Madeira
Cruises & Boat Tours

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Our most recommended Madeira Cruises & Boat Tours

Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

1. Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

Arrive at Marina Nova Funchal 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time and board a luxury catamaran. Receive some safety information from the experienced crew. Choose to sit in the luxurious interior with comfortable seating and protection from the sun, and lounge chairs or outdoor hammocks. Afterward, sit back and relax as you sail towards the open sea. Although sightings of marine species can not be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often found in the waters around Funchal. Keep an eye on the movements in the water whilst the crew answers any questions about the variety of species. Continue up to the high cliffs of Cabo Girão, which rise 580 meters above sea level. Anchor the boat at Cabo Girão and immerse yourself in the refreshing waters to explore underwater marine life with a snorkel. Then, stroll at a leisurely pace around the Marina of Funchal, and marvel at the fantastic views of Madeira's landscapes. Return to Funchal Marina Nova for a quick landing process and continue to enjoy your day after the tour.

Faro: Ria Formosa Faro Islands Catamaran Tour

2. Faro: Ria Formosa Faro Islands Catamaran Tour

Sail to the beautiful Ria Formosa Natural Park by catamaran, with regular departures scheduled from Faro. The journey follows the Ria Formosa channels and includes stops at the magical islands of Farol and Deserta. See the imposing Santa Maria Lighthouse in Farol and enjoy time to explore and try island cuisine. In Deserta, admire the rolling dunes and unique landscapes. Look out for unique flora and fauna, including the chameleon. Enjoy plenty of swimming opportunities on both islands, with secluded beaches and pristine shores. On board, learn about the islands and the park with insightful commentary from your guide in various languages.

All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

3. All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

Your 3-hour luxury catamaran tour begins at the docks of the new marina of Funchal. Board the catamaran and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine before setting off. Sail into the ocean to find dolphins, whales, and turtles. Spot these creatures in their natural habitat. After sailing around spotting dolphins, whales and turtles enjoy a 30 minute stop next to Cabo Girão, the 1920 foot (586m) seaside cliff. Here you have a change o go swimming in the crystal clear waters. After a quick swim, you will get back on the boat where you can relax and enjoy the views of the coast of Funchal as you head back to the marina.

From Faro: 4 Islands, 4 Stops in Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

4. From Faro: 4 Islands, 4 Stops in Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

Enjoy a tour on a comfortable Catamaran, taking in the fauna and flora of the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. Cross the channels of the park and stop for 45 minutes at Deserta Island, where you will the opportunity to take a swim. Then, proceed to Farol Island where you will have another 45 minutes to discover its lighthouse and take photos. Sail to Hangares and see the culture of oysters and the military reserve. Lastly, arrive at Culatra Island where you will have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the traditional fishing village. You will also have the option to have lunch in a typical restaurant on Breech Island where the main course varies between fresh fish or seafood.

Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

5. Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

Depart from Funchal and head towards San Vicente along the north coast. Visit one of the most famous viewpoints, where you can look out to Porto Santo Island in clear weather. You will also be able to see the waterfall resembling a bride's veil, named Veu da Noiva. Next, stop at the natural volcanic pools in Seicxal, where you can swim in crystal waters. Also visit Porto Moniz's lava pools and Paul da Serra, the biggest plateau on the island at nearly 1500 meters high. This beautiful place provides stunning views and is an ideal spot for lunch. Visit Fanal, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal filled with centenary trees. As the last stop, go to Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Try out the suspended glass floor viewpoint. Finally, return to your accommodation. 

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sailing Trip

6. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sailing Trip

Hit the waters near Cabo Girão in search of dolphins and whales on a cruise trip from Funchal. Learn amazing facts about the animals from your guide. Take a dip in the water and use the snorkel provided, or relax with a drink in your hand before your catamaran docks back at the Funchal Marina. Set sail from the marina in Funchal, where you will board the yacht. Search for dolphins, whales, and sea turtles up to 3 miles from the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in their natural environment.  As you keep an eye out for local wildlife, make a stop for snorkeling. Swim in the sea or use the snorkeling gear at Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe at 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. Alternatively, admire the towering cliffs and the scenic coastal landscapes from the boat while sipping on a complimentary drink served on board.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

7. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Sailing Tour

On this relaxing sailing trip get the chance to see dolphins, whales, and sea turtles up to 3 miles from the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in its natural environment. Swim, snorkel or sit back and admire the views, and enjoy a complimentary adult beverage. Your journey begins at the marina in Funchal, where you will board the sailing yacht with a group of up to 20 people. There will be a stop to go swimming and snorkeling at Cabo Girão. Here, you can see the highest sea cliff in Europe, which towers 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. If you don't want to swim, you can simply admire the beautiful coastal landscapes from the boat. You will be offered one complimentary drink on board and be able to admire the beautiful sunset over the sea.

Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal

8. Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal

On this full-day catamaran trip to the Desertas Islands you’ll sail along the south coast of Madeira Island. On arrival you’ll disembark in clear waters onto a beach of volcanic origin, where you’ll have a chance to enjoy a swim. Covering an area of 12,586 hectares the Natural Reserve of the Desertas Islands comprises all islands and islets (Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande, Bugio, and adjacent islets) and all of the surrounding marine area. It has been designated a nature reserve for over 25 years, and is now internationally known for its monk seal conservation efforts. Today this protected area can be visited by sea. Deserta Grande is the only island where visitors can disembark, and you’ll enjoy a guided walk to the conservation center to learn about the monk seal protection efforts and also about endemic flora and fauna.

Madeira: Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria de Colombo

9. Madeira: Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria de Colombo

Have a unique experience and climb aboard a convincing replica of Christopher Columbus’s original vessel the Santa Maria, built right here on lush Madeira Island. Enjoy a time-travelling journey back to the 15th century, and walk along the southern coast of the island before reaching Cabo Girão. There, stop for a refreshing swim in the azure waters off the coast. Keep your eyes open for possible sightings of dolphins and whales peeking above the blue waves as you walk along the Atlantic coastline.

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

10. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

Look for whales and dolphins in their natural environment on a cruise with a dedicated crew. Powered by 2x 250hp engines, you can expect to cover larger distances than any other boat in Funchal in comfort. This means you will have the best chance to spot marine wildlife. Listen to informative commentary about the sea life of Madeira, as your crew and marine biologist guide make sure you have a great time whilst learning about the local cetaceans, fauna, and flora. Encounter groups of dolphins, whales, and turtles, and get up-close sightings as you speed across large distances in little time. Marvel as the animals splash about in the water and learn more about these amazing creatures and life in the ocean from your guide. Wildlife spotters work hard on land to find the animals before you set out on your trip. Depending on the species and sea conditions, you can get very close to the whales and dolphins, but remember, it is wildlife, and the primary goal is to be respectful of their habitat.

Frequently asked questions about Madeira Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in Madeira?

The other unmissable things to do in Madeira are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Madeira

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What people are saying about Madeira

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 281 reviews

The tour was a lot of fun and an unforgettable experience! You can see a lot of the breathtaking island and our guide Bruno was great! We can recommend the tour to anyone who would like to see more of the island and feel like a bit of action.

It was a dream! Our driver was Bruno. Bruno always had a good joke on his lips. If you go on a jeep safari with Bruno, you will only then know what really good driving means - hats off!!! - Pure Adventure!

It was great fun to drive through remote places and "streets" with the guide. He took our poor knowledge of English into account. The trip was well organized and always a pleasure.

Friendly crew, plenty to drink and we saw dolphins! Amazing way to see the coast around Funchal.

Was a beautiful trip and Richard was an excellent host. Thank you for an amazing experience