Oranjestad is a port city on Aruba Island - an island country, one Holland's overseas territories. The city is also the country's largest town and capital, with population around 35,000. Aruba is the smallest (total area 179 km2 / 69 ml2) of the ABC Duch islands in the Leeward Antilles group (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao). The other "Dutch Antilles" islands are in the Lesser Antilles - Sint Maarten (the southern part of Saint Martin island), Saba Island and the Sint Eustatius Island.
Shortly after 1796, when Fort Zoutman was built, Oranjestad was established around it. Initially, the town had no official name and was known as the "Bay of Horses town" being a place from breeding and raising horses for the neighboring Curacao. The city was named in the 1820s after the first king of Netherlands - William I (1772-1843, also Prince of Orange and Grand Duke of Luxembourg).
Modern amenities in the city are an outdoor shopping mall (at Royal Plaza), as well as dining and drinking venues scattered along Main Street and Main Square. Fort Zoutman is a major tourist attraction, along with the Willem III Tower (near the fort) and the tax-free harbour zone. On the Aruba Island there are a total of 8 museums.
Renaissance Island is a man-made island located off the coast close to Oranjestad. It has a total area of 16 hectares (40 acres) and is privately owned, with Aruba's two private beaches - Flamingo Beach and Iguana Beach. The private island also has two shipwrecks - Beechcraft 18, and Convair 400, both deliberately sunk in order to create a diving site. Flamingoes can be also seen on the Renaissance Island .
In early July 2018 was announced that Curacao and Aruba islands (Willemstad-Oranjestad) will be connected with regularly scheduled fast ferry service by the end of 2018. The ferry will have capacity around 800 passengers and 300 cars. The operator is yet to be announced (following bidding). The fast ferry company will have to invest in port facilities. The ferry service will boost Dutch Antiles tourism industry.
Oranjestad cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Aruba Island dock (anchor) at Oranjestad - port city on the island's western coast.
The cruise terminal facility has capacity to handle up to 5 vessels at a time. The city's dowtown with Aruba's most popular shopping and dining establishments are located very close to the cruise port - approx 1 km / 0,6 ml from the docking pier.
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