Oranjestad

Old coloured houses
Amazing caves
The most beautiful beach of the Caribbean

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Oranjestad

Sport and relaxation in the city

In Dutch, Oranjestad means “orange city”. The capital of Aruba, which you will visit during your MSC cruise to the Caribbean, was founded in 1796 around Fort Zoutman, a military outpost and the first structure to be built on the island. Today, with its tax free port, it serves as a base for exploring Aruba. After visiting the Fort and Willem III Tower, dating to 1866, you should explore Aruba, which is great for seekers of relaxation, but also for those leading an athletic life; those fascinated by nature, which has remained in a semi-wild state; and even for those looking for a high adrenaline adventure.

Visit the natural rock bridges and extremely calm waters lapping beaches such as the Baby Beach. Or, take an excursion to the caves in Arikok National Park: the Guadirikiri Cave with sunlight penetrating through openings in the ceiling; the Fontein Cave, which still contains cave drawings by the Arawak peoples on its walls; or the long Huliba Cave, also known as the Tunnel of Love for its heart-shaped entrance.  

Sport-lovers will have a lot to choose from: golf, mountain biking, off-roading and even land sailing in a “glider on wheels”, a rather odd choice considering all that the island’s sea has to offer both above and below its surface. You will also be able to go deep-sea fishing, snorkeling and exploring underwater the many sea relics in the area: in addition to the cargo of SS Antilla, you can see airplanes such as the Aruba Airlines YS-11, which crashed close to Renaissance Island, a long and narrow island close to Oranjestad.

Or, you can just relax in the sun on one of the many beaches that surround the island: if you trust the words of USA Today and want to see the most beautiful beach of the Caribbean, head for Eagle Beach, on the north-western tip of the island. If you want to combine snorkeling and sunbathing, go to Mangel Halto Beach, on the southeastern coast, just south of the Spanish Lagoon.

Must see places in Oranjestad

Discover our excursions

11 results found

Limited number of guides in languages different from English. Should your language be not available the tour will be performed in English.
  • SAILING AND SNORKELING

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    ARU11

    This snorkelling tour gives you the chance to marvel at the beauty of Aruba’s coastline and marine life. The perfect combination of wind, sun and sailing makes this a fun and relaxing trip at the same time. After some smooth sailing, the first stop will be Boca Cathalina for some great reef snorkeling. As the depth will be around 15 feet, it is the perfect place to refresh or learn snorkeling skills. The second stop will be at the famous “Antilla’’ shipwreck. A remnant of World War II, the "Antilla’’ was scuttled by its own captain, to prevent it from being captured by the Dutch Marines. It’s lying on its side in 60 feet of water. Voted as one of the world’s top 10 dive and snorkel sites and being the largest ship in the Caribbean, it’s an experience you won’t forget. After the second stop follows a relaxing sail back to the cruise ship with unlimited rum punch, juice and soda combined with recorder music. Please Note: Guests need to fill out liability waiver prior to activity. Snorkel sites may vary due to surface and weather conditions.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      3:30 h

    • Adults$52.00Price per person

    • Children$52.00Price per person

  • BEST OF ARUBA

    CITY TOUR

    ARU15

    Begin your tour driving trough the colourful capital “Oranjestad”, and up to the California Lighthouse, where your driver guide will explain everything about the first habitants on Aruba. Next stop will be the Alto Vista Chapel where it’s said that the local Indians were converted to Christians. Head to the north coast and see the collapsed Natural and the Baby Natural Bridge. Your final stop will be the Aloe Factory to view the harvest and the production of Aruba’s Aloe vera plant. On your return to the ship you will have the option to be dropped off in town (5 min walking distance to the cruise ship terminal) for shopping or just return to the ship. Please Note: Sun protection and extra cash are suggested for souvenirs.
      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4:30 h

