Starting from July 2014, Arke will fly with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.
Arke is the first Dutch airline company that will fly with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Curacao according to a news release from the airline company. The airline will equip itself with three Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which will fly to Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire. Amigoe reports that the new planes will replace the current Boeing 767-300 that still flies to the ABC-islands.
Arke Dreamliner to Curacao
Improved Comfort for the Passengers
“With this new acquisition, people will fly with improved comfort,” said Arke for the Versgeperst. “The higher cabin pressure means the body will be able to absorb more oxygen during the flight. This leaves the traveler less bothered by fatigue, headache, and keeps him in great form when arriving at his destination. The windows of the Dreamliner are larger. Together with more light, the traveler will also experience that the Dreamliner is more durable, more spacious and faster. “
An Increase in Number of Flights and Seats to the Islands
The number of seats available to tourists to the Caribbean Islands will also find itself to be increased. Arkefly operates four flights a week to Aruba, three flights a week to Bonaire and seven flights a week to Curaçao. Some of these routes, detailed by Airline Route combine a visit to two islands.
ArkeFly Becomes Arke Airline Company
Arkefly has shortened its name to just Arke after its owner. As part of this rebranding, the fleet is also getting the new red, white and blue characteristic of its partner airline TUIfly color scheme. All of the aircraft will be updated with this new look by the end of 2014.
Cunard’s new ship, Queen Elizabeth left New York City on Jan. 13. She headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and from there to Curacao, a small island in the Caribbean, where she arrived on Jan. 19. The trip of 1,945 miles was commonly made in the 17th century; both Manhattan and Curaçao were once governed by the Dutch West India Company.
In 1624, the Dutch settled on Governors Island in New York Harbor, moving to Manhattan in 1625. In 1626, Peter Minuit made his famous real estate purchase buying Manhattan from the native Leni Lenape Indians for around $24. Eight years later, in 1634, the Dutch arrived in Curacao, previously occupied by the Spanish, and kicked them out. With some interludes, Curacao has been governed by the Netherlands or affiliated with it ever since.
In Curacao, the Dutch legacy is obvious even more than it is in New York City. Both sides of St. Anna Bay, the deep harbor that bisects Curacao’s capital, Willemstad, are lined with brightly painted buildings in the Dutch colonial style. Many of them date from the early 18th century. In fact, Willemstad is one of six UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization) World Heritage sites in the Caribbean, with 765 buildings that have been declared “national monuments.”
But though New York City has buried and overwritten much of its Dutch past, Willemstad’s history still exists in ways that this Caribbean town makes evident. Both cities were founded for commercial reasons and owe their existence to their deep, natural harbors. The Dutch were interested in trade, not in ideology either political or religious. Both New York City and Curacao are cosmopolitan and multiethnic, and were from the beginning. Shortly after the Dutch erected Fort Amsterdam at the foot of the old Indian trail that New Yorkers now call Broadway, 18 languages were spoken in their little colony. Similarly, Willemstad, which now has a population of 135,000, is home to people of 55 nationalities.
At one time, one man governed both Curaçao and Nieuw Amsterdam and the land stretching north along the Hudson River and south of it, which the Dutch called Nieuw-Nederland (New Netherland). Peter Stuyvesant, born at Scherpenzeel, Friesland, in 1610, arrived in Curaçao in 1638 as the Dutch West India Company’s chief commercial officer. In 1643, he was appointed Curaçao’s governor. His bosses back in the Netherlands instructed him to evict the Spanish from St. Martin, which he attempted to do in 1644. He was unsuccessful and lost his right leg in the battle. He went back to the Netherlands to recuperate and married a woman named Judith Bayard while he was there (hence the name Bayard Street in Chinatown). On Dec. 25, 1646, they sailed for America, landing in Nieuw Amsterdam on May 11, 1647. Stuyvesant was now director general of the New Netherland colony, where he had a lot on his hands: skirmishes with the Indians and the English and an obstreperous population in the colony. Stuyvesant, the son of a Calvinist minister, did not approve of his constituents’ boisterous way of life. He was an effective governor in many ways, but definitely not popular.
One of the things he had in mind was to encourage trade between Curaçao and New Netherland. The northern colony could provide food for the arid Caribbean island in exchange for horses, salt and slaves. Between 1640 and 1795, the Dutch sold an estimated 90,000 Africans as slaves in Curaçao. Peter Stuyvesant himself had a slave camp in Curaçao. At Kura Hulanda in the Otrobonda neighborhood of Willemstad is a museum recording that ignominious history.
Stuyvesant’s trade plan didn’t work. Both Curaçao and the merchants of New Netherland found it more profitable to trade with their neighbors “sometimes illicitly” than to haul goods back and forth for thousands of miles each way. Nevertheless, the African Burial Ground near Foley Square in Lower Manhattan is a testament to the slave labor that helped build New York City.
