Cruise to Curaçao

Sailing into Curacao is surreal, in that the climate and port town of Willemstad are indisputably Caribbean, but yet the port itself is as industrial as Long Beach, California. The colorful historic buildings of the waterfront promise that this is a Caribbean island full of distinctive charm. And once you’re in the thick of it, this port city is an engaging mish-mash of color and music, modern pier design and 400-year-old architecture.

Curacao has character and culture that outshines its Caribbean grouping or its Dutch patriarchal birthright. It has a language, Papiamentu that borrows from many other languages--and it has a liqueur that’s been borrowed by many other nations.

And the cruisers who set off to explore more than the glossy port shops and harborfront restaurants in Curacao will find one of the Caribbean’s most diverse, quirky and culturally rich islands.