two and half hours of time at leisure at Blue Bay Beach
 
Beach Tour
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 3 ½ hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

The Beach Express is a fun and relaxing excursion for those who want to enjoy a Caribbean beach experience.

Leaving the quayside on a unique, hand-painted open-air beach bus, travel to the west side of the island, where nature reigns and the beaches are unspoilt. Enjoy the scenery whilst your guide provides you with a commentary about Curaçao. You’ll pass historic plantation houses, panoramic mountain views, wildlife, salt flats and flamingos on this fun and relaxing ride.

Arriving at the famous Blue Bay Beach, you will have approximately two and a half hours to spend as you wish. You may wish to swim in the crystal-clear waters, snorkel over the colourful reef, or simply top up your tan on a complimentary beach chair.

All too soon it will be time to leave your little slice of paradise and return to Willemstad and your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017/18 CARIBBEAN CRUISES

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of compulsory walking,   however there is a walk of around 400 metres (1,300 feet) to board the tour transport. Activity undertaken at the beach is at your own discretion. This tour is considered suitable for guests with limited mobility providing they are able to get on and off the bus unaided. We regret that this tour is not suitable for wheelchair users. Guests must be aged four years and over in order to participate. You are advised to come already wearing swimwear underneath casual clothing, and don’t forget to bring a towel and sun protection. Refreshments are not included in the cost of the tour, but are available to purchase at your own expense. Snorkelling equipment will be available to use on request. Please exercise due care and attention in the water – it is not advisable to drink alcohol if you are planning to swim.

 

Discover Curacao

DISCOVER CURACAO ISLAND (TOUR C)

  • Discover the centuries of history, culture and tradition of Curaçao
  • Explore the fascinating Hato Caves, home to some spectacular stalactites and stalagmites
  • Sample a tipple of the world-famous Blue Curaçao liqueur 
Price£25.00 - £35.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Combine an interesting look at the countryside of Curaçao with the beautiful city of Willemstad and three major attractions on this unique Dutch island.

Begin with a drive past the salt flats and flamingos before proceeding to the spectacular Hato Caves. This dramatic collection of grottoes filled with stalactites, stalagmites and crystal clear pools, have been centuries in the making.

From the Hato Caves, continue onto the Curaçao Museum in Otrabanda, which combines contemporary art with an exhibition of life on the island during the mid-19th century.

Your last stop will be to the Chobolobo Factory, where the world-famous Curaçao liqueur has been produced since 1896. Here you will have the opportunity to sample Blue Curaçao, and perhaps purchase one of the four alternative flavours on offer.

On your return journey, discover the interesting Punda area in the heart of Willemstad. You will have the option of spending additional time exploring the area at your leisure, or returning to the ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/18 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that guests are advised to wear comfortable, flat shoes. Please take extra care and caution when walking around the caves as the surfaces will be uneven and may be slippery. There will be approximately 50 steps to negotiate at the caves, 10 steps at the museum and around five steps at the Chobolobo Factory. It is possible for guests to stay on board the tour transport, should you not wish to visit the Chobolobo Factory. Please note that should your call fall on a Sunday, the Chobolobo Factory may be closed, in which case a visit will be made to a Caribbean handicraft market instead. Please note that there is a walk of around 400 metres (1,300 feet) to board the tour transport. Guests remaining in Willemstad at the end of the tour are responsible for returning to the ship in time for departure, at their own expense.


Dolphin Encounter, Curacao

DOLPHIN ENCOUNTER (TOUR B)

  • A fantastic opportunity to interact with  a dolphin
  • Learn more about these wonderful creatures
Price£85.00 - £95.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationVery Limited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

Interact with a beautiful bottlenose dolphin whilst standing waist-deep in water on a submerged platform. You will have a unique opportunity to get up close to this magnificent animal – and you will even receive a welcome kiss.

