Cruise ships dock at the port located directly adjacent to the capital city of Oranjestad. The port can accommodate up to five ships at a time. The cruise terminal boasts a modern building filled with souvenir and clothing shops, restrooms, a tourist information center and more.
In Oranjestad, great shopping, dining, and bar-hopping are within walking distance (1km) of the dock.
There is also a free hop on/off trolley which loops around the different shopping areas.
Printable map to take along on the cruise.
Watch a destination video.
This flat, riverless island is renowned for its white sand beaches. Its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. The temperature is almost constant at about 27°C (81°F). The yearly rainfall usually does not exceed 20 inches. Aruba is situated outside the Caribbean hurricane belt.
Located on the picturesque southern coast, Oranjestad is the historic Dutch capital of Aruba, where the traditional, tall, multicolored houses combine carved wooden doors and typical Dutch tiles with open-air patios. The charm of the city complements the beauty of this popular Caribbean island where the Dutch and indigenous cultures have merged to give Aruba its unique atmosphere. Today's visitors can enjoy this culture along with beautiful beaches, excellent snorkeling and exciting nightlife.
Drive through the schooner harbor of Oranjestad, the capital city of Aruba. Discover outdoor markets displaying tropical fruits, and local arts and crafts, and observe Dutch-colonial buildings. At Cashero and Boca Mahos, view the famous Watapana (divi-divi) trees shaped by the trade winds, and St. Anna's Church in the village of Noord.
Oranjestad is best explored on foot.
Taxis do not have meters, but the government of Aruba fixes the rates. From downtown to Palm Beach is around $11.
Tours are offered just outside the ship for $20 (with 4 persons in a taxi) to the California Lighthouse, Casibari rock formations and the chapel on the Northwest coast. These tours last about 2 and 1/2 hours.
Additionally there is a bus system called "Arubus." This bus is great to see the island and to travel from Oranjestad to the tourist hotels all for about $1.50. You can take the bus to the far end of the island, have lunch at St Nicholas, see how the 90,000 islanders live. The bus stops at 9pm. The bus terminal is within walking distance of the pier.
A different and exciting way to explore Aruba's underwater realm is on board the island's only passenger submarine . The Atlantis Submarine.
Driving is on the right, so renting a car or 4x4 might be a good option.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Arikok National Park Explore the Martian-like interior, home to towering stands of cacti, divi divi trees, iguanas and herds of wandering goats.
Aruba Ostrich Farm. Visitors are encouraged to partake in a guided tour of the farm, inhabited by both ostriches and their flightless Australian relatives, emus. The tour provides the opportunity to learn about the natural behavior and survival instincts of these amazing creatures through detailed information as well as personal encounters with the birds.
The Butterfly Farm. Imagine walking through a lush tropical rain forest amidst flowers and trees, ponds and a trickling waterfall with butterflies flying overhead and all around you in their own natural paradise.
The beaches on Aruba are beautiful, clean, and easily reached from the cruise-ship terminal. Eagle Beach being one of the most famous.
Aruba is rapidly becoming one of the most popular shopping ports in the Caribbean. Swiss watches, French perfumes and fine jewelry are all readily available. Dutch and Indonesian goods are especially good buys. As are locally made products from aloe. Shopping malls galore.
Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory. The complimentary Museum and Factory Tour is led by a team of local Aruba Aloe tour guides, tours are held in English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento (Aruba’s native language) every 15 minutes.
The Renaissance Marketplace is right in the port, as are a number of souvenir shops.
Aruba’s currency is the Aruban Florin (AFL or AWG), The exchange rate for 1 USD is generally 1.75 AFL and if you buy USD, the exchange rate is usually AFL 1.80. However, U.S. dollars are widely accepted and major credit cards, so there is no need to change in the local Aruban Florin. You may receive local coins for any amount less than one dollar rather than US coins.
Official languages Dutch, English, Papiamento, Spanish.
There is free WiFi available in Renaissance Mall and Renaissance Marketplace by the Starbucks and other cafes.
Stores on the main streets are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, although some are closed for lunch between noon and 2 p.m. Shops in the malls and shopping centers are open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some stores are open on Sundays and holidays when cruise ships are in port.
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