European flair, vibrant culture and natural wonders
Curaçao knows how to satisfy every passenger travelling on board an MSC cruise ship. During your holiday on Curaçao, you can explore the Hato Caves, full of stalactites and stalagmites and incisions over 1500 years old, or decide to go on an excursion to Christoffel National Park, where you will see the local flora and fauna, typical of the Caribbean Sea.
For those wishing to admire underwater life, there is the Seaquarium, where you can also make friends with sea lions. Lovers of shopping will find Punda, at the tip of Willemstad, an ideal destination. This part of the city is a historic commercial centre. Its shops and storehouses span all the way to the coast. Here, the houses and workshops form narrow alleys, which today are only open to pedestrian traffic. Between one purchase and another, you may come across scenes of rare intensity, perfect for being immortalized with a photograph.
A short distance away, the most important of the eight fortresses of Curaçao, Fort Amsterdam, protects this part of Willemstad. It was built in 1635 to defend the entrance into the port and given its name when Curaçao was under the administration of the Dutch West India Company. To this day, a cannon ball fired by the troops of Captain Bligh can be seen embedded in the southwestern portion of the wall, confirming the fortresses active military past. Today, the fort is the seat of the governor, and houses a protestant church and a museum.
To remain on the same theme, a visit to Fort Beekenburg, constructed in 1703 in Caracas Bay to defend the interior of the bay and the “Spanish waters” is recommended. In spite of being actively used in the 19th century to defend against the French, the British and the pirates, this fort is one of the best-preserved forts in the Caribbean.