 During your time in the water, learn more about these lovable creatures with an interactive lesson on the dolphin’s body and behaviour —a must-do memorable experience.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/18 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?  A paying adult should accompany children under the age of eight. An insurance waiver must be signed before entering the water. As personal photography is not possible during your time in the water, professional on-site photographers will capture this magical moment on camera, and the pictures are for sale. To save time, come already wearing your swimming costume (don’t forget a towel). Free showers and lockers are available on-site. Transfer by taxi is included. For your reference, the dolphin swim will take place at the Sea Aquarium, should time permit it is possible to explore the other attractions here, whilst you await your return taxi transfer. Please remember that dolphins are living beings and can be unpredictable.


Seaworld Explorer

SEAWORLD EXPLORER SEMI-SUBMARINE (TOUR D)

  • Enjoy a truly memorable experience of a semi-submarine
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the colourful tropical fish passing by
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 1.5 Hours
LimitationVery Limited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Discover the unique underwater world of Curaçao from the comfort of a semi-submarine.

Experience a fascinating journey on the SeaWorld Explorer — a state-of-the-art semi-submarine originally developed for use on the Great Barrier Reef. Your vessel will not submerge; instead, you descend into the hull of this cruising underwater observatory, one and a half metres (five feet) below the surface of the water, to watch the fascinating underwater world through the clear glass windows.

You will be invited to enjoy a narrated tour of the coral reefs along the south coast of the island. Just offshore is a wall dropping sharply to the depths of several hundred feet, which you can observe. Look out for dozens of tropical fish such as yellowtail snappers, sergeant majors, parrotfish and queen angelfish, together with delicate colonies of coral, which have taken thousands of years to form. A camera is necessary, as a diver will hand-feed the surrounding hungry fish.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/18 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that there is a walk of around 400 metres (1,300 feet) to board the tour transport and steps to negotiate on board the semi-submarine, which is reached by a walk of around five minutes. We cannot guarantee any sightings of marine life or the clarity of the water at the time of our call. This tour is not recommended for guests who suffer from claustrophobia.


SEE & SEA ISLAND TOUR (TOUR F)

  • Discover the beautiful port of Willemstad by land and sea
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the colourful marine life and striking coral reefs
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 2.5 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Combine a trip on the SeaWorld Explorer semi-submarine with a city highlights tour — a great way to discover the island of Curaçao.

You begin with a fascinating journey on the SeaWorld Explorer — a state-of-the-art semi-submarine originally developed for use on the Great Barrier Reef. Your vessel will not submerge; instead, you descend into the hull of this cruising underwater observatory, one and a half metres (five feet) below the surface of the water, to watch the fascinating underwater world through the clear glass windows.

You will be invited to enjoy a narrated tour of the coral reefs along the south coast of the island. Just offshore is a wall dropping sharply to the depths of several hundred feet, which you can observe. Look out for  dozens of tropical fish such as yellowtail snappers, sergeant majors, parrotfish and queen angelfish, together with delicate colonies of coral, which have taken thousands of years to form. A camera is necessary, as a diver will hand-feed the surrounding hungry fish.

Once back on land, you join your tour coach for a journey across the Queen Juliana Bridge, 60 metres (200 feet) above Willemstad. Here you can enjoy commanding views over Punda and Otrobanda, the two sides of St Anna Bay.

Continuing, you will pause at the Chobolobo Factory, where you will have the opportunity to taste the world-famous Blue Curaçao liqueur.  En route back to your ship, discover the interesting Punda area, home to major landmarks such as the floating market and the synagogue.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/18 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that there is a walk of around 400 metres (1,300 feet) to board the tour transport and steps to negotiate onboard the semi-submarine, which is reached by a walk of around five minutes. We cannot guarantee sightings of marine life. This tour is not recommended for guests who suffer from claustrophobia. Please note that guests are advised to wear comfortable flat shoes. There will be approximately five steps to negotiate at the Chobolobo Factory. It is possible for guests to stay on board the tour transport, should you not wish to visit the Chobolobo Factory. Please note that should your call fall on a Sunday, the Chobolobo Factory may be closed, in which case a visit will be made to Caribbean handicraft market instead. Please note that there is a walk of around 400 metres (1,300 feet) to board the tour transport.


