Funchal
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Funchal Cruises & Boat Tours

  • Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching by Luxury Catamaran

    1. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching by Luxury Catamaran

    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 the 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 1,9...

    It was a great experience and the guide tell us a lot about wildlife and about Madeira.

  • Funchal: Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching

    2. Funchal: Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching

    Take a scenic sail in a catamaran along the Madeira coast.  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 these amazing creatures. Stop for a swim during the summer season, and make use of the complimentary snorkeling equipment. Bar service is also available.

    A good afternoon and a very competent and amicable crew. We saw pilot whales and dolphins, who raced through the water peacefully. Onward to the cliff where, at the base, there was terracing - the triumph of hope over experience. A tiny cable car goes up and down. Great trip, and a welcome beer and rare whiskey were held the price of the (pretty grim) prices in Funchal. After feeling like pieces of sh1t for the embarrassment that is Brexit, it felt good not to be treated as such. Brexit - the uk’s ruin.

  • Madeira Island: Swimming with Dolphins

    3. Madeira Island: Swimming with Dolphins

    In the crystal clear waters of Madeira Island, swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. With assistance from an expert team of guides and divers, learn about the specific approach techniques needed to interact with these amazingly intelligent creatures. Madeira's regulations for swimming with wild dolphins are quite strict in order to preserve the subtle natural balance that these magnificent animals deserve. It may be possible to swim with 2 species of dolphins: Common Dolphins and Spotted Dolphins. As you enter the water, you remain safely connected to the boat at all times. Glide along the waters and swim with the dolphins in front, below and next to you as you admire these beautiful mammals in their natural habitat and make unforgettable memories. 

    Marta and Marcos are amazing! Very friendly, down to earth and know how to make things fun. Marta has a lot of knowledge and willing to tell you many things. Feel free to ask. Marcos was a good captain very helpful and even made the ride on the way back fun. You swim 10mins with the dolphins however trust me it’s enough. The experience is just amazing and breathtaking. We saw sleeping pilot whales and Marcos gently got very close to them so we can take pictures and film them. We then saw baby spotted dolphins and they were sooo adorable. Thank you for this amazing experience!

  • Funchal: Yacht Tour with Dolphin and Whale Watching

    4. Funchal: Yacht Tour with Dolphin and Whale Watching

    You tour will start from the marina in Funchal, where you will board the sailing yacht with a group of up to 20 people. On this relaxing sailing trip you will be seaching for dolphins, whales and sea turtles up to 3 miles form the coast. With some luck, you will see lots of native wildlife in its natural environment.  You will stop to go swimming and snorkeling at Cabo Girao, the highest sea cliff in Europe at 1,903 feet (580 meters) above the sea. If you don't want to swim, you can admire the beautiful coastal landscapes from the boat. You will be offered some drinks on board before heading back to the marina. 

    Passeio incrível da parte da manhã pela costa do Funchal até ao Cabo Girão. O mar estava tranquilo. O mergulho em alto mar é imperdível. A água estava super quente! Nao éramos muitas pessoas no iate o que em tempos de covid é muito seguro. O Francisco e o Renato são super simpáticos e atenciosos. Podía haver uma pouco mais de intereacção acerca das pequenas curiosidades daquela zona da ilha ao longo do percurso que fizemos. A única vida selvagem que conseguimos ver foi uma tartaruga o que, aparentemente, é mais raro do que avistar golfinhos e baleias. Gostamos muito!

  • Madeira: Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour from Funchal

    5. Madeira: Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour from Funchal

    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. 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. In the event you don’t spot any whales or dolphins you will be offered a 2nd trip. Get historical and technical information from your crew for a truly unique experience.

    The trip was very nice and well organized.First day we could not see any dolphins or whales unfortunately but had a chance to swim around Cabo Girão.I think it was very thoughtful that the agency gave another chance to rebook the trip and when we joined next day we could see some marine life.

  • Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

    6. 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 dis...

    We had an amazing time on our trip today. Josephine was amazing and such a credit to Magic Dolphin. She is so passionate and enthusiastic about the ocean and the wildlife. You can really tell she completely loves her job. We saw a big group of dolphins and it was the most amazing experience.

  • 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.

    This is worth the money; modern catamaran, exclusive feel, crew are friendly, efficient and knowledgeable, plenty of complimentary drinks and snacks available. Plenty of pilot whales and dolphins to watch for c30 mins.

  • 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...

    It extremely fun experience, particularly jump to the water from ship like that :)

  • 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.

    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!

  • Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Tour

    10. Funchal: Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Tour

    Your journey begins at the marina in Funchal, where you will board the sailing yacht with a group of up to 20 people. On this relaxing sailing trip, you will be searching 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.  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 onboard and be able to admire the beautiful sunset over the sea.

Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 271 reviews

The boat was beautiful and well looked after, hand sanitizer on board. We saw both dolpins and whales, it was very relaxing and stopped off for a swim in a calm part of the sea. Down side was the snorkel kit was not professional but more brought for kids.

It was a nice cruise with a lovely sunset. We even saw dolphins and whales from a good distance so that the animals weren't stressed by our visit.

Super friendly and helpful people, I highly recommend it, as it is an amazing experience to watch dolphins and ride a yacht

It was a great experience and the guide tell us a lot about wildlife and about Madeira.

We saw some Dolphins, sadly no Whales but the trip was still amazing.