Stuyvesant himself prospered in Nieuw Amsterdam. He bought a 300-acre farm north of the city wall and also had a townhouse with gardens near what is now Whitehall St. His two sons were both born in Nieuw Amsterdam.
However, in September 1664, four English warships arrived in Nieuw Amsterdam Harbor. The English king, Charles II, wanted to give the colony to his brother, James, the Duke of York. Stuyvesant wanted to fight. The colonists didn’t. On Sept. 7, 1664, Stuyvesant conceded to the English and the city became New York.
Stuyvesant and his family went back to the Netherlands, but they returned to America in 1668. The former director general retired to his farm and died there in February 1672. He was buried in what is now St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery.
[Source New York City and Curaçao: The Dutch connection The Villager]
On the 22nd of January the 75.5m superyacht Ocean Victory, was seen in Willemstad, Curacao.
Motor Yacht Ocean Victory
Ocean Victory is a 75.75m (248.52ft) motor yacht, custom built in 2009 by Feadship in Makkum (Netherlands). This luxury vessel’s sophisticated exterior design and engineering are the work of De Voogt. The yacht’s interior has been designed by Alberto Pinto and has exterior styling by De Voogt . She was last refitted in 2009.
Ocean Victory has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure with a beam of 13.60m (44.62ft) and a 4.10m (13.45ft) draft. Ocean Victory is built to comply to MCA and LR standards.
Performance + Capabilities
Ocean Victory is capable of 16.50 knots flat out, with a cruising speed of 15.00 knots from her 190,000-litre fuel tanks.
Ocean Victory Accommodation
Ocean Victory offers accommodation for up to 12 guests. She is also capable of carrying up to 21 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience.
LOA : 47.50m ( 155’84”ft )
Beam :Â 8.90m ( 29’2”ft )
Draft :Â Â 2.50m ( 8’2”ft )
Built : 2004/5
Shipyard/Builder : International Shipyard Ancona â€“ ISA
Type : Motor Yacht
Displacement Full Load: 464 T
Classification: Lloyds MCA compliance â€“ RINA
Naval Architect: ISA
Exterior Designer: Christian Gato
Interior : Walter Franchini
Hull Material : Steel
Superstructure : Aluminium
Engines : 2 x 1740kW MTU 12V 4000M70
Generators : 2 x 125 kW Kohler EFOZ
Emergency Generator : 1 x 55 kW Kohler
Bow/Sternthrusters : Yes
Stabilization : n/a
Fuel capacity : 68.000 litres
Fresh-water capacity : 15.000 liters
Air Condition : Entire Yacht with Individual Cabins Controls
Top Speed : 17 Knots
Cruise Speed : about 12.5 Knots
Range : 4000 ( cruise speed ) Nm
Guests : 12
Cabins : 6 ( Master + 3 double + 2 twins )
Crew :Â Â 10 ( sleep in separate crew quarters )
Jacuzzi on deck
1 x 18′ Nouvarania 5.4 with 190 HP engine
1 x 15′ Castoldi with 85 HP engine
3 seater jet ski – Yamaha XA1200A-C
1 stand up jet ski – Yamaha SJ700B
5 scuba pro
(Source: SuperYachtTimes – Superyacht Ocean Victory in Curacao)
Not many countries in the world exist where you can listen to the former leader of the land play jazz in a bar or dance next to a minister of government.
Curacao, though, is one of those places where status doesnâ€™t seem to matter so much. People here have an easiness about them, even though the island has endured some hard history, including being the focal point of the Dutch slave trade. On a Friday night, the nightclub Asia de Cuba is jammed with people in their 30s, 40s and up who salsa through the night listening to jazzy Latin beats and favorites in Papiamento, the native language of Curacao. The dancers come in all colors and from all walks of life, including leadership, and some dress in elegant outfits perfectly suited for the sinewy movements of the sexy Spanish dance, others wear denim and short sleeves. Some were born on the island, several are immigrants from the Netherlands whoâ€™ve left the cold for the warmth of the Caribbean. They change partners from song to song, no coyness involved.
Around midnight, the Viagara set gives way to the young crowd that keeps the dance going until four in the morning or later.
Curacao Island: A New Country
The party atmosphere is more palpable these days because Curacao has a big cause to celebrate. On Oct. 10, it seceded from the Netherlands Antilles, a group of five Dutch islands that had included St. Eustatius, Saba, Bonaire and St. Maarten. Curacao will remain part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but it will no longer have to share its tax dollars with the other islands, a significant change because it has 140,000 people, by far the largest population among the former Antilles.
