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Funchal Sailing trips & boat tours

Our most recommended Funchal Sailing trips & boat tours

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

1. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Discover the natural beauty of Madeira coastline and look for marine life on this catamaran cruise from Funchal. Snorkel through schools of silver fish with high-quality snorkeling gear. Look for dolphins while sipping on a drink purchased from the onboard bar. See dolphins, whales, and turtles playing in their natural habitat. Throughout the year Madeira has different aquatic mammals journeying through its blue waters. Whether you come in summer or winter, the chances are high you’ll see one of these amazing creatures. Stop for a swim during the summer season or catch a glimpse of the world beneath the waves with the provided snorkeling equipment. Relax on deck with a refreshing drink from the onboard bar.

Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

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

Spot the dolphins and whales that call Funchal Bay home on this catamaran cruise from Funchal. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters under Cabo Girão and learn more about the majestic creatures from your expert crew. Arrive at New Marina - Funchal 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, sail at a leisurely pace around the Marina of Funchal, and marvel at the fantastic views of Madeira's landscapes. Return to Funchal New Marina for a quick landing process and continue to enjoy your day after the tour.

From Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

3. From Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Go green with the #1 dolphin and whale watching experience in Madeira Island! Cruise on our brand new purpose-built eco-friendly catamaran and enjoy a comfortable cruise along the south coast of Madeira Island. Watch out for wonderful whales and dolphins jumping and splashing nearby. When sea life arrives our electric engines engage for silent emission free cruising which helps keep the cetaceans very happy! On this tour we will sail a few miles out of Funchal looking for all kinds of wildlife such as dolphins, whales, turtles and endemic birds. We often spot these animals jumping and splashing nearby and it’s always a great sight that never gets old!! Our certified guides will provide you with informative commentary and fun facts about the cetaceans and different species that you may find on your trip and in Madeira Island. On our way back, we sail close to the coast passing by many points of interest such Cabo Girão where you will enjoy stunning views of one of the highest sea cliffs in the world! Camara de Lobos Bay – a traditional fishing village; the world famous Reid’s Hotel where Winston Churchill used to stay during his visits to Madeira Island and much more! You will be able to sit back and take in the beautiful views of the south coast of Madeira Island. Magic Dolphin Eco is the only purpose built catamaran for dolphin and whale watching in Madeira Island. It was carefully developed to assure our passengers a safe, comfortable and unforgettable cruise! It is the only ecological catamaran with hybrid-electric engines for dolphin and whale watching, making it the best experience not only for our guests, but also for our beloved cetaceans! Bar service (2x) with drinks and snacks available; Toilets (2x) on deck wheelchair accessible; Two decks for better sightseeing; Fantastic upper deck providing 360° panoramic views! Great bridge deck shade area; Large nets and sea life observation area; Seating for everyone inside and out; Fast Catamaran – up to 20 knots; Modern safety construction 2022; Stable and comfortable cruising. We are one of very few companies to work with professional sealife spotters on land, providing the best possible chances of seeing them in their natural habitat and high quality observation! We are all about responsible dolphin and whale watching, and love sharing our knowledge with you! Join us and observe sealife the right way, in the wild! Note: The cetaceans in Madeira are wild and free, and it is simply not possible to guarantee their sighting. We observe cetaceans every day, however not always every trip. We will always do our best to find them, however if you are unlucky we will do our best to make you happy! Note: Please arrive to our office in Funchal Marina 30 minutes before departure. If you miss the boat, you will be refused a refund. Note: Cancelations/ Booking Changes must be made 24h prior to departure time.

From Funchal: Madeira Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour

4. From Funchal: Madeira Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour

Climb aboard a comfortable catamaran for a relaxing trip along Madeira's south coast from the Marina do Funchal. Look for dolphins and whales (and even turtles) playing in the cold waters of the sea. Be on the lookout for dolphins and whales as you tour Madeira's south coast on a catamaran cruise. During the summer months, stop to swim below the cliffs of Cabo Girão, one of the highest sea cliffs in the world. A qualified crew will provide detailed information in various languages about the species of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) you see. Also get historical and technical information for a truly unique experience. In the event, you don’t spot any whales or dolphins you will be offered a complimentary second trip. However, if you only see dolphins but not whales, no refund will be offered.

