December 11, 2007 is the symbolic date chosen for the Golden cruise tourism celebration to Aruba. This day will be celebrated in a very special and unique way.

The Golden cruise tourism celebration will be hand in hand with the annual Holiday Gift Project. The Holiday gift Project is being organized in conjunction with Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and their member-lines, the Aruba Government, the Aruba Cruise Tourism, The Aruba Ports Authority, and De Palm Tours, where children will be presented the Christmas magic of a holiday gift. To top this event, the Holiday gift project will be incorporated in the 50 years celebration, welcoming all to celebrate as one unified family, in the spirit that keeps us all together and moving forward.

A bit of history:

Cruise tourism to Aruba started in the early fifties with the visit of the m.s. "Libertador", a combination cargo/passenger ship pertaining to the K.N.S.M. (Royal Netherlands Steamship Company, now the Nedlloyd Line).

In 1957, the first all-passenger ship, the "Tradewind", called Aruba for the first time. It was however the "Santa Rosa" and the "Santa Paula" of the Prudential Grace Line that started the regular Thursday visits to Aruba in 1958.

The first Luxurious hotel, Aruba Caribbean Hotel opened in 1959 (now, completely renovated, it is called Radisson Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino).

From those times on, cruise tourism boomed and brought economic development and commerce opportunities, still vivid today.

In 1990 Aruba reached and surpassed 100,000 cruise passengers. In 1992 the cruise passengers welcomed by the friendly Arubans rose to over 200,000 and in 2002 Aruba reached the milestone by surpassing half a million cruise passengers.

However it is in 2006 that Aruba reached her peak in cruise tourism and welcomed over 590,000 cruise passengers to experience the island enchantments.

Those lovely cruise passengers and valuable cruise crew, together, reached an impressing 800,000 cruise guests during 2006.

By comparing Aruba’s cruise passenger disembarkation data over a ten-year period, being 2006 to 1996; the increase was not only an impressive 87%, but also the economic boost within the Oranjestad port area grew at the same pace.

In 1996 Aruba received 273 cruise calls and in 2006, 314 calls. The end of 2007 the total will be 315 calls and the outlook for 2008, will be 335 calls.

Aruba Number one:
In a recent survey conducted by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), Aruba resulted the Top overall preferred, number one destination of the Caribbean!

According to the Aruba Cruise Tourism surveys kiosks in the cruise terminals, cruise passengers are indicating their maximum satisfaction in products and services available on-island. Many are expressing their desires to return to Aruba, in the very near future.

Yes, Aruba has been developing vastly and positively, for which she is being cherished by the cruise guests visiting, taking home with them memories of cultural heritage, history, commercial boom, advanced technology, nightlife entertainment, culinary delights, and spectacular excursions.

Congratulations to all, who supported Aruba and were and are being part of the marvelous 50 years of Cruise Tourism to Aruba, only the best! Cheers!
Picture depicts the Aruba Cruise Tourism team.