â€œFor any country, or any island, it is important to decide on their own issues. We will be getting more autonomous, we will be standing on our own feet. And itâ€™s of course a first step to becoming truly independent,â€ says Stanley Betrian, the former lieutenant-governor who was the head politician on the island and now plays jazz most Thursday nights at Blues, a bar on the property of the splendid Avila Hotel. â€œNow all taxes weâ€™re going to collect in Curacao will stay in Curacao.â€
The island will likely use much of those dollars to attract more business and tourists. When the Spanish found it, they discarded Curacao as a useless island that lacked gold. These days, Curacao does have a lucrative commodity: 444 square kilometres of Caribbean real estate that the government, corporations and people have developed into a growing tourism industry.
Betrian points out that Curacao isnâ€™t much smaller than Singapore, but its population is paltry compared to that Asian nationâ€™s nearly 5 million residents. Many of Curacaoâ€™s citizens work in Willemstad, the capital whose historic district has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While that designation is hardly rare, it is important for a city because it prevents gawdy towers from dominating the skyline and over-commercialization of historic streets and buildings. There is still a preminent business center in Willemstad, a vibrant neighborhood home to the top IT outsourcing providers for managed services in the Caribbean.
Willemstad is home to the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the western hemisphere. Temple Mikve Israel-Emanuel is in Punda, or the Point, area of the capital and has served the Jewish community for 359 years. The city has a 122-year-old swinging bridge that connects Punda with Otrobanda, whose name is a pretty Spanish word that simply means â€œthe other sideâ€. A new mega-pier in Otrobanda has been built to accommodate the huge cruise ships that begin visiting the Caribbean in big numbers each October.
Curacao isnâ€™t like Aruba, which has a massive tourism industry with 1.4 million visitors a year and could easily be mistaken for a stretch of Miami with its abundance of Americans and the brand name shops and franchise restaurants familiar to them. Curacao is much more European and the Dutch are its predominant visitors.
Hollandâ€™s queen and her family often stay at the Avila, a beautiful hotel whose oldest building dates to the 18th century and was once a hospital. It has casual and fine dining restaurants, a well-equipped gym, two swimming coves with wonderful warm water and snorkelling opportunities. An appeal of the Avila and other lodgings is the fact locals arenâ€™t kept out. You can sit at one of the hotelâ€™s bars and find yourself next to a teacher from Willemstad on one side and a visitor from Amsterdam on the other.
Itâ€™s more and more likely youâ€™ll also find a North American. Tourism from our continent is up 40 per cent from 2009, when Curacao saw 42,436 North Americans among its 366,703 total visitors during a recession-plagued year. The latest Caribbean Tourism Report confirms this trend.
Although Curacao has a low unemployment rate and high standard of living compared to some other Caribbean islands, there are crime issues and most residents will advise you to take taxis at night. One spot to visit is Moon, an open-air restaurant a few blocks from the Avila thatâ€™s set on a white terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It also has an infinity pool with comfortable lounge chairs and booths. The excellent food includes a standout serving of red snapper with spinach gnocchi and beets. Thanks to a favorable exchange rate for Canadians, a three-course meal goes for less than $25 and cocktails splashed with Blue Curacao, the liqueur (of course) are also reasonably priced.
The approximately 35 beaches in Curacao arenâ€™t long stretches filled with volleyball players and sunbathers. Theyâ€™re intimate spots with little or no signs of commerce. The most secluded of them are on the west side of the island, about an hourâ€™s drive from Willemstad. From any of those beaches, it is also very easy to find yourself scuba diving in Curacao.
To find the big crowds, youâ€™ll have to go where the music plays. Thereâ€™s an annual jazz festival as well as an upcoming carnival celebration that begins Feb. 12. A lot of places will claim their people just want to have a good time. In Curacao, itâ€™s easy to believe.
â€œI love music. Iâ€™ve been playing for 35 years and I canâ€™t live without it. Even when I had a very important job, I had to play once a week,â€ says Betrian. â€œWe live very free here.â€
(Source: The Toronto Star – Freedom Found in Curacao)
No wonder the island’s famous liqueur is so luminous.
Blue Curacao Liqueur
Curacao liqueur, known around the world for coloring tropical drinks a vibrant blue, is far from the only colorful sight on this kaleidoscopic island that can make visitors feel like they are walking, or sometimes even floating, inside a resplendent painting. From mesmerizingly decorative buildings to lush coral reefs beneath sparkling turquoise waters, this Dutch Caribbean island has more than enough attractions on land and under the sea to keep visitors restfully busy for a week. Blue Curacao has even become a fashion icon.
Hundreds of buildings are marked as monuments to the island’s cultural history, including the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Western hemisphere and a church with a cannonball stuck in the wall. There’s also a floating market of boats that come from Venezuela about 35 miles away and a hotel built into a waterfront fortress – its ramparts now house a swimming pool, restaurant and bar. Excellent snorkeling and scuba diving are strong draws to a place that provides a mix of the outdoors and festivities after dark. The island offers something in between the attractions of its neighbors: all-nature-all-the-time Bonaire and the more beach-and-party-oriented Aruba.
