Port of Call Willemstad, Curacao
An aerial view of Willemstad on the Caribbean Island of Curacao. Cruise ships dock either at the new Mega Pier just outside St Anna bay, or along the west bank of St Anna bay, by the Curacao cruise terminal.
Willemstad Shore Excursions
Queen Emma Bridge
Willemstad is divided into two areas, Punda (point) and Otrobanda (the other side). All ships dock on the Otrobanda side, but it’s an easy walk from your cruise ship to the Queen Emma bridge. This unique swinging pontoon bridge connects Otrobanda to the even older district of Punda. The bridge was built in 1888, and soon acquired the nickname ‘The Old Swinging Lady’. In 1974 it became pedestrians-only on the opening of the nearby Queen Juliana bridge.
If you turn left when you reach the Punda end of the Queen Emma bridge, you’ll find yourself on Handelskade, nicknamed the ‘Worlds Most Beautiful Waterfront’. The brightly painted 18th century buildings are now homes to cafes, boutique shops and art galleries. Enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the pavement cafes and watch the comings and goings of St Anna bay’s marine traffic.
The street running inland from the Punda end of the Queen Emma bridge is Breedestraat, a shopper’s paradise. There’s an amazing array of goods on sale, from every corner of the globe. Don’t miss a visit to Penha and Sons, who inhabit the city’s oldest building; they sell a very up-market range of perfumes and cosmetics.
The Curacao Museum is sited in the old military quarantine hospital in Otrabanda. The upper floor is furnished in the style of an 19th century Curacao mansion. The lower floor features displays about the early inhabitants of the island, and its subsequent development.
Seaquarium Beach has all the ingredients of a perfect Caribbean beach - white sand, palm trees, and clear turquoise water. Nearby there is a wide selection of of shops, restaurants, bars and water sports rentals. The adjacent aquarium is popular, especially with families. Seaquarium beach is just a couple of miles south west of Willemstad, a five minute taxi ride. (The beach also goes by the name of Kontiki, for the side nearest the Kontiki hotel, or by its local name, Mambo).
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