Guide to the Leeward Antilles

The beginning of 2018 is here and with Pullmantur’s fabulous range of cruises available, there is no reason why you should have to endure the dreaded January blues. Throughout January, February and March, Pullmantur’s Monarch will operate a series of seven-night Antilles and South Caribbean itineraries, which will take passengers to a cluster of Caribbean islands located just north of Venezuela. This area is home to the Lesser Antilles which, in turn, is home to another Caribbean subgroup known as the Leeward Islands, where passengers can enjoy a taste of Dutch influence. This week, we take a look at three of the gorgeous islands you can visit within this particular region.

Kralendijk | Bonaire


Translated from Dutch, Kralendijk means coral reef and you will soon be able to see why if you decide to dip your toe in the island’s surrounding waters. An abundance of colours are depicted through a vibrant collection of marina flora and fauna – making for spectacular diving and snorkelling opportunities. With the beautiful powder-white sands that sit next to the sea, however, you may find it difficult to interrupt your natural tanning session.

Although it may be difficult to resist the allure of the stunning coastline, it is worth taking a moment to explore the city streets of Kralendijk. Brightly-coloured buildings that are synonymous with those you might see in the Netherlands reflect the Dutch heritage of the island. You will also find plenty of shops selling local crafts and goods.

Oranjestad | Aruba


The Aruban capital of Oranjestad is named after “Huis van Oranje” or “Orange House”, which is reflective of the historical Dutch influence on the island. If you are interested to find out more about the history of the island, head to Fort Zoutman, which was built in the late 18th century to protect the island from pirates. There is also a Historical Museum outlining the cultural influences present across the island.

One of the main appeals of Oranjestad is the climate, with an average year-round temperature of 28 degrees, so you are guaranteed warm and clear weather regardless of when you decide to visit. So it would be almost rude not to spend the whole day relaxing on or around the beach area. The beaches are spectacular while the surrounding waters are ideal for sports including snorkelling and parasailing.

Willemstad | Curacao


Strikingly colourful Dutch-influenced houses greet visitors upon arrival into the beautiful Curacao capital of Willemstad. You will find an abundance of these historical buildings throughout the city, with many of them dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. In fact, the inner city and harbour areas are so culturally and historically significant that they have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Today, the houses offer a fine collection of shops selling locally-made crafts and galleries depicting the local flair.

If beach relaxation is your thing, you will need to head just outside of the city streets of Willemstad towards the southern and south-eastern coasts. They are just a short drive away from the island’s capital, so you won’t have to worry about drifting too far away from the cruise terminal.

All of this can be fully appreciated on board an all-inclusive Pullmantur cruise, which enables you to visit a range of beautiful destinations in a short period of time while enjoying unlimited drinks and all meals, on board entertainment and much more at no extra cost.

To book one of these fabulous Caribbean sailings for yourself or to find out more about the full range of cruises available throughout the year with Pullmantur, why not get in touch?

Call us via the freephone number above for more information or complete the online enquiry form and let us get back to you.