Overview Aruba Cruise Ship Port | IQ Cruising

Overview - Aruba Cruise Port

Panoramic Photo of Oranjestad in Aruba Cruise Port

Introduction

By: Editor-in-Chief | Date: March 3, 2017

Oranjestad and Aruba

Aruba is one of the most popular destinations in the south Caribbean itineraries. And there are very good reasons why this island is a love at first sight for most cruisers. Oranjestad – the capital and cruise port of Aruba – is a very neat city, clean, well kept and very well organized that from the moment you step out of the cruise ship embraces you with a sense of relaxed safety.

Photo of Palm Beach in Aruba

Palm Beach, Aruba

Photo: Public Domain

The beaches of are both famous and spectacular. And very easy to enjoy on your own: the Bus Terminal is righ in front of the port exit, public buses are affordable, have stops next to the most popular beaches, and taxis are not the rip-off found in many other Caribbean ports.

Photo At The Pier Aruba

At The Pier, Aruba

Photo © IQCruising.com

Docking

The cruise ships dock at a Port that is literally next to downtown Oranjestad. Depending on how many ships are in port and where these are docked, the walk to the main street – Lloyd G. Smith Boulevard – may take anything between 5 and 10 minutes. As the cruise traveler reaches the entrance/exit gates of the port, the Bus Terminal is right in front – not only very conveniently located but with clear maps of the routes and bus fares to all major destinations (in particular the beaches)..

Photo of Royal Plazza Aruba

Royal Plazza, Aruba

Photo © IQCruising.com

If you are not much into spending a day at the beach or attracted by water activities, Oranjestad is a lovely city (really a small town) to explore on your own. Just turn right once you exit the port gates and you are in the city. Many a cruise traveler walk along the L.G. Smith Boulevard all the way to the Renaissance Marketplace and then back thinking that this is it.

Photo of Bus Terminal in Aruba

Bus Terminal, Aruba

Photo © IQCruising.com

The best of Oranjestad

Nice as this walk is with great high-end shopping and wonderful views of the bay and marina, you would be missing the best of the city. Havenstraat and Schelpstraat (followed by the Main Street) are the main streets to explore. These run parallel to the L.G. Smith Boulevard and you just need to turn inland to find them.

Photo of SRoyal Plazza Aruba

Royal Plazza, Aruba

Photo © IQCruising.com

Surely you will not miss any of these streets if you look out for the tram tracks or the tram itself which offers both transportation and sightseeing all the way to Plaza Nicky and back.

Photo of Street Car Aruba

Street Car, Aruba

Photo © IQCruising.com

In between these major streets, or very close by, the cruise traveler will find most of the landmarks and highlights of Oranjestad: the Archaeological Museum of Aruba, the Protestant Church, the Fort Zoutman Historical Museum, the City Hall, the Renaissance Mall & Marketplace, shopping and more shopping (reputed to be one of the best in the Caribbean as far as tax and Duty free goes); and very nice restaurants to taste local delicacies.

Square Aruba

Square, Aruba

Photo © IQCruising.com

Insider’s Tip: The Editor has always preferred to start the walk around town on the inland streets of Oranjestad, return to the port along the Lloyd G. Smith Boulevard and stop midway for a quick bite with a fabulous view of the marina – The Paddock has been a favorite for many years.

If you wonder why most savvy cruisers talk about Aruba as a top beach destination and why many get of the ship to go straight to the beach and bask in the sun, you should plan to spend (at least) a couple of hours at Eagle Beach.

Photo of Eagle Beach in Aruba

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Photo: Public Domain

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Last Update: March 3, 2017

The information on this page was accurate when last updated and published but changes may have occurred without notice.
It is advisable to confirm details with local tourist information before planning your tour of Aruba.
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