Curacao became an independent country within the kingdom of the Netherlands in October but its ties to the Netherlands date to 1634, when a Dutch trading settlement was established here. Fortresses built along the water now house shops and restaurants. Historic buildings earned the island’s capital, Willemstad, designation as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1997. When UNESCO decided to put Willemstad on a list of the world’s most culturally important cities, the group cited several distinct historic districts reflecting styles from the Netherlands, Spanish and Portuguese colonial towns that traded with the island, which developed into a highly diverse community over three centuries.
World Top Tourist Destination
Despite its inclusion on a list with some of the world’s top tourist destinations, Willemstad can have the feel of a place that hasn’t been fully discovered yet by many travelers. During a walking tour earlier this year of the downtown area, only one tourist showed up, a visitor from the United States. Gerda Gehlen, division head of the island’s Monument Bureau, normally gives the tour in Dutch but graciously accommodated the guest by shifting to English. While cruise ships stop for a day, recent advertisements in scuba diving magazines highlight the island’s “conspicuous lack of crowds.”
“There’s no better place to get away than a place nobody’s ever heard of,” the ad says beneath a photo of a diver next to a large school of fish.
Colours of Curacao
Most of the buildings display a unique mingling of classic Dutch design with Caribbean influences. Steep gabled roofs with flowing contours cap structures popping with pastel colors. Stucco walls used to cover up the rough building materials like coral stone are festooned with many brightly painted shutters. Decorative verandahs and porches round out a captivating Caribbean flair.
Downtown Willemstad is a walking tourist’s dream, because the island’s main historic districts are an easy stroll along a natural harbor.
Willemstad, Capital of Curacao
The capital has two parts separated by Santa Anna Bay. Punda, the oldest, includes Fort Amsterdam, which was built soon after the Dutch took the island from the Spanish. A separate fortress nearby stretches more than 1,000 feet along the sea, containing a variety of restaurants overlooking the water. A long line of shops and restaurants also fill buildings along the bay, anchored by the bright yellow Penha building – an often photographed landmark decorated with bright green shutters, soaring gables and white trim. Many of the island’s oldest buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries are found along narrow alleys in Punda.
Curacao Synagogue, Floating Bridge and Other Attractions
The Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, which was built in 1732, is a short walk away, a sunny yellow building with brown shutters and flowing white trim around soaring gables built in the first half of the 18th century. Inside, the floor is covered in sand, and the furniture is made of mahogany. The synagogue also has a museum with a variety of ceremonial objects.
A pontoon bridge that regularly opens for passing ships connects Punda with Otrabanda, an area developed in the 18th century on the other side of the bay that contains another waterside fortress with more shops and restaurants and a nearby casino.
Another spectacularly colorful area is a short walk from the city center. The Scharloo section features ornately decorated mansions built by Jewish merchants in the 19th century.
Taxi rides away from downtown reveal surprisingly more eye-catching buildings off the beaten path that largely go unmentioned in tour guides. Although many have yet to be restored like more prominent buildings downtown, they still can turn the head of a tourist riding by on the way to a restaurant. Options for renting cars at a cheap price are also easily found all over the island.
Walks around the city are only the beginning of Curacao’s bright-hued offerings. Beneath the surface, the island’s coral reefs offer world-class diving just off shore. Underwater visibility can be more than 100 feet, and the water temperature can exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Diving in Curacao
The island’s underwater scenes teem with reef creatures large and small. A hawksbill sea turtle and octopus can be seen cruising over reefs covered with vase sponges, brain coral, sea anemones and the multicolored swirling spirals of Christmas tree worms. Small critters like the red and white banded coral shrimp hide in small openings in the reef. Another popular dive site close to shore includes a coral-encrusted tugboat.
Dive shops take divers by boat to unique reefscapes. One of the most well-known dive sites offshore is called the Mushroom Forest, for its huge mounds of mountainous star coral shaped like mushrooms jumbled on top of each other.
All Inclusive Resorts and Casinos
Once back on land, dining options abound from the multicultural cuisine that has developed from the island’s diverse population of European and African ancestry as well as proximity to South America. While there’s no shortage of serenity, a thumping nightlife also can be found by those who seek it out. There are several casinos on the island, and Mambo beach turns into a party after dark on weekends – even on Sunday night and into Monday morning. If you are visiting for longer than the time of a cruise stop, there are many choices of all-inclusive resorts with very interesting promotional packages. Sleeping seaside pelicans just within earshot of the music appear accustomed to the celebrations.
(Source: CBS News Travel – Curacao Offers Colorful Backdrop on Land and Sea)