World’s shortest runway, highest mountain point in the Dutch Kingdom, unique uniform houses and the friendliest people are highlights of a 5-square mile island in the sun, Saba “The Unspoiled Queen”. This year Saba celebrated its 42nd-year anniversary with special guests, Their Majesties, King Willem & Queen Maxima.
Saba Day is a local national holiday of the discovery of the island which commences on the first Friday of December then continues with fun activities until Sunday, followed by a “Day of Rest” on Monday. Due to recovery efforts, the delegation aboard a private chartered Winair flight from F.D. Roosevelt Airport of St. Eustatius. Winair is the only commercial aircraft that can land the world’s shortest runway with well-trained and experienced pilots to make a landing on the famous top 5 most dangerous airport in the world successful. “I survived the landing!”, is one of this island’s touristic phrases that you should also be able to say too! Add this to your bucket list with booking a Winair ticket. Scared of the thought? Don’t worry, a commercial high-speed ferry, The Edge is at your service! This year, The Edge was honored to receive a plaque for their 25 years contribution to the island with the King and Queen’s presence. Travel time is 90 minutes long departing from Aqua Mania in Simpson Bay. Once on board, sit down, relax and enjoy the spacious ventilated cabin with complimentary refreshments served at the open bar by their professional and friendly crew.
As the custom, the ringing of the church bells and sirens around the island begins this celebration leading to an early church service. There the Wilhelmus and Saba Anthem were sung by SHS Koor, singing of hymns, receiving prayers, and an address by Island Governor Mr. Johnson concluded this service. The royal couple and delegation proceeded to the Governor’s residence with the invitations of speeches and performances. This year’s, “Saba is still going strong” theme shows the resilience of the people and the nation from withstanding a hurricane season with several storms and catastrophic hurricanes. King Willem briefly greeted the island with “Happy Saba Day”, and acknowledging the resilience of the people making impossible matters, possible, such as the roads. “The road that couldn’t be built”, was a statement made by European engineers figuring out the future infrastructure on the island. If you want to experience this rollercoaster ride, find a local car rental service, and it is advised to take your time and drive as roads are very narrow with a plus of little to no traffic. Presentations were then continued with local organizations giving the ceremony a local entertainment experience. The unveiling of bust W.S. Johnson concluded this day at the Government Administration Building leading the public to entertainment and socialize. Saba is also known for very minimum crime rates making it comfortable and enjoyable for the attendance from King Willem and Queen Maxima with the delegation of nearby islands with the above-mentioned events on December 1.
Even though Saba received minimum damages from the hurricane season, this island still faces its challenges making this royal visit quite different. The marine industry on the island is one of the drivers in the economy. Unfortunately, being struck by the hurricanes, the unique colorful corals were left to die. Being the largest submarine atoll in the Atlantic Ocean with the richest diverse marine life, their Majesties couldn’t leave without diving into the deep waters of the underworld. Want to see for yourself? Sea Saba, a PADI 5-Star Resort, shows a commitment to professionalism and adherence to the highest standards in the industry and to clients. Along with attentive service and professionalism, the uncrowded boats makes each trip worth the underwater experience. “Top notch service from the shop to the boat (equipment set up every day) and of course the dive. I highly recommend Sea Saba Dive Center! Look forward to seeing you again!”, stated a customer. One of Saba’s tourist attractions is that there is a wide range of sites without the need for long boat rides. “We prefer to show you more of Saba’s miracle of nature, so in between dives, we moor at a beautiful, calm area where you can gaze at seabirds in the cliffs, snorkel with your companion or simply take a nap” – declared Sea Saba.
The royal couple ended their trip with having a mouthwatering dinner at a local popular restaurant Tropics Café, at Juliana’s Hotel. Peeking out of the village of Windwardside, this restaurant is the perfect place to relax at any time of the day. Empty your stomach for a delicious meal with their unique menu and a cool refreshing drink. With amazing reviews, customers recommend eating at the restaurant, “Lunch at Tropics was the best I had on the island. The Caesar salad with seared tuna and BBQ chicken quesadilla were excellent.” Want to sleep like the king or queen? This royal couple chose to book their accommodations at Queen’s Gardens Resort, a 5-star hotel at Troy Hill viewing breathtaking views of The Bottom. The Queen’s Gardens Resort is Saba’s luxury resort and is upscale, casually chic, yet elegant hotel, with magnificent vistas of the rainforest, the mountains, and the Sapphire blue Caribbean Sea. For a luxurious stay, customers recommend booking with this hotel, “Look no further if you are planning a trip to Saba! My husband and I traveled to the island from St. Martin for the second part of our honeymoon and stayed for five nights at Queens Gardens, and we immediately fell in love with the place!” With great first class service, this hotel is s must! Another customer praises, “For anyone considering staying here, this place has all of the luxury and amenities of an upscale brand name hotel but is even better because of the personal service and attention to detail.”
Interested in joining this small island’s cultural event mark your calendar for December 7-9 2018 and contact us for more information!