The Perfect Port: Spending the Day in Aruba

Everyone has a favorite port when they cruise. Maybe it’s one with a great beach to visit, or a port with lots of world class shopping and dining. Some ports have awesome shore excursions just a short ride from the dock, others have fun local culture and customs to enjoy. No matter what your favorite thing about getting off the ship, there’s an island in the Caribbean that has it all. 

Aruba, the Caribbean’s happiest island, has a port with something for everyone. Port of Aruba, located in downtown Oranjestad, is one of the most unique ports in the Caribbean and should be a stop on your next cruise vacation. Enjoy gorgeous views, luxury shopping and some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever eat when you cruise to Aruba and spend the day in Oranjestad. 

Eagle Beach: The Best in Aruba

When you step off the ship in downtown Oranjestad, it just feels like vacation. Swaying palm trees, colorful buildings and bright sunshine greet visitors, welcoming them to Aruba and the Caribbean’s happiest island. A delightful mix of Dutch and Caribbean cultures, Aruba is a melting pot of people and experiences. 

Family Vacations Aruba

Aruba has family-friendly beaches | Photo:

The first choice cruisers have when they get off the ship in port is what to do. Those who want to stick their toes in the sand with a cold drink should head North from port where Eagle Beach is waiting. Just a ten minute ride from port, Eagle Beach is the quintessential Caribbean paradise. The sand is whiter than the driven snow and it consistently ranks among the best beaches in the Caribbean year after year. A wide stretch of soft, white sand gives way to the warm, bright blue waters and makes for the ultimate relaxation day. Don’t forget to grab a picture with one of Aruba’s famous fofoti trees, Eagle Beach has two of the most famous on the island! 

Aruba has the Caribbean’s Best Shopping

If you’ve had enough sun lounging on the lido deck, checking out some of Aruba’s premier shopping is a great way to spend the day. A laundry list of major retailers and island boutiques are located close to Port of Aruba so you’ll find something for everyone. Renaissance Mall and Marketplace is one of the most popular spots for retail therapy. If you’re looking for high-end brands, the Mall is the place to be.


Renaissance Mall is just steps from port | Photo: Renaissance Mall/Facebook

Retailers include: 

  • Louis Vuitton
  • Prada
  • Gucci
  • Dolce & Gabbana 
  • Michael Kors
  • Tag Heuer 
  • Chopard
  • Rolex
  • Kate Spade

The Marketplace, just down the street from the Mall, is where hungry shoppers should go next. It has 17 places to eat and drink, some familiar, others unique to the island of Aruba. Grab a pizza pie with the whole family at Casa Tua Pizzeria or enjoy a romantic evening for two at Aged. wine bar. Looking for fresh seafood? SeaSalt Grill in the marketplace has all the best fish and crustaceans fresh from the ocean and prepared in authentic Caribbean style. 

Dive Sunken Shipwrecks

Those looking to get active during their cruise vacation stop in Aruba should grab a snorkel and a mask and check out one of the many sunken shipwrecks found in Aruba’s warm, shallow waters. The shallow water and many reefs which surround the island proved hazardous for ships in the past, but fantastic for those who want to explore beneath the waves. 


There’s plenty to explore beneath the waves in Aruba

The reefs are teeming with life and ships like the MS Antilla can be explored by divers inside and out. There are a number of dive tours you can schedule through your cruise line or with a private company. Many of the wrecks have spent decades under the waves and have evolved into miniature aquariums for sea sponges, fish, crabs and coral. 

Whether you’re staying in Aruba for a week or just spending an afternoon off your cruise ship in port, this happy island has everything you need to enjoy your time. From fabulous shopping and dining to the world’s best snorkeling and diving, Aruba is truly a vacation for the whole family. If you haven’t booked your Aruba vacation yet, it’s time to change that!