Madeira: Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria de Colombo

5. 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 by Luxury Catamaran

6. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching by Luxury Catamaran

Look out for a variety of marine life, including whales and dolphins on a boat trip along the bay of Funchal. Board a luxury catamaran and sail to Cabo Girão for snorkeling or relax on deck. Learn about Madeira's wildlife from the crew. Make your way to Funchal Marina at least 20 minutes before your scheduled departure time to board a luxury catamaran. Once the group has gathered and all questions have been addressed, take a short walk to your boat for a safety briefing from the crew before boarding. Choose from the luxurious interior with comfortable seating and sun and wind protection, or the outdoor sun beds and trampoline nets. Then, sit back and relax as you sail out to sea and look back at the marina. Although sightings of marine life cannot be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often seen in the waters around Funchal. Keep a look out as you cruise across the water while the crew is on hand to answer any questions about the variety of species you may encounter. Then, head to the towering cliffs of Cabo Girão, looming 1,902 feet (580 meters) above the sea. Drop anchor at Cabo Girão and take a dip in the waters to explore the sea life below the surface with your complimentary goggles and snorkel mask. Then, cruise at a leisurely pace back to Funchal Marina, sailing along the coastline for fantastic views of Madeira’s landscapes. Arrive back at Funchal Marina for the speedy disembarking process so that you can continue with your day unimpeded.

All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

7. 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.

Madeira Pirate Ship: 3-Hour Boat Trip

8. Madeira Pirate Ship: 3-Hour Boat Trip

A magnificent replica of Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, was built on the island of Madeira, between July 1997 and July 1998, in the fishing village of Camara de Lobos. Since it was built thousands of people have sailed aboard the ship, experiencing more than just a normal boat ride, as you’ll soon find out on this 3-hour tour. Santa Maria de Colombo is also the most photographed boat in Madeira. A number of local and international TV documentaries have been made on board this famous ship, including The Discovery Channel’s The Quest for Columbus. The idea of this boat trip is for you to experience history, while at the same time enjoying the breathtaking views of Madeira´s south coast. In addition to the views, you’re very likely to see dolphins and whales as well. The ship will anchor in front of the majestic cliff of Cabo Girao, the highest sea cliff in Europe. If you like you can enjoy a swim in the warm and crystal-clear water. A sail on the Santa Maria is your chance to re-live Christopher Columbus´s voyage of discovery and imagine how he and his crew felt as they headed into the unknown.

Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal

9. 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: Whale Watching Excursion in a Traditional Vessel

10. Madeira: Whale Watching Excursion in a Traditional Vessel

Discover the protected marine areas surrounding the island of Madeira on a boat trip with expert local guides. Enjoy a whale-watching excursion on the "Ribeira Brava", a traditional wooden fishing boat restored down to the smallest detail which is the only boat of its kind in Madeira today. Admire the views of the coast as you sail out to sea. Explore and try to spot monk seals, different bird species, dolphins, and whale species in their natural habitat. Watch amazing breaches and marine creatures frolicking in the open ocean.

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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 791 reviews

Arrived 30 mins before as advised. Overall a great experience, we were able to see dolphins and pilot whales, and the view from the water was wonderful. Crew was friendly and the boat was not over crowded. Will recommend.

A thrilling boat trip that was so well organised. The team on board were all so informative, helpful and friendly. We got to see both whales and dolphins on the day which was more than expected. A real treat!

Great trip with sightings of multiple pilot whales! Some explanations about the whales and cliffs by the crew. Boarding for the 10.30am trip started at 10am sharp, so make sure to be there early.

A super fun sail with a great 2 person crew who were informative but also left us to enjoy the sail. Bring warm clothes. Sit at the back of the boat for a smoother sail. Enjoy the free drinks.

We, my husband, 2 year old and my parents, had a lovely trip in December. It was a sunny day, calm waters and we managed to see a group of pilot whales fairly early on.