Water activity

Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal

4.3 / 5

62 reviews

Activity provider: VMT Madeira Catamaran

Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal

Activity provider: VMT Madeira Catamaran

From US$ 87.91 per person

Enjoy a full-day catamaran cruise that takes you on a visit to Madeira's natural reserve. Stop at the Desertas Islands for a short guided tour, learn about the monk seal conservation efforts, and take a swim in the crystal-clear waters.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 9 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English, Portuguese


  • Visit the Natural Reserve of the Desertas Islands by sea
  • Marvel at the breathtaking volcanic formations
  • See the conservation efforts to protect the monk seal
  • Stop for a swim in crystal-clear waters
Full description

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.

  • Catamaran cruise
  • Lunch with drinks
  • Free Cetaceans guide book
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet your guide at he VMT Madeira Kiosk at the Funchal Marina

Open in Google Maps ⟶
Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Windbreaker
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen

Not allowed

  • Luggage or large bags
  • Intoxication

Know before you go

  • Be sure to bring a windbreaker and sunscreen. During the summer you might also want to bring a towel and swimwear
  • The catamaran is equipped with a toilet and a bar with snacks and beverages
  • Due to the nature of this tour and for the safety of all guests, the tour operator reserves the right to refuse service to passengers who are intoxicated or show signs of intoxication. If, as a result, your tour is canceled, you will not be entitled to a refund
  • There is a possibility of cancelation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements or in bad weather conditions. If this occurs, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 /5

based on 62 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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I loved the activity for the unique opportunity it provides to see the Deserta island up close. I think it is right that access be limited to preserve this very rich area. The trip on the Catamaran was very pleasant (suggestion: for sensitive people or people with hearing problems, it is advisable to warn that they should bring earplugs due to the wind at sea). Departure from the Catamaran to the island's port is done in a boat, so people who take photographic material protect it well, as they can lose their balance due to the existing pebbles in the disembarkation area. Lunch was very well served and tasty. It was also a lot of fun to be given some time to enjoy the sea. The guides very helpful and friendly. I recommend the activity for anyone who wants to spend a different day and see a natural reserve up close and learn how it is preserved.

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October 28, 2021

Definitely do it! There is a lot offered, such as a small tour of the island, SUP driving, swimming on the beach (water was very pleasant about 24 * C) and a delicious lunch and the poncha was very well made. Our guides, including Pedro, took very good care of us...

October 17, 2021

It was 3 hours by catamaran outbound and 3 back. Once in Desertas, we did a little guided tour of the island. we really liked the explanations that they gave us. The lunch buffet on board was very good and very complete. We may have missed some explanation while browsing but we really enjoyed the activity! And we could see animals! Highly recommended!

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July 26, 2021

Product ID: 57246