I thought I'd share some Cruise Port Curacao Things to Do During a Cruise so that you have a few ideas if you're sailing to Curacao!
My first visit to the heavenly island of Curacao was via the Carnival Cruise Line Freedom cruise ship during the summer of 2014. We docked in the early afternoon and we did not leave the Curaçao cruise port until the late hours of the night.
So while I did have ample opportunity to explore things to nearby the Willemstad Curacao cruise port, I did not venture out into the island past the Willemstad neighborhoods.
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Cruise Port Curacao
My second visit to the island of Curacao was on a press trip to experience Carnival in Curacao. I had the pleasure of experiencing the island's wonders for a total of 4 nights and 5 days. Often overlooked by many Americans until it is spotted on an itinerary or cruise port guide, Curacao is one of the Caribbean's gems.
Curacao Cruise shore excursions are available through Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean. Just make sure to grab a Curacao cruise port map before you walk off of the ship!
The mega pier Curacao is popular with cruise ships because of its unique character that offers a sense of exoticism that is hard to find anywhere else! Curaçao boasts a charm that will leave even the most well traveled cruisers wanting to go back for a more indepth visit!
Once you check out the things to do in Curacao while on a cruise, you will be planning a cruise specifically for their port of call in Willemstad, Curacao!
Things to do in Curacao During a Cruise
When arriving in Curacao, what kinds of things are there for you to do near the mega cruise terminal? There are so many things to do right there within walking distance of the Willemstad cruise port.
Embark on a downtown walk to Willemstad, museums, or snap a photo on the famous Queen Emma pontoon bridge. You can find this easily by referring to your Curacao cruise port guide. But why not delve deeper and make the most of your precious time on this vibrant island? Plan ahead during your cruise vacation planning and make sure that you get the maximum enjoyment!
If you are a history buff, you will be especially pleased with the historical attractions within walking distance of the port of Curacao. If you have not been to Curacao yet, you will be happy to know that you even knock a new UNESCO World Heritage site off your list!
What are Things to do Near the Port of Curacao?
Visit the Hura Kurlanda Museum
Just a short walk from the cruise port, you’ll find Hura Kulanda Museum, which is an amazing collection of artifacts from the island of Curacao as well as the continent of Africa, dating back all the way to 600 AD from the Mali area.
Hura Kurlanda Museum is a privately owned by an art collector and businessman. The Hura Kurlanda Museum combines education and art history in a way that I really just have never seen anywhere else.
The museum tells us about the history of slavery on the island, which was the center of the slave trade and operated by the West Indies Company, about the two rebellions on the island and eventual abolition, then takes you farther back into the history of Africa, which still has a major influence on the people of Curacao to this day.
It is a powerful museum, and a visit will leave you more educated about the history of slavery and a new-found appreciation for art from Africa as well.
Fun fact: Did you know that the language, Papiamentu, spoken in Curacao is derivative of several languages, including several Afrikaans dialects?
Dine at the Gouvernuer Restaurant
Not too far from the Curacao Cruise Port is one of the most iconic restaurants in Curacao! Found in downtown Willemstad, Gouvernuer Restaurant is very close to the port in Curacao. Once home to the governor of Curacao, de Gouverneur offers indoor, outdoor and garden seating with some of the best food on the island.
While you will be hard pressed to find a “bad” dining experience in downtown Curacao, you simply must visit the Gouverneur for a cocktail and a meal. The Shade Ade cocktail is simply divine, as is the strawberry mojito!
I recommend trying the Banana Soup and the Stoba. You will not be disappointed if you stray from the Curacao port and plan a visit to this amazing restaurant!
Just check the Curacao taxi rates from cruise port and ad this to your cruise port Curacao things to do!
Take a Photo with a Chichi
Chichi® is a sensual, well rounded Caribbean figure representing the vibrant, dynamic and responsible older sister in the family.
Handmade and hand painted in bright Caribbean colors by local craftsmen and painters at Serena’s Art Factory in Curaçao, you can find different Chichi around Serene's Art Factory in historic Willemstad!
Have Lunch at Plasa Bieu
I enjoy fine dining, but there’s something to be said for sitting down to eat a causal meal on a picnic bench, surrounded by locals on their lunch break.
I love these experiences, tasting the common dishes that are eaten every day by the people who live in the place I am visiting. The Plasa Bieu is a well-known lunch spot with several kitchens under one roof.
Sit down to a plate piled high with stewed goat, chicken or beef, rice and beans and a little salad and cornmeal, but save room for pumpkin pancakes – trust me on this one.
Take a DUSHI Photo
A common term of endearment in Curacao is “Dushi” which translates to “Sweetheart” or “Honey.” Across the Queen Emma Bridge, you’ll find the DUSHI sign in big bold letters and it makes for a great easy photo opp.
Visit a World UNESCO Site in Curacao
Designated a World UNESCO site in 1997, the historic area of Willemstad is not only culturally significant, but incredibly beautiful! Check our RIF Fort, which was established in 1828!
What is the closest beach to Curacao cruise port?
