Categories
air and cruise travel

Aruba Airport Doing Good

Aruba’s airport recently released positive numbers – again – in terms of the arrival numbers. In a nutshell most markets are up, with the exception of Venezuela. The markets that are rocking right now are Brazil and Britain.

The airport core business itself showed strength and airport officials continue to be positive for the remainder of the year. Projects to enhance passenger experience are ongoing, such as a food court/supermarket outside the airport. The ratings company Finch kept the rating for Aruba’s airport positive, although I personally don’t give too much attention to this ratings.

Airport Aruba Arrivals
Aruba arrival terminal

Aruba’s airport owner (government) decided to allocate some of the airport’s profits into a new, to be created tourism fund. The idea is behind this is for the important partners in Aruba’s tourism to contribute to this fund for sustainable growth in tourism. What this exactly means is not clear yet.

Categories
air and cruise travel miscellaneous

Viva México!

Local tourism officials have recently approached Mexican tourism partners to survey the possibilities of a strategic cooperation. Specifically, officials would like to measure the chances of non-stop flights between Mexico City and Aruba by a Mexican carrier.

Mexican flag carrier, Aeroméxico, recently held a survey among their travelers with the question which leisure Caribbean destination they would like to see Aeroméxico start flying to and Aruba came on top. Aruba is badly in need of a solid secondary market after current number two – Venezuela – has dropped dramatically the last few years, mostly due to internal issues in Venezuela.

Señor Frogs soon
Señor Frog’s is owned by Grupo Andersons, based in Mexico

If Aeroméxico decides to start flying to Aruba a few times a week, this route can become an interesting alternative for travelers flying from California to Aruba. This is certainly good news.

Categories
air and cruise travel beaches

Water Sport Service Providers’ Own Place


Rendering of platform for water sport companies [image by Amigoe]

Water sport service providers have been an disorganized bunch ever since inception of tourism in early 90s. Slowly but surely they were hit by government with rules and restrictions.

Now it seems that finally they might have found a home. The water sport association [they are organized now] had talks with officials and agreed in principle on a spot for them. Just south of Divi Phoenix and across the street from The Cliff condo [between Eagle Beach and Palm Beach] a new platform is going to be build, exclusively for the use of water sport companies.

The financing of this area is in hands of The Cliff condo developers. It’s mandatory for developers who build on public land to invest a percentage of the development’s budget in a project deemed necessary by the government. I really hope this project goes forward, because it would eliminate the chaos perhaps increase the service to tourists.

Categories
air and cruise travel

Goodby Adventure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Aruba
Last Adventure of the Seas in Aruba

Above picture was taken in a few minutes before 8 AM, on Tuesday, April 20. The weather indicative of this visit. Thick clouds and a rainy day awaited Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas for its last visit.

Ships come and go, but this ship has been the most loyal ship to Aruba for over a decade and will be missed. Apart from its loyalty it was also on of the biggest to visit with a capacity of 3100 passengers.

Other ships from Royal Caribbean continue to stop in Aruba but these have a different itinerary and are about 35% smaller.

Categories
air and cruise travel

KLM’s back, others to follow

After an absence of almost a year, French-Dutch airline Air France-KLM decided to resume flights between Amsterdam – Aruba. This, for Aruba, iconic airline partner stopped flights to Aruba last year after more than 70 years of faithful service. Officials triumphantly welcomed the inaugural flight and it was given the traditional welcome water gun salute by the airport.

The official reason for the stopping the flights was the “economy”. Curiously, KLM kept flying to the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean not too far from here. Why not Aruba? Short answer: politics. The current government seems to be friendlier [read: made concessions] in comparison to the previous one.

On a related note, there are rumors about other airlines expanding/starting service to Aruba. Local airport officials, together with local tourism officials are making continuous efforts to attract new airlines to Aruba.

Lastly, recently United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced a merger which is expected to be finalized later this year. What effects is this going to have to flights from Aruba? Currently Continental has a daily flight from Newark, New Jersey. United Airlines has a seasonal flight from Chicago and Washington DC. I don’t expect to see much change in after the merger is complete.

Categories
air and cruise travel

Additional Improvements Airport Aruba

Airport Aruba Arrivals
Airport Aruba continues to improve the facilities. Such facilities as food & retail are being developed right now. This will further enhance the quality of service. Not only passengers will be able to use the new facilities, also visitors, users and employees.

On a related note, Aruba airport officials released figures about the first quarter and it indicated a slight drop in general arrivals. The drop comes from Venezuelan travelers as their government set new restrictions to acquire foreign money, thus making traveling more difficult. Arrivals from elsewhere, especially North America continues strong.

Aruba airport continues to make contact with airlines from North/South America and Europe to further diversify the flow of passengers. I hope they manage to get new clients. Meanwhile, I’ll throw out a couple of dream pairs just for the fun of it: Los Angeles – Aruba, London – Aruba and Frankfurt – Aruba.

Categories
activities and shopping air and cruise travel

Pictures: Red Sail Sports Rumba Catamaran

Red Sail Sports Rumba
Sunset sail on Rumba

One of the more popular activities in Aruba must be doing a sunset sail along Palm Beach and Eagle Beach area on a catamaran. Yesterday I took a trip on Red Sail Sports’ Rumba catamaran, which left from a pier, located between Occidental Grand and Hyatt Regency.

After signing the typical release waiver and a short wait at the pier, we started boarding around 5:30 pm. Soon after the last person boarded, the crew started with the brief introduction and instructions about the sail. Quickly after wards the captain started the engine and we left the pier. After a few minutes the engines were turned off and the captain switched over to the sail.

On-board there was some music – the sail started with Bob Marley – and lots of drinks. There was an open bar where people mostly drank liquor. However, it’s perfectly fine to just drink non-alcoholic as well. Mid-sail the crew put out snacks. All was included with the trip. Around 7:30 pm the catamaran came back to pier. I would highly recommend this trip.

Red Sail Sports Rumba
People watching the sunset on Rumba

Red Sail Sports
Red Sail Sports Rumba

Red Sail Sports
People watching the sunset on Rumba

Red Sail Sports Rumba
Sunset sail on Rumba with seagulls

Red Sail Sports Rumba
Sun is almost setting on Rumba

Red Sail Sports Rumba
Sunset sail on Rumba with people taking pictures

Red Sail Sports
Sunset sail on Red Sail Sports’ Rumba