The Royal Netherlands Navy and Caribbean Coast Guard strengthen ties during Curaçao Maritime Days 2011.
Thirty thousand spectators visited Curaçao Maritime Days 2011 in the harbor of Willemstad, Curaçao's capital during the last weekend in May.
Naval, Rescue and Coastguard ships from the Netherlands, the United States, Curaçao, France, Colombia and Mexico filled the harbor and wharfs in Punda and Otrabanda.
The Dutch submarine HLNMS Dolfijn turned out to be the biggest attraction. Long queues didn't bother locals or tourists, who enjoyed the open-house, demonstrations and various activities. At night, thousands gathered at Brion Square for a performance by the band of the Marine Corps.
On Sunday, 400 runners took part in the 'Queens Run' that took them over Willemstad's three bridges – all named after Dutch Queens. The Maritime Museum, adjacent to Kleine Wharf, organized a drawing competition for schools, which was won by the MC Piarschool. The winning class received a special tour of HLNMS Dolfijn.
Curaçao Maritime Days were ended with an impressive fireworks display and a concert of all the ship's horns.
Els Kroon is a Dutch former teacher who now lives and works as an award-winning freelance photojournalist on Curaçao.