While you can't just step off the Curacao Cruise Port walk to beach, you can rent a taxi! Take a look at a Curacao beaches map and pick which place you would like to go! Cabana and Mambo are about four miles from the Curacao cruise terminal. Blue Bay is six miles away and Jan Thiel is seven miles. Cabana and Mambo Beaches are within walking distance of the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, so you can fit that into your trip after you leave the beach.
Visit the Famous Ostrich Farm
The Curacao Ostrich Farm is located in a fabulous landscape on the road to Groot St. Joris in Santa Catharina. The Ostrich Farm offers guaranteed fun for the whole family! Experience a feeling of being in South Africa for a day! Treat yourself to all that their restaurant Zambezi has to offer, while the children play in the playground or enjoy the bouncer. The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner.
The Curacao Ostrich Farm is led by a team of enthusiastic people who will go to great lengths to make the most of your visit. Their enthusiasm, effort and knowledge will make your experience unforgettable and something to cross off your bucket list while visiting the lovely island of Curacao.
Drive across the Queen Juliana Bridge
Koningin Julianabrug, also known as the Queen Juliana Bridge in English,is a four lane road bridge across St. Anna Bay in Willemstad. The bridge is named after Juliana of the Netherlands. While under construction the eastern part of the bridge collapsed in 1967 killing fifteen workers, and was replaced. The current bridge opened on Queen's Day, 30 April 1974.
The Queen Juliana Bridge reaches a height of 185 feet above the water at its highest point,to accommodate ships entering the narrow harbour. The view from the apex includes the entire panorama of Punda, Otrobanda, and the Schottegat and is one of the highest vantage points on the island.
The Queen Juliana bridge was constructed to allow automobile traffic to cross from Punda to Otrobanda. Once the Queen Juliana bridge was completed, the Queen Emma Bridge was closed to traffic and open only to pedestrians.
Take a Walk Across the Queen Emma Bridge
The Queen Emma Bridge is a pontoon bridge across the St. Anna Bay, connecting the Punda and Otrobanda quarters of the capital city, Willemstad.
Go ahead and walk across, but make it quick! If the bridge opens while you are on the other side, you can take a free ferry to get back across!
One of the most fun Willemstad things to do is to take advantage of Curacao cruise port shopping!
Shop at the Floating Markets
Along the marina just on the other side of the Queen Emma Bridge, you will find boats selling fresh fish and fruits and vegetables from Venezuala.
Hire a Private Taxi or Tour Operator in Curacao
If you have a little money budgeted away for your time in Curacao, I recommend hiring a private taxi or tour guide and creating a customized itinerary for your time in Curacao.
This will alleviate time constraints because a personal driver can map out a plan of action ahead of time, optimizing your time at the very best attractions. Here are a few things I recommend you ask to see!
Visit Kleine Knip Beach
Kleine Knip Beach is a small sandy beach in the Western part of Curaçao. It is often referred to a Little Knip Beach. You may be familiar with its big brother, Grote Knip, which is right around the corner. It is abtly known as Big Knip Beach.
Due to the popularity of the latter beach, Kleine Knip is often skipped, which is a real shame since this beach is one of the few natural sandy beaches on the island. I would have to say that booking a taxi to go to Knip Beach would be one of my best cruise tips!
Visit Christoffel National Park
Christoffel National Park is the largest and most biodiverse park on the island of Curacao! In Christoffel National Park, you will find stunning nature, the Christoffel Mountain, beautiful birds, the national white tailed deer and wonderful hiking trails. They offer tours, guided hikes, and seasonal activities.Christoffel National Park is also home to the Savonet Museum.
Savonet Museum is the newest Museum of Curaçao! This Museum is a unique concept located at the heart of the Christoffelpark, the largest nature reserve on the island. Established in the former plantation house, called "landhuis", of the Savonet Plantation. It gives visitors a peek into the lives of the former inhabitants of the area, full of inside information and views. From the first Arowak Indians who came to the island almost 4000 years ago up to modern times.
Shette Boka / Boka Tableau
The Shete Boka National Park is an area adjoining the Christoffel Park covering almost 10 kilometers of the rocky wave exposed north coast of the island.
The park has approximately 10 pocket bays where 3 species of sea turtles are known to lay eggs. A detailed map of the pocket bays is available for purchase at the entrance of the park.
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Are you looking for other Caribbean islands to visit? Lucky for you, I have been all over the Caribbean and have quite a few recommendations! Living in Miami affords me the luxury of visiting the Caribbean islands often, whether it by by a cruise or by a plane. For instance, it's only a 40 minute plane ride to the Bahamas for me!
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- 5 Reasons to Visit Punta Cana
- The Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana
- Top 5 Beaches in La Romana
- The Hyatt Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica
- See a Different Side of Punta Cana with a Zipline Tour
- El San Juan Resort and Casino in Puerto Rico
- The Lap of Luxury at the St Kitts Marriott Resort and Casino
- Holiday Inn Sunspree in Montego, Jamaica
- My Stay at the Grand Paladium Resort and Spa in Jamaica
- Touring the Haunted Rose Hall Great House in Jamaica
- Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Jamaica
- Things to do in Miami Before and After Your Cruise
- Kamalame Kay in Andros Islands, Bahamas
These are just a few of the posts I’ve written about the Caribbean over the years. If you’d like to see a more comprehensive listing, just go to TheRebelChick.com and click the TRAVEL category!