      • Adults$52.00Price per person

      • Children$49.00Price per person

    • ATLANTIS SUBMARINE TOUR

      NATURAL WONDERS

      ARU16

      Your adventure begins with a short transfer to the submarine onboard our shuttle vessel SubSeeker. Board the submarine just off the South East coast of Aruba for a thrilling dive to either the mysteriously sunken airplane, or the newly sunken coaster, “The Morgenster”. You will also have the opportunity to get an up close view of exotic marine life while diving to depths up to 130 feet. Be amazed by colourful schools of tropical fish, huge sponge gardens, and the mystical beauties of the coral fields. The educational and entertaining narration of the experienced, professional, and licensed crew will highlight this unique experience. All of this is in air-conditioned comfort without getting wet! Please Note: Children less than 36 inches in height are not permitted to take part in this tour. A 12-step ladder must be negotiated when descending into the Submarine.
        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          1:30 h

        • Adults$95.00Price per person

        • Children$89.00Price per person

      • BUTTERFLY FARM & NATURAL WONDERS

        NATURAL WONDERS

        ARU02

        Experience the full beauty of Natural Aruba on a tour that takes you on a journey of discovery. You will first make the scenic trip to Aruba's number one ecological attraction, The Butterfly Farm. The farm is an unforgettable encounter with nature in all its diversity. Step into a tropical garden teeming with butterflies and prepare to meet some of the world’s most colourful and unusual creatures. From the Butterfly Farm you will journey to the Aruba Aloe Balm Facility, where you will take a guided tour and see the production process first hand, from leaf cutting in the fields to finished lotions and creams in the facility. Travelling on, you will pass countless divi divi trees and cacti before arriving at the Natural Bridge on Aruba. This natural wonder has been carved of solid coral by the relentless pounding of the surf. You will then pass the Gold Mill Ruins at Boca Mahos. The excursion ends with the scenic drive to Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. Please Note: Please wear comfortable shoes – sandy surfaces.
        • Drink included

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          3 h

        • Adults$59.00Price per person

        • Children$55.00Price per person

      • SEE & SEA ISLAND TOUR

        SCENIC ROUTE

        ARU04

        Experience the full beauty of Aruba on a tour that takes you around the island and under the sea! After your air-conditioned bus ride to the pier, you will board the transfer boat for a scenic cruise to the Seaworld Explorer. The Seaworld Explorer is a state-of-the-art semi-submarine that was developed in Australia for use on the Great Barrier Reef. The vessel does not submerge; you descend into the hull of the vessel and sit in air-conditioned comfort five feet below the surface of the water. View amazing sea life in this cruising underwater observatory through large, clear glass windows. The Seaworld Explorer takes you to the wreck of the “Antilla”, a 440-foot German freighter destroyed by an explosion that tore the freighter in two halves during World War II. Delight in your incredible surroundings as your skilful captain manoeuvres the semi-submarine through the heart of the Caribbean’s largest shipwreck. Returning to shore, your guide drives you to the California Lighthouse where you can admire the magnificent view of the crashing waves of the windward coast and the tranquil waters of the Leeward shore. From here your bus takes you to the awesome Casibari Rock Formations where you may climb the rock gardens to the top of the highest boulder. You will then visit the Natural Bridge, a bridge of rock formed naturally by the wind and the motion of the sea. Finally, you drive past the Gold Mill Ruins at Boca Mahos and back to Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. Please Note: Guests have to be able to descend with 11 steps into the hull of the Seaworld Explorer. Please wear comfortable shoes.
          • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Easy

