Madeira Island Boat Rides

Photo by Frank Niemeyer

Madeira Catamaran

The most popular Madeira boat ride is by Catamaran. Watching dolphins swim right up to you while on this trip is a real pleasurable experience. The chances of you being able to see dolphins or whales are 95%. The trip takes about 3 hours and goes out twice a day, every day. It anchors in front of the highest sea cliff in Europe, Cabo Girão, for a swim and a chance do do some snorkeling. The Catamarans are quiet big and take between 70 to 98 people, have a covered area and have refreshments and toilets onboard . They also do sunset trips 2 times a week, during the summer.

The boats embark from the Marina in Funchal and the meeting point is half an hour before, in front of the "O Solar Da Santola" restaurant in the marina.

Daily Trips

Mornings ( 10h30 - 13h30 )

Afternoons ( 15h00 - 18h00 )

Summer Cruises

Sunset Cruise (18h30 - 21h30) On Fridays and Sundays from July to September.

Atlantic Firworks Festival (21h30 - 23h00) Every Saturday in June.

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Madeira Dolphin Watching
Whale and Dolphin Watching


Sea Pleasure

Sea the Best
Sea the Best

Rota de Cetaceos

"Rota dos Catáceos" is a company that specialises in the observation of dolphins and whales. In fact they guarantee that you will see either dolphins or whales. If not, you will get another free ride! Their team consists of marine biologists that accompany the trips and will be able to answer any questions regarding the observation of the various types of sea mammals that visit our waters.

Trips are made in fast, semi-riged type boats with a capacity for 12 people. With these types of boats they can assure that you get out to the dolphins and whales in the shortest possible time. They are also the only company that offers swimming among the dolphins.

Daily Trips

Summer (June - October)

Three times a day for a duration of 2h30.

08h45 - 12h30 - 16h00

Winter (November - May)

Two times a day, for a duration of 2h30

9h00 - 13h30

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Swimming with Dolphins
Swimming with dolphins

Dolphin Watching
Searching for dolphins

Ventura do Mar

Here is a good old fashioned boat, called "Ventura do Mar", that will take you out to the desertas islands for the day. A chance to see the worlds rarest seal and to explore this natural park. The trip to the islands lasts 3.5 hours and you get the chance to see dolphins and whales. This is a whole day event and the price includes a meal at lunch time and all drinks. This trip is normally done on Fridays and you can also go out to see dolphins and whales, either in the morning or the afternoon, on any other day of the week. They also organise diving trips to the Desertas islands and at the most eastern point of Madeira, Ponta do São Lourenço. For bird watching enthusiasts, they also do specialised birdwatching trips.

The Desertas island trip is quite popular and lasts the whole day. The 3.5 hours journey to the islands will give you the chance to observe dolphins, whales and marine birds. Once there, you get to swim in the crystal clear waters, followed by a typical meal onboard. After lunch you get to go out and explore one of these islands, which is now a nature reserve. A really delightful day out. The trip may be cancelled if weather does not permit it.

Desertas Island Trip

Fridays ( 9h00 - 19h30 )

Dolphin & Whale Watching

Mornings ( 10h30 - 13h30 )

Afternoons ( 14h45 - 18h00 )

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Ventura do Mar


Desertas Islands

Santa Maria de Colombo

One of the most photographed boats or ship, is the Santa Maria de Colombo, otherwise known as the Pirate Ship, which is the exact replica of Christopher Columbus boat, build in 1998. This trip has an adventures feeling about it, as one can almost feel how it was when the island was discovered 500 odd years ago. The boat also goes out twice a day and covers the same route as the catamaran which also stops at the bottom of Cabo Girão (The highest sea cliff in Europe), for a swim.

Daily Trips

Mornings ( 10h30 - 13h30 )

Afternoons ( 15h00 - 18h00 )

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Santa Maria de Colombo

Santa Maria Galleon

Glass-Bottom Boat

The Beluga submarine is the only glass bottom boat in Madeira. This trimaran has a central cabin that is semi submerged and has 8 glass panels which allow underwater vision. This glass bottom boat does two daily trips towards the east side of the island where the natural marine reserve of Garajau is situated. There they stop to view the abondance of fish that live in the reef, including some impressive species such as Pigfish, Bream, Grouper, Ray and more.

For anyone that wants to go for a swim here, a snorkel and mask is provided. They then make their way to deeper waters for a chance to see dolphins, whales and turtles, through the glass bottom of the boat. A truly unique boating experience.

Daily Trips

Mornings ( 11h00 - 13h30 )

Afternoons ( 15h30 - 18h00 )

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Glass bottom boat madeira
Observing through the glass bottom


A chance to see dolphins


Turtles during the summer

 

ATTENTION

  • For your own safety boats may change, cancel or postpone a trips due to adverse weather conditions.
  • Due to the limited number of spaces, all boat trips require a deposit. Aftermaking the reservertion we will send you a paypal invoice for the deposit which can be paid by any debit or credit card.
  • If weather allows it, boats stop for a swim, so don't forget your costumes. It is always advisable to bring something warm to wear, even during the summer months.
  • There are bar and toilet facilities onboard all boats.
  • Kids under 11 years of age pay half price.

 

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