Curacao, Curacao cruise holidays
The largest island in the Dutch Antilles, Curaçao is home to more than 50 nationalities. Sailing into Willemstad is like arriving in the beating heart of Curacao. The natural harbour of its port, Schottegat, welcomes you with a parade of brightly coloured buildings, floating markets, seaside stalls, shops and malls. Willemstad is full of 17th, 18th and 19th century Dutch and Spanish Colonial architecture.
The capital city of Willemstad is divided into four historic quarters. Downtown’s Punda and Otrobanda are accessed by the slender Queen Emma Bridge. In shopping paradise Punda, modern life meets tradition. The two sides of the city are divided by Santa Anna Bay, a narrow channel flanked by pastel-tinted, gabled houses and spanned by the spectacular swing-aside Queen Emma pontoon bridge. On one side you will find the 18th century Fort Amsterdam and Breederstraat, gateway to Willemstads main shopping and restaurant district where you can buy everything from Delft pottery to Italian silk ties, Japanese electrical goods, Indonesian batik clothing, locally-made black coral jewellery and, of course, the sapphire-blue liqueur to which Curaçao has given its name.
What makes Curacao stand out is the pride locals take in preserving their traditions and cultural inheritance. The Kura Hulanda Museum exhibits a unique collection to showcase Curacao’s identity and background, including the African slave trade, pre-Colombian gold and Dutch Caribbean art. To get a glimpse into the island’s past, visit the Tula Museum at Landhuis Knip country house.