          • Duration
            4 h

          • Adults$69.00Price per person

          • Children$59.00Price per person

        • TASTE OF ARUBA

          SCENIC ROUTE

          ARU13

          Meet your guide for the day, board your very comfortable air-conditioned bus and prepare yourself to experience Aruba at its finest. Get a taste of what the island is all about on the background tunes of Aruban Music while driving through charming Oranjestad and watch the Dutch Colonial architecture with its antique buildings and houses, merging with its very modern architecture. Your first stop will be the Aloe Factory for a brief description of the Aloe plantation and a tour through the Aloe museum. Then drive through the country side and discover Aruba’s flora and fauna en route to the Casibari Rock formation, huge diorite boulders found in the center of the island. Then board your bus and drive to the Natural Bridge Ruins and see a different side of the island. Continue your tour through the country side en route to the California Lighthouse, for a short stop to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic top view of the island. Drive in front of Aruba’s most beautiful beaches en route to the cruise terminal. Be welcome to experience Aruba’s greatest assets through our very warm and welcoming people, always ready to share our island and its unique culture and history.
            • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

              Difficulty Level
              Easy

            • Duration
              4 h

            • Adults$49.00Price per person

            • Children$49.00Price per person

          • ARUBA BEACH TOUR

            SEA & SUN

            ARU12

            Board your open bus amidst Caribbean music and colors and prepare to see the sights that has made Aruba so popular…its spectacular white sandy beaches adorned with all shades of blue! It’s turquoise and crystal clear ocean. Your first beach stop will be at the Arashi Beach for swimming and snorkeling time, followed by leisure time at your second beach stop located at the very popular Palm Beach. Relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the ocean breeze. There are facilities available at the Moomba beach such as restaurants, shops and colorful bars which can be visited at the guests own discretion. Beach chairs are included at the second beach stop. The tour will conclude at the cruise terminal. Please Note: Wear a swimsuit if you plan to swim and bring a towel and adequate sun protection. Suggest for guests to bring extra cash in case guests wants to purchase at the restaurant and bar.
            • Drink included

            • Possibility of swimming

            • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

              Difficulty Level
              Easy

            • Duration
              4 h

            • Adults$39.00Price per person

            • Children$35.00Price per person

          • ARUBA TREASURES

            SEA & SUN

            ARU20

            A few of Aruba’s numerous treasures are yours to discover on a varied half-day tour dedicated to delivering only the best. The first destination in this line-up of must-sees is the fascinating Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory, which serves to illustrate the 160-year history of aloe farming in Aruba. Also included on the itinerary are gorgeous views from the top of the huge Casibari Rock Formations in the north of the island as well as a visit to the enchanting Philip’s Animal Garden, home to an array of exotic animals. You’ll have a chance to feed some of the hoofed animals that live in the Animal Garden – but only if you wish. The final two stops on the tour will then be at the lovely Alto Vista Chapel, the site at which Aruba’s Christian traditions are said to have been founded, and the early 20th-century California Lighthouse, which carries the name of an unfortunate ship that was wrecked nearby in the late 19th century. Your return to the ship wraps up your Aruba outing. Please note: feeding of the animals (hoofed livestock only) is optional. As a mark of respect, guests wishing to enter the Roman Catholic chapel are requested to bring/wear appropriate clothing.
              • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

                Difficulty Level
                Moderate

              • Duration
                4 h

              • Adults$42.00Price per person

              • Children$42.00Price per person

            • KUKOO KUNUKU BEACH & ISLAND TOUR

              SEA & SUN

              ARU14

              Hop aboard the famous Kukoo Kunuku Bus and shake your maracas to the beat of Caribbean music on our way to visit the Alto Vista Chapel and the California lighthouse, two of our favorite famous landmarks. You will also stop at Casibari Rock Formation, enjoy views of our unique countryside, colorful cunucu houses and wildlife. After a short one hour sightseeing tour we are off to The White Sand Beach. Here you will have time to laze in the sun, swim in our azure waters, explore our beautiful beaches, have lunch under a palm tree or just sip a pina colada and daydream. Please Note: Wear or bring a swimsuit, beach towel and adequate sun protection. Lounge chairs are included and complimentary ice water by the glass is available on the island tour and at the beach. Umbrellas are available for rent. Other beverages and food are available for purchase at the beach and a souvenir shop is on premise if you have forgotten anything. Shopping Mall within 5 minute walk of the Beach Area.
              • Possibility of swimming

              • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

                Difficulty Level
                Easy

              • Duration
                5 h

              • Adults$39.00Price per person

              • Children$35.00Price per person

            • SIGHTSEEING & SWIM TOUR

              SEA & SUN

              ARU19

              Thanks to this entertaining half-day tour, exploring the beguiling sights of Aruba has never been easier. Your outing kicks off with an enjoyable drive through Oranjestad, the island’s capital, en route to Aruba’s northern shores for an outside viewing of the California Lighthouse. First lit in 1916, the lighthouse was named after the wreck of a steamship that sank nearby in 1891. Your driver/guide will tell you a little about Aruba’s first inhabitants before you move on to one of the island’s most visited locations: the Baby Natural Bridge, the – now sadly collapsed – Natural Bridge and the amazing Casibari Rock Formation. The size of small houses, these huge rock formations make for fabulous photo moments, so do keep your camera at hand. One of Aruba’s pristine beaches is next, where the soft white sand and clear blue of the water make a perfect setting for just under 1 hour of free time to go swimming or simply laze around and catch the sun. To end the tour, you’ll have a chance to return directly to the ship or be dropped off in town to do some shopping, with only a 5-minute walk back to the cruise terminal when you’re done.
              • Possibility of swimming

              • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

                Difficulty Level
                Moderate

              • Duration
                4:30 h

              • Adults$49.00Price per person

              • Children$49.00Price per person

            • TICKET TO PARADISE (DE PALM ISLAND SNORKELING)

              SEA & SUN

              ARU07

              The journey to paradise begins with transfers by bus with historical information about Aruba, followed by a ferry ride across the Spanish Lagoon on the unexplored south part of the island en route to the private reef island, De Palm Island. De Palm Island offers it all, spectacular coral formation, large variety of Tropical Fauna including our friendly Blue Parrot Fish that can be seen while snorkeling in the crystal clear waters dressed by our white sand pocket beaches. Snorkeling, water slide attraction, Banana boat ride, sunbathing, relaxing, lunch and open bar. Enjoy our spectacular new state of the art “Blue Parrot” water park with six breathtaking water slides to get your adrenaline going. Changing rooms and exterior showers are available. A sumptuous Caribbean Lunch buffet and all beverages are included. Please Note: Towel, sun protection and extra cash for souvenirs are recommended.
              • Lunch or dinner included

              • Possibility of swimming

              • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

                Difficulty Level
                Easy

              • Duration
                4:30 h

              • Adults$89.00Price per person

              • Children$79.00Price per person

            The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
            Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

             

            Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

            Aruba

            Warm, soft beaches
            Warm, soft beaches

            One of the first things you’ll notice when you approach Aruba on your cruise are the tall candelabra-shaped cactus plants, the kudushi, which give this Caribbean island a setting that reminds us of the Far West we see in cowboy films.

            Aruba, a long, leaf-shaped island 19 marine miles from the coast of Venezuela, has the most charming beaches in the world: Palm Beach, eight kilometres of white sand, which the Miami Herald has included amongst the ten most beautiful beaches on the planet.

            But a vacation in Aruba also means visiting the Las Vegas of the tropics, the casino of Oranjestad. Windsurf lovers instead head towards the extreme eastern point to Fisherman’s Hut, Manchebo Beach or Boca Grande. A day at the sea can be commented on at Charlie’s Bar in Saint Nicolas, one of the 10 best joints in the Caribbean, its walls lined with plaques and souvenirs.

            Amidst the white dunes of the Arikok National Park, around Yamanota, if you look carefully you will see goats, donkeys and iguanas living in the wild; the cunucu, Aruba’s stretch of desert country, is dotted by the divi divi, the national tree. Between Bushiribana and Balashi instead you can fund poignant abbandoned gold-diggers’ towns, where mines were discovered at the beginning of the 19th century and gold extracted for over a century.