Boat Trips in Madeira: 5 Best Tours to choose from

Nov 17, 2022 | Activities

Bonita da Madeira boat

Would you like to enjoy unique experiences taking boat trips in Madeira during your holidays?

When we think of activities to do in Madeira, we immediately think of the sea, and what better way to enjoy your vacation than on a boat trip?

Madeira´s scenic beauty can be appreciated from a completely different perspective on a boat trip. Additionally, you will be able to see various marine species and enjoy a relaxing day.

If you have time on your trip, we suggest doing at least one of the 5 best boat trips mentioned below.

5 Best Boat Trips in Madeira

-Madeira Pirate Ship Boat Trip

Pirate Ship in Madeira "Santa Maria"

“Santa Maria de Colombo” Photo by Visit Madeira

Embark on a replica of an XV-century pirate ship and forget about modern amenities.

In 1998, “Santa Maria” was built to look exactly like the flagship of Christopher Columbus.

What makes this tour special? Taking this boat tour is like a trip back in time. It´s an adventure to experience sailing near Madeira as it was discovered 500 years ago. Providing an opportunity to see dolphins and whales, this historical boat trip will appeal to both adults and young people alike.

The cruise also features an approximately one-hour stop at the majestic sea cliffs of “Cabo Girão” and ample swimming opportunities.

If you love boats, and maritime history, this is considered one of the best boat trips in Madeira. You’ll embark on an adventure of a lifetime with colossal pirate flags and rich history!

Details of interest:

  • Duration of the trip: 3 hours;
  • Meeting point in front of “Santa Maria de Colombo” boat, in the main port of Funchal;
  • Price varies from around 35€ for adults and 17.50€ for children;
  • During the hot summer months, bring your bathing suit, sunscreen, and towel;
  • In the winter months, the Atlantic breeze can be surprising, bring extra clothes, just for precaution.

-Dolphin and Whale Watching

Dolphin in Madeira Island

Madeira is, unsurprisingly, home to a plethora of marine life, including some of the most majestic creatures in the world – dolphins, and whales.

Dolphin and whale watching tours provide a stable platform to view whales and dolphins, in their natural habitat, while also offering space to move around, sunbathe or find some respite from the heat. As well as being great fun, these tours are also very informative, with naturalists on board available to answer any questions.

Although the whale watching season (between April and October) is the most common time to see these creatures, at different times throughout the year you can observe different species of cetaceans. Also, the staff of this type of tour provides assistance at sea and on land to increase the chances of finding cetaceans during the trip.

Seeing any of these majestic animals, in their natural habitat, is sure to be an experience you will remember for a lifetime.

Book your tour now! Whales & Dolphins Watching | Bonita da Madeira, we will offer you a magical lifetime trip.

Details of interest:

  • Trip Total Time: 3 Hours;
  • Extra Activity: Swim;
  • Price Per Person: 33€ (Children between 5 to 12 years old pay half price; Babies up to 4 years old don’t pay a ticket);
  • Departing from Funchal Pier (Marina). Need to be at the boarding meeting point 30 minutes before the tour starting time.

-Desertas Islands

Desertas Islands

Have you ever heard of the archipelago on the outskirts of Madeira, called “Ilhas Desertas”? This natural reserve is a magical place, with wild landscapes, total absence of any form of human life and unique marine species such as the monk seal. Certainly the perfect destination for a boat trip.

If you want to know more about Desertas Island read our article about the Nature Reserve of the Desertas Islands – All you need to know and book your trip here! Desertas Islands.

Details of interest:

  • Day trip – 8 to 9 hours;
  • Price Per Person: 80€ (Children between 5 to 12 years old pay half price; Children up to 4 years old don’t pay a ticket);
  • Departure from Funchal;
  • Lunch: Included;
  • Extra Activity: Swim and Guided tour on Desertas.

-Beautiful Bays

Beautiful Bays Boat Trip in Madeira

During this nature lover’s cruise, we will sail first to Machico Bay, afterwards, we will head to “Baía D’Abra”, a marvellous wild bay, where you can swim, dive, and relax.

Taking you through some of Funchal´s bays, the route offers an excellent climate, a wonderful landscape, and a rich cultural heritage.

As you head towards the bay of Machico and the bay of D’Abra, you will be able to see fishing villages, imposing cliffs (in particular, “Ponta de São Lourenço”), beautiful beaches, and, with luck, marine life such as dolphins or whales.

In Machico, you will discover a wonderful bay, with a sandy beach ideal for swimming and enjoying the sun, as well as a rich history that includes the oldest church in Madeira and two distinct forts.

On the other hand, D’Abra Bay is a nature reserve known for its spectacular cliffs and crystalline waters, which make it a magical and popular place to practice water sports.

Departing and returning to Funchal, this wonderful cruise can also pass by some of the best-known places in Funchal, such as (Fort of “São José”). Also, you can enjoy the information that your expert guide will provide about the history and culture of Madeira.

It is one of the best boat trips in Madeira, especially if you have never been to the island before because it combines the wild nature (D´Abra) with the culture of the city (Machico).

Book your tour now! Beautiful Bays .

Details of interest:

  • Price Per Person: 45€;
  • Trip Total Time: 5 Hours;
  • Lunch: Included;
  • Extra Activity: Swim.

-New Year’s Eve Fireworks

New Year´s Eve in Madeira

Magical could be the best adjective to describe the end of the year on Madeira Island. The uniqueness of the fireworks display is not limited to the single event that makes the end of the year in Madeira unparalleled, there is a whole series of activities combined that make New Year’s Eve one of the best in the world.

A wonderful fireworks display is held every year in Funchal´s port synchronized with music, and boats coming together to create a magical atmosphere. A vibrant, colourful, and unique royal event that shouldn´t be missed once in a lifetime, and there´s no better way to enjoy this event than from the comfort of a boat!

Don´t miss out on one of the most popular events in Madeira.

Book now your New Year’s Eve trip, Bonita da Madeira Reveillon 2022.

Details of interest:

  • Price per Adult: 140€;
  • Price per Child: 120€;
  • Date: 31 December;
  • Durations of the trip: 2-3 Hours.

Our Conclusion

The beautiful coastline of Madeira and its stunning scenery, along with its abundance of land and sea activities, make it no wonder that boat trips are so popular among travellers.

It is always possible to rent your own boat or jet ski and explore the island alone, however, guided boat trips offer a completely different experience since they are accompanied by a professional and experienced crew who will ensure your safety and enjoyment.

This is a wonderful way to see the island´s most beautiful scenery and experience its rich culture. So, why wait?

If you are looking for more activities to do in Madeira, read our article about 10 Best Things to do in Madeira Island in 2023 .

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