Swim with Dolphins Curacao

SWIM WITH DOLPHINS (TOUR A)

  • Experience a unique opportunity to swim with dolphins
  • A memorable chance to learn more about these magnificent animals
Activity Tour
Price£155.00 - £165.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationVery Limited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

This wonderful tour offers you an unforgettable adventure with these lovable mammals.

Upon arrival at the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, you will be taken to the Curaçao Dolphin Academy. Following a short briefing, you meet your dolphin trainer and become acquainted with the friendly bottlenose dolphins through gentle petting. Then, taking the interaction one-step further, you have the opportunity to swim and interact with the dolphins under the supervision of a trainer.

If time allows, explore the Sea Aquarium – where this unforgettable experience takes place – for a brief look at some of the other animals that reside here.

This wonderful tour offers you an unforgettable adventure with these lovable mammals.

Upon arrival at the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, you will be taken to the Curaçao Dolphin Academy. Following a short briefing, you meet your dolphin trainer and become acquainted with the friendly bottlenose dolphins through gentle petting. Then, taking the interaction one-step further, you have the opportunity to swim and interact with the dolphins under the supervision of a trainer.

If time allows, explore the Sea Aquarium – where this unforgettable experience takes place – for a brief look at some of the other animals that reside here.

 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2017/18 CARIBBEAN SEASON

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that only experienced swimmers who are competent using swim fins may participate in this tour, and you should be in good health. An insurance waiver must be signed before entering the water. Life jackets are provided. For information, the depth of the ocean lagoon is approximately five metres/16 feet. Pregnant women and guests under 1.30 metres (four feet three inches) tall are not permitted to take part; weight restrictions may also apply. The minimum age for participation is 8 years old. Group sizes are kept to a maximum of six people per two dolphins, to allow participants to touch, interact and swim with these loveable animals; you will spend approximately 30 minutes in the water with the dolphins. As personal photography is not possible during your time in the water, professional on-site photographers will capture this magical moment on camera, and the pictures are for sale (prices start from 15US$). To save time, come already wearing your swimming costume underneath casual clothes (dont forget a towel and sunscreen). Free showers and lockers are available on-site. Transfer by taxi is included. For your reference, the dolphin swim will take place at the Sea Aquarium, should time permit it is possible to explore the other attractions here, whilst you await your return taxi transfer. Please remember that dolphins are living creatures and can be unpredictable.


Curacao, Caribbean

TOUR G - WILLEMSTAD TROLLEY TRAIN

  • Enjoy a tour of Willemstad on a colourful trolley train
  • Admire impressive sights including the Wedding Cake House and Pietermaai Cathedral
Price£20.00 - £30.00
DurationApproximately 1¾ hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Free time includedFree time included

Experience the beauty of Curaçao on this short tour around the historic city of Willemstad.

Your tour begins at Fort Amsterdam in the Punda area, built in 1635 to guard the entrance to the harbour. You will pass by many interesting sights such as the floating market on Sha Caprilleskade — where Venezuelan merchants tender their wares, including fish and vegetables from their boats. From here, you continue to Scharloo, a former residential neighbourhood dating back to the 1800s, lined with picturesque homes built by wealthy merchants.  A short stop here will enable you to capture images of the city’s most photographed building — Bolo di Bruit (also known as the Wedding Cake House).

Your next stop is at the Pietermaai Cathedral, the largest and most impressive on the island. If the cathedral is open, you may have the opportunity to enter. The oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere — Mikve Israel Emmanuel Synagogue — can also be seen in the distance.  As you make your way back to Fort Amsterdam, glimpse the Queen Wilhelmina Park and the waterfront arches, an imposing fortress which was formerly the site of Willem III Barracks. At the end of your tour, you have the option of remaining in town, or returning to your ship by taxi.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017/18 CARIBBEAN CRUISE SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Whilst this tour involves a limited amount of compulsory walking, there is a walk of around 400 metres (1,300 feet) to reach the tour transport. For your reference, there are no toilet facilities for the duration of this tour. Guests must be able to board the trolley train unaided. Guests remaining in Willemstad at the end of this tour are responsible for making their own way back to the ship in time for sailing, at their own expense. 


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