Despite the longtime rumors of a fast ferry between the ABC islands, Aruba does not have any ferry boat connections to nearby islands; even to Bonaire or Curaçao, despite the trio's political association. Venezuela is also unreachable by island ferry. The only ferry service available from Aruba travels De Palm Island. De Palm Island is a popular tourist spot just 5 miles from Aruba's shores and is the place for pristine snorkeling around Aruba. The only way to reach the other nearby islands is by smaller commuter airlines and island-hopper jets.
HOWEVER, recently, (July 2018) The Aruban Minister of Transport, Chris Romero, announced that Aruba was just months away from an agreement with Curaçao, about ferry service between the two islands and should finalize a contract with the operator before the end of the year (2018).The boat is said to be almost 500 feet high (140 meters) and easily accommodate people as well as vehicles, and possibly shipping crates.
There are several companies attracted to the contract. The Spanish shipping company Fred Olsen Express has been interested in a ferry service between the islands. Also, the Dutch company Waterbus, and a Turkish company.
The operating company would be expected to invest about half a million guilders (Approx. $280,000 USD) in the port facilities for the ferry which will be constructed in San Nicolas near the old refinery.
There is no definitive information at this time on what a ride on this ferry will cost, but it is speculated to be less than 100 AWG (around $56 USD).
The project is a collaboration between the ABC islands, and the Dutch Kingdom, and will take between 2-3 years to complete. The finalized plan is that the ferry will depart from Aruba, and reach Curacao within 2 hours. It will then continue to Bonaire, return to Curacao and Aruba on the same day. Mr. Romero expects the fast ferry to boost tourism on both islands. It will be a major boost for the economy of Aruba, but especially for the district of San Nicolas.
The frequent travelers to Aruba that I have asked, have said YES! Most would like to be able to plan an overnight trip or short 2 day visit to Curacao or Bonaire during their Aruba vacation. What about you? Post your comments below.