Why choose for Curacao?
Strategically situated at the crossroads of all the international sea lanes between North and South-America, the continents of Europe, Africa and the Americas, well away from the devastating paths of the seasonal hurricanes, blessed with deep waters and well protected inland harbors, CURACAO has always been a prized possession.
Since its discovery in 1499 by Alonso de Ojeda, CURACAO has changed hands many times until it became a permanent Dutch colony. As a center for merchandize trade and a base for the Dutch to protect their interests in the Americas, CURACAO developed into a seafaring nation with bustling Port activities.
CURACAO has maintained its strong ties with the sea and the Dutch Kingdom, of which it is an autonomous part, and today it boasts a stable democracy, backed by Dutch laws. The island offers excellent tourist potential with its varied natural scenery and precious underwater world, its sandy and pebbled beaches, rugged wilds and craggy north coast.
CURACAO is now going through a process of reorientation as it realizes its potential. There are laws to protect the environment and delicate natural balance and its historical past. The construction of hotels and the selected development at the various beaches attest to a well-planned vision of the future.
The CURACAO international airport has witnessed strong growth in the past decade and is extending its services to include a diversified service rendering industry. The harbor has remained CURACAO most valuable asset and has gone through regular adaptations to keep abreast of the latest maritime developments.
In CURCAO the past and present natural beauty of its protected flora and fauna, and the dynamics of present day economics live harmoniously together, giving the island the perfect mix to benefit both the industrial and recreational industries. It is in this kaleidoscope of cultures and ethnic variety that the CURACAO culture was born, a unique blend of traits from the west coast of Africa, the European cultural patchwork and remnants of the original Indian traditions of the Caribbean.
As a center for trade, the port of CURACAO saw the development of all aspects of a maritime economy. Along the harbor entrance and in the Schottegat, ships were built. Along the bustling quays, big mansions arose of the rich merchant class; goods were transshipped to all the known ports in the area and CURACAO became a preferred port for bunkers.
This life-long expertise in ship handling has helped CURACAO in its development into a modern port of call where all the services of a modern maritime economy can be found.
Since its discovery, the harbor of CURACAO has been the mainstay of the island's economy. The narrow, channel-like St. Anna Bay harbor entrance, gives access to the wide, irregularly shaped expanse of the inland water of Schottegat. In the course of the centuries, the port of Willemstad grew into an important port of call, where seamen from all over the world stayed over and divided their time between ship and on-shore activities, which were found in abundance on both sides of the harbor entrance, in the quarters of Punda and Otrabanda. The early Dutch settlers built Fort Amsterdam after having taken over CURACAO from the Spaniards in 1634. It is here that the early colonizers set up their military base and it is from here that the island was governed, and where we now find the seat of the central government of the Netherlands Antilles. Fort Amsterdam has become synonymous with government and Dutch history.
Today the CURACAO Port Services is the recipient of the prestigious ISO 9002 Quality Certificate, while the CURACAO Port Authority is constantly upgrading the harbor facilities to comply with the latest developments in the maritime technology. The new cruise ship terminal, popularly called the "Mega Pier", is another step in the ongoing investment to accommodate the larger cruisers now under construction. The availability of high quality bunkers, excellent communications, sophisticated ships' repairs, a well-trained workforce, all kinds of insurance companies, on-shore and offshore banking, a modern airport and good air links via international airlines, dependable utility services and good infrastructure, a diversified shopping center and hospitality based on a tradition of centuries of dealing with visitors from all over the world, makes CURACAO an outstanding port of call and tourist destination.
It is the combination of a nostalgic past and modern day savoir-fair, the friendly welcoming smile of "homo-carbines" and the no-nonsense efficiency of 300 years of Dutch entrepreneurship and the placement of historic Willemstad on UNESCO's world heritage list that form the unbeatable ingredients of Curacao's enviable position.
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