Monday, December 11, 2017
Queen Emma Bridge

Many ports of the world that attract cruise traffic are well known for certain iconic aspects that they possess.

It may be Sydney’s Opera House or New York’s Statute of Liberty and Manhattan’s skyline. Capetown’s Table Mountain and Rio de Janeiro’s imposing Statue of Christ the Redeemer as well as Sugar Loaf Mountain also qualify to be on the list as they definitely help define the ports where they are adjudged to be as ‘Marquee‘ or ‘must see’ ports. There are, undoubtedly, many more such ports. However, certain other ports might not readily qualify for such a definition, except that is in the eyes of cruise passengers who will recall a distinctive and memorable feature.

One such Southern Caribbean port is Curaçao. Nestled between Aruba and Bonaire, Curaçao offers much of what people have come to expect from a Dutch Caribbean island – the perfect weather, gorgeous beaches, sparkling crystalclear waters, and so on. But Curaçao is also different from its neighbouring islands. It’s the biggest of the three, being twice the length of Aruba, which means even more of those beautiful white-sand beaches. Curaçao has maintained the closest ties to the Netherlands in a cultural sense.

However, in my opinion, one of Curaçao’s most distinguishing features that sets it apart, is its capital city, Willemstad. This incredibly well-preserved city has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a rarity in the Caribbean. It’s made up of four quarters, including Punda and Otrobanda, which are separated by an inlet called Sint Anna Bay that, in turn, leads into a large natural harbour called the Schottegat. The downtown area features an array of colonial architecture dating back as far as the late 1600s and early 1700s that is heavily influenced by Dutch styles. After a visit three years ago, I won’t soon forget the stunning palette of bright colours displayed in the above photograph. Bridges also feature on the list of highly memorable attributes within Curaçao, specifically the Queen Emma Bridge, built in 1888 and named after the Dutch Queen Emma (1890– 1898). This bridge connects the Punda and Otrobanda districts.

It consists of 16 floating pontoon boats and, accordingly, is known as the “Pontoon Bridge” as well as the “Swinging Old Lady.” It swings open using two powerful ship motors, allowing ships to access the port. From 1901 to 1934, people had to pay a toll to cross the bridge — with the exception of pedestrians going barefoot. When the bridge is open to let ships from the harbour pass, pedestrians are transported free of charge by the ponchi, a small ferry.

The bridge was recently restored to its full glory. All asphalt was taken off and replaced by original wooden boards and the pontoons were repaired or replaced, as the photograph reveals.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - December 2017 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

GMS Expedition

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2

Top 10 Books and DVDs 2017

Maritime Log

  • Falklands War Successor is Broken Up +

    Atlantic Conveyor A ship that was built on the Tyne for the Cunard Steam-Ship Co, of Liverpool, to replace one that was Read More
  • Historic Lifeboat Returns Home +

    Bedford A historic lifeboat has returned home to Tyneside after a number of local businesses joined local government to save her. Read More
  • Anchor Catches Torpedo +

    Skaw Provider When the crew of the Maltese-flag oil/chemical tanker Skaw Provider, 4,300dwt, raised the anchor from 15m off Portland, Dorset, they Read More
  • Side-By-Side Supply Ships Sink +

    The Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper. (DMAIB) A unique conjunction of events and circumstances led to the sinking of two Maersk offshore supply vessels in December, 2016, Read More
  • Historic Voyage Between China and Russia +

    Lian Hua Song The cargo ship Lian Hua Song (pictured) 20,692gt, of the COSCO Shipping Line, China, arrived at St Petersburg, Russia, in Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Bid To Curb Act And Boost Aid To Island +

    Horizon Spirit As Puerto Rico recovers from the series of devastating hurricanes this season, it has been claimed that the Jones Act Read More
  • ‘Best Trading Months’ in History of Long Beach +

    Port Of Long Beach Records were broken in September when the Port of Long Beach, California, moved more containers than in any other September Read More
  • Hudson's Biggest +

    Steam generator The two-day, 170-mile delivery from the Port of Coeymans near Albany, New York of a new 130-foot high steam generator Read More
  • "Friendship of Salem" to Return This Winter +

    Friendship of Salem The Salem Maritime National Historic Site announced agreement on contract changes for the ongoing overhaul of the three-masted, 171-foot Friendship Read More
  • You're Fired! +

    USS John S McCain After a grounding, three collisions and multiple deaths, Vice Adm Joseph Aucoin was relieved of command of the US Navy’s Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • Stranded Cargo Ship to be Refloated and Broken Up +

    Kea Trader The container ship Kea Trader, 24,720gt, which went aground on a reef off New Caledonia on July 12, will have Read More
  • Italian Builders to Construct in Australia +

    Fincantieri The Italian shipbuilder and ship designer Fincantieri is to construct sections for cruise ships and frigates in Australia from next Read More
  • Fifteen LNG Carriers For Siberia Project +

    LNG Ice Breaker (DSME) A South Korean company has received a contract to build 15 ice-breaking LNG carriers for Russia, the president of South Read More
  • Asia/Australasia Container Traffic Slumps +

    Drewry Report Container traffic from Asia to Australasia suffered its first quarterly slump in at least five years, falling by 11 per Read More
  • First Order from Taiwan +

    Austal The fast ferry builder Austal Ships, of Henderson, Western Australia, has won its first commercial vessel contract in Taiwan. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • New Oiler for Canada +

    Asterix Canadian News The Royal Canadian Navy’s long wait for a new replenishment oiler for the fleet is nearly at an Read More
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth Arrives at Home Port +

    HMS Queen Elizabeth British News An event following the 2010 Defence Review many thought would never happen occurred on Wednesday 16 August when Read More
  • Work Starts on Three Warships +

    Type 25 British News After an almost unseemly wait, the Royal Navy can breathe again having held its breath waiting for the Read More
  • Los Angeles Class Decommissioning +

    USS Dallas American News The end of May saw a lot of submarine news within the US Navy with the decommissioning of Read More
  • HMS Westminster Returns to Service +

    HMS Westminster British News After two years out of service undergoing a major reconstruction and refit, the Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Nostalgic Scout Trip Remembered +

    South Shields Scouts A morale boosting and nostalgic story from not long after WW2 came to my notice. Read More
  • Morale Boost for CalMac +

    Glen Sannox The major new units of CalMac’s West of Scotland fleet taking shape at Port Glasgow are to bear the much Read More
  • Summer Scenes - Naples +

    GNV Cristal So when arriving at Naples, we now meet the ex Olau Hollandia ex Pride of Le Havre ex SNAV Sardegna, Read More
  • Summer Scenes - Barcelona +

    Abel Matutes As we head through Autumn – or ‘the Fall’ as our North American readers would put it – and some of the Read More
  • Excursion Woes +

    Waverley The excursion business, especially with the preserved classic vessels, has continued to have major disappointments. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • From Rix To Stevie Clarkes +

    “Ronrix” leaving for Hull The name Rix is long associated with Humber ports with origins traced to Hull businessman Captain Robert Rix in the Read More
  • Energy Needs +

    Northern Ocean Charlie McCurdy’s fine image of the Faeroese products tanker Northern Ocean 8,594,’98 passing Greenock, on her way from the fuel Read More
  • Staple Trades - Clay +

    Moelfre Rose Before leaving the economically confused days of 2017, I thought I would remind ourselves of some of the staple trades Read More
  • Colne Racing +

    Edme The 46th Colne Smack and Barge Match was sailed from Brightlingsea on September 2 in a very light southerly breeze Read More
  • West Coast Restorations +

    CA Thayer From the day they are launched, every ship has a life expectancy. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • TMG Delivers Influential Panama Canal Study +

    MSC Antalya A global maritime consultancy has carried out a pivotal assessment review of tugboat operations in the new third set of Read More
  • The Majestic River Rhine +

    MS Charles Dickens In September of this year, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful Riviera Travel river cruise on the majestic River Read More
  • Video Campaign for New Seafarers +

    To Sea or Not to Sea In an aim to plug the shortfall in numbers of British seafarers, the UK Chamber of Shipping and the Merchant Read More
  • Solent Marine Safety Academy +

    Firefighters Any initiative that helps improve safety at sea and the betterment of the skills set of seafarers in reacting to Read More
  • Forth Bridges - The New Queensferry Crossing +

    Forth Bridges At the end of August 2017, the new Queensferry Crossing opened to traffic. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Curaçao’s Colours and Bridges +

    Queen Emma Bridge Many ports of the world that attract cruise traffic are well known for certain iconic aspects that they possess. Read More
  • Shaw Savill and Albion’s New Build ‘Game Changer’ +

    Southern Cross Shaw Savill and Albion’s new build in 1955, the Southern Cross, was a remarkable vessel for a number of reasons. Read More
  • Britain's Boat Builders are Buoyant +

    British Sunseeker 95 Yacht Brand new industry reports, prepared by British Marine, show that Britain’s boat builders are buoyant and riding the crest of Read More
  • Project Echo +

    Project Echo Having recently delivered the 46m composite catamaran yacht support vessel, Charley, to the owners of the superyacht White Rabbit Golf, Read More
  • Two Unique Ships Meet In Douglas Bay +

    Sega Sapphire and Talitha When Hapag-Lloyd’s new build, the Europa (3), was delivered to the company in 1981, the vessel very quickly was awarded Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

John Readhead & Sons

The Role of the Yard Pilot

Anyone who has attended a ship launch will forever remember the thrill of the occasion as the vessel begins its Read More
Duke of Lancaster

TSS Duke of Lancaster

A Typical Summer Sailing From Heysham Harbour – 50 Years Ago Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

Low Walker

The Mysterious Ways

When I started work at Low Walker, a Newcastle on Tyne engineering company which was located right next to the Read More
Imo

The Halifax Explosion

On 29th December, 1950, Cairnesk put into Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the first call of the ‘winter schedule’. Read More
  • 1
  • 2