Berthing Requests

Curacao has a state-of-the-art, fully-equipped Control Tower known as the Vessel Traffic Control Center (VTCC), perched high on top of the Fort Nassau Hill in the Port of Willemstad. The VTCC has been operating according to the ISO standards since the beginning of 1999. Vessel traffic within our ports is planned and coordinated by the VTCC. Since Curacao has five ports, VTCC has no restrictions regarding the days of request. The berthing request is done by the shipping agent, who contacts the VTCC, channel 12, and provides the following information:
• The ship’s name
• Draft at arrival
• Gross tonnage
• Type of vessel
• Purpose of visit
• Last port
• Port of destination
• ISPS Security Level

A berth will be provided according to the purpose of the visit to our ports and the specifications of the vessel. The agent will inform the captain of the details of the berth.
The agents report daily to the VTCC regarding (expected) arrivals, departures or shifts of vessels.
The agent will also order tugboats according to the tugboat-regulations, except when an agent is not available, or in urgent cases when vessels may be in danger.


Pilotage is compulsory for ships over 50 GT. The pilots are employed by the Curacao Pilots Organization (CPO), which offers a 24 hour pilotage service. A 100% overtime charge applies for pilotage between 18.30-05.30 hours. Discounts are offered to cruise vessels. Vessels must provide a lighted, manned, properly secured and clean pilot ladder fitted with sufficient spreaders. A life buoy fitted with a Holmes light and a reliable heaving line should be placed close to the pilot ladder. The embarkation and disembarkation must be supervised by an officer.
Vessels arriving or leaving with a free board exceeding 30 feet must use the accommodation ladder in conjunction with the pilot ladder (Safety of life at Sea Convention 1960).
Vessels bound for Curacao should proceed to Willemstad harbor except on orders for another bay. Vessels in sight of Willemstad will be contacted by the signal station at Fort Nassau Control Center for further orders. From this same station, lights are shown to direct traffic in port.

Tug Assistance

All vessels may enter any Curacao port without tugboat assistance, with the exception of tankers and larger ships, which do require tug assistance. Dangerous cargo regulations are applied according to IMO (International Maritime Organization) standards.

The Curacao Towage Company (known as KTK for its Papiamentu acronym), a subsidiary of Curacao Ports Authority (CPA) N.V., is responsible for tug assistance in the Port of Willemstad, Caracas Bay, St. Michiel's Bay, Fuik Bay and Bullen Bay. CTC is ISO-certified and a member of BIMCO, the International Salvage Union and the International Tug and Salvage Organization.
CTC offers special fees for special services at our deep-water facilities.
To order a tugboat, please contact the Vessel Traffic Control Center.
For more information on CTC and its tug boats follow this link to CTC’s website: www.ktktugs.com 

Customs & Immigration

All vessels visiting the Ports of Curacao must comply with the Customs & Immigration requirements.

Immigration requirements
  • Two copies of crew list.
  • Two copies of list of passengers. Passenger lists should indicate full names, age, sex, civil state and occupation. Passengers must show proof of citizenship. A passport, voter’s registration or birth certificate is acceptable.
  • Two copies of health declaration sheet.

    Port Security

    As of July 1st, 2004, the Port of Willemstad and its port related facilities are in compliance with the International Ships & Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The following port facilities have been certified:

  • Curacao Mining Company
  • Curacao Port Services
  • Curacao Dry-Dock Company Inc.
  • Refineria Isla (Curazao) S.A.
  • CPA Mega Pier
  • CPA Otrobanda Wharves
  • CPA Caracas Bay
  • Bullenbay
  • Curacao Ports Authority. Werf de Wilde z/n.
    P.O. Box 689. Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
    Telephone: (599 9) 434 5999
    Fax: (599 9) 461 3907
    e-mail: info@curports.com