São Miguel Island
Cruises & Boat Tours

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Our most recommended São Miguel Island Cruises & Boat Tours

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. Once whales have been spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline.

São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

3. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

São Miguel Island: Full-Day West Coast Tour

4. São Miguel Island: Full-Day West Coast Tour

Discover all of São Miguel Island's west coast in one day on this guided tour. Enjoy scenic views as you visit small lakes, exclusive viewpoints, a pineapple plantation, and Sete Cidades. Learn the history behind the landscapes you explore. Start your trip with a pickup from your hotel. Meet your expert guide who will be with you along your adventure. Start learning the history and nature of the Azores archipelago. Then, head straight to Sete Cidades, enjoying amazing views of the island along the ride. Stop at the islet's viewpoints and immerse yourself in nature as you roam and visit the lakeside. The Sete Cidades lagoon will be the main attraction of the tour, but there will be plenty of additional stops and sights that you can enjoy along the way.

Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

5. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada, and then explore the coastline of the Azores by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales and orcas that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark the boat and enjoy a tasty lunch, and then make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo and Caldeira Velha. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about the many uses the volcanic landscape gives to the island, from its medicinal mud to its energy source. 

Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

6. Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

Kick off your scuba diving experience with a small introduction session during which you will learn all about diving equipment, techniques and underwater communication. Then head out to the sea by boat, allowing a supervised and relaxed way to experience diving.  Your dive will take place at the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Islet, an island formed by a volcano crater. Explore an area close to wrecked cannons from the 16th century and see how nature incorporated them into marine life.

Azores: Sete Cidades Village and Lakes Half-Day Tour

7. Azores: Sete Cidades Village and Lakes Half-Day Tour

Begin your tour of Sete Cidades and the lakes of São Miguel with a visit to some pineapple greenhouses. See the plantation and production process of the Azores famous crop from start to end. Continue towards the village of Sete Cidades ("Seven Cities") stopping en route for some panoramic views of the west of the island of São Miguel. Marvel at a stunning scenery of small hills and green pastures, and see the peak of Carvão, from where both the north and south coasts of the island can be seen. Discover some of the island's smaller lakes such as the Lagoa das Empadadas, Lagoa do Canario and Lagoa de Santiago. Experience the island's most famous observation point, considered one of the "7 Natural Wonders of Portugal." Then, continue into the peaceful village of Sete Cidades, dramatically located at the bottom of a volcanic crater. Acclimatize to the serene way of life in this extraordinary place, and visit the harmonious church. Get stunning views of the fishing village of Mosteiros from the Escalvado viewpoint, from where you can admire the local summer houses, exquisite beach and natural pools created by lava formations.

Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

8. Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

Discover the natural reserve of Ilhéu de Vila Franca, located in the south coast of São Miguel island. This small volcanic island is only situated 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) away from Vila Franca do Campo Marina. Circle around the island with a professional guide who will point out all the rare rock formations. Watch the nesting sites of the local sea birds such as the Garajau-comum (sterna hirundo). Take a peek inside the crater filled with turquoise water.

Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

9. Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

Go on a boat and embark on a snorkeling experience in the sea. Enjoy the marine life in a supervised and relaxed way.  Receive a brief explanation of the apnea basic concepts, equipment, and swimming techniques. These are theoretical and practical sessions, where safety procedures will be explained.  This activity takes place in the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Island, close to the wrecked cannons from the 16th Century.  Come and see what the underwater world has to offer you with the greatest comfort and safety.

Furnas: East Island Nature Experience

10. Furnas: East Island Nature Experience

After being collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to your stop on the island, São Miguel. The region is abundant with nature, and you will discover a big lake as well as some hot springs in which you can bathe. You will also be welcome to try some food cooked in the local heart holes. Following that, you will make your way towards Plantações de Chá Gorreana. There you will discover the only fields of tea in Europe, and whilst at the plantation you can sample the tea for free and roam around the fields. You will then visit Poça Da Dona Beija, Lomba das Barracas, Furnas, and Povoação, which are hot springs where you will be free to relax whilst contemplating the nature around you. You will finally go to Ilheu Vila Franca Campo, Parque Industrial de Vila Franca, which is 500 meters offshore. In the summer, it's also possible to visit the islet there to have a swim. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned back to your point of origin.

Frequently asked questions about São Miguel Island Cruises & Boat Tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in São Miguel Island

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What people are saying about São Miguel Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 150 reviews

A wonderful trip 8/5/22. We saw a Humpback Whale, enjoyed the joyful company of a large pod of Bottle Nosed Dolphins - and to finish - we saw a single Blue Whale in close quarters to us and then there were two Blue Whales. We were able to observe without changing the behaviours of the Whales or Dolphins. The skipper kept trying to find the animals the whole trip, in partnership with the spotters on land. An experience I shall remember for the rest of my life.

Excellent tour! Glass bottom boat was a very special experience as was snorkeling in the cove! Sara was an excellent guide and very welcoming and helpful. Thank you! We saw many parrot fish and a man-o-war for the first time!

Very nice! Staff is knowledgeable and welcoming. They really went the extra mile for us to see whales and dolphins. Highly recommended!

Very good guide and tour. Excellent exposure to life and scenery in the Azores.

Brilliant! We saw sperm whales jumping out of the water it was fantastic.