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High Seas History

The history of any island is bound up with the sea, and the maritime heritage of the Caribbean is a particularly rich and dramatic one. Curacao—blessed with several topnotch harbors, lying astride multiple historic shipping routes, and a major 21st-century cruise destination—is certainly no exception, as the Curacao Maritime Museum makes clear. This well-designed museum walks you through better than 500 years of Dutch Antillean seafaring sagas with an absorbing spread of exhibits, from scale models of vintage ships to antique equipment and nautical charts.

In addition to twice-a-week guided introductions to the main exhibits, the museum also leads tours of its separate oil-refinery installation (which includes a miniature working model of the island's refinery and of Willemstad's harbor, done via an old-fashioned city ferry.

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