Curacao is expecting just under 800,000 passengers when the 2018-2019 season is in the books, and has a five-year target to hit that seven figure number, according to Raul Manatos, COO of Curacao Ports.
The tourism board has embraced its unique island experience, adopting the tagline Feel It For Yourself.
“The first call at our new pier was in November 2017; this facility enabled increased flexibility in scheduling and the overall port capacity, thus facilitating the creation of itineraries,” added Sem Ayoubi, shipping development manager. “Furthermore the largest vessels in the cruise industry can now also berth at Willemstad.”
Curacao now has two megapiers, the first of which can accommodate vessels up to Freedom-class size (160,000 tons) and the second pier can accommodate the Oasis-class (225,000 tons). In addition, the St. Annabay Wharves can accommodate small- and medium-sized vessels.
“We have identified great potential in welcoming larger vessels at the megapiers and focusing on smaller niche vessels inside St. Annabay,” Ayoubi said. “More summer calls can also contribute to the expected growth as we have seen in the last seasons.
“Curacao is a diverse destination in the region with a broad spectrum of unique experiences including guided tours, sandy beaches, duty free shopping, a rich culture, history and gastronomy,” he added.