Diving Sesimbