Panama 2008


19 March 2008

General Information

Local Map

Photographs and Commentary
click on pictures to enlarge

We arrived in Oranjestad, Aruba this morning. The scheduled time was 7am, but we arrived some time before that. This is a short stop and the ship is scheduled to depart for Cartegena, Columbia at 1pm (ship time*).

Oranjestad is on the smallest of the three islands known as the ABC Islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. Aruba was part of the Netherland Antilles until 1986 when it was given autonomy.

As we sat down for breakfast, I noticed a four masted schooner docked near us and the rigging looked familiar. After breakfast we headed to a lower deck so we could see the schooner's name and it was the Polynesia, one of the Windjammer Cruise boats. We had sailed on the Polynesia five years ago from St. Lucia to Grenada and back through the Grenadines and St. Vincent. It was one of our best trips because we went to places the big cruise ships can't go. Windjammer has had some financial problems and the boats have been left at their last port of call, unable to pay the port fees and the crews. The Polynesia has been docked here for eight months and it showed the lack of maintenance. It is a ghost ship. This saddened Susie and me because we had such a good time on her.

We had been here a number of years ago and took a tour of the island at the time. This time, we considered Aruba to be a window shopping stop and we walked into town (2 blocks) and then along the main shopping street. After about 90 minutes and no purchases, we headed back to the ship. Once on board Susie headed for the stern to our favorite sun spot and I headed for the gym.

The ship pulled out of the harbor on schedule and we lost sight of the island after about 45 minutes.

*the ship does not always follow local time. Aruba is on Atlantic time and the ship stayed on Eastern time.


March 19th 2008, Aruba, Dutch Antilles
In the early morning Coral Princess made her landfall off the north coast of Aruba and commenced the approach towards the berth. A local Pilot boarded at 05:49 half a mile off the coral reef to assist us in this final stage of navigation. We were fast alongside our berth at 06:41.
Noon Position:                    Alongside - Aruba, Dutch Antilles
Temperature:                        27°C / 81°F
Wind:                                   Easterly Beaufort Force 5
Barometer:                           1015.8 hPa
Weather conditions: Partly Cloudy & Fine

Coral Princess was moored alongside in Aruba for the remaining of the morning, and once all passengers had returned on board the ships moorings were slipped at 13:13 and again assisted by the Pilot we left the harbour.

Leaving Aruba on our wake with a westerly course we reached and doubled the "Penisula de Guajira" located in the north coast of Colombia and set a south-westerly track following the coast line throughout the night.

Panoramic view of Oranjestad as viewed from deck 14 of the Coral Princess

SV Polynesia

Abandoned Sailing Vessel Polynesia viewed from the Coral Princess

Coral Princess from town

The Coral Princess viewed from town with the Polynesia in the foreground. The Coral Princess is 964 ft long and carries a maximum of 2368 passengers and a crew of 930. The Polynesia is 248 ft long and carries 112 passengers and a crew of 45.

reef with Div iDivi

The reef protecting the harbor at Oranjestad with its lone Divi-Divi tree, a symbol of Aruba (See detail at right).

Divi Divi detail

Aruba hotels

Hotels northwest of Oranjestad (using telephoto zoomed to 480mm)

Oranjestad shopping area

The Oranjestad shopping area... bargains galore(?)

departing the harbor

Departing Oranjestad. The churned up sand is an indicator of the how shallow the harbor is.


This pelican decided to come along with us to Cartagena... at least for a few minutes

last look at harbor

Last look at the harbor

pilot boat

The pilot boat coming alongside to pick up the Ornjestad harbor pilot after we cleared the harbor exit

Previous Day Next Day