Funchal
Dhow Cruises

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Our most recommended Funchal Dhow Cruises

Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

1. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

Look for whales and dolphins in their natural environment on a small group 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 the wildlife. Wildlife spotters work hard on land to find the animals before you set out on your trip. Update progress 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. 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 different groups of dolphins, whales and turtles in the water, and get up-close sightings as you speed across large distances in little time. Marvel as the animals breach and splash about in the water, and learn more about these amazing creatures and life in the ocean from the certified guides. 

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Funchal Bay: Dolphin & Whale Watch Luxury Catamaran Cruise

2. 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.

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Madeira: Funchal Sunset Tour by Catamaran

3. Madeira: Funchal Sunset Tour by Catamaran

Experience the changing colors of the sunset and reflections on the water from a unique perspective as you take a 3-hour catamaran cruise off the coast of Madeira from Funchal. Meet at the Marina do Funchal to climb aboard the catamaran and cruise along the south coast of Madeira. A qualified crew will provide detailed information in English and Portuguese about the cetaceans you may spot, as well as other technical and historic information to ensure a complete and unique experience. If there are no sightings of dolphins or whales, you will be offered a 2nd trip entirely free. Put on a wind-shield and warm clothes (recommended), and experience the sunset trip and peaceful melody of the ocean from a new perspective.

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Madeira Atlantic Festival Fireworks Cruise by Catamaran

4. Madeira Atlantic Festival Fireworks Cruise by Catamaran

Get the summer started in a blaze of glory and see the firework displays of the annual Madeira Atlantic Festival from on board a catamaran. Board the boat at the Marina do Funchal and then make your way along the coast to the Lido area. Return to the bay to find the best spot to watch the pyro-musical show. Avail of the open bar serving water, still and sparkling wines, beers, sodas and strawberries for your pleasure. Be amazed by the exciting performances that combine fireworks and music to create a magical experience, with the beautiful city as a backdrop. Cheer along as you watch the various companies compete with joy for a trophy awarded by public vote.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

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What people are saying about Funchal

With a choppy sea ahead the ride out to sea was like a rollercoaster ride. We were on the third row and felt all the bumps but it was great fun. Sitting at the back is better for those with a bad back though. The boat does provide a poncho if you are getting wet. Its a fantastic way to see the island and we got to watch planes landing from sea. After a while we came across a pod of pilot whales and they were beautiful. The marine biologist on board gave a huge amount of information and it was great to learn a lot about these dolphins.

What a cool experience! The speedboat and amazing sights would be enough, but include the possibility of seeing sea life to it!? Amazing! We were able to see sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat, and it was quite the sight to see! Our guides and other passengers were extremely patient and it was totally worth it!

We had a wonderful experience with our biologist Anna and skipper Miguel. We were very lucky - we saw three kinds of whale (small fin pilot , bryde’s and fin). One was about 5m away! We didn’t see any dolphins but we have no complaints because whales are rarer to spot and we totally got our money’s worth. Highly recommended.

A truly memorable experience. We were lucky to see dolphins, pilot whales, and the icing on the cake was a group of fin whales within 50 yards of our craft.

Very pleasant trip with extremely friendly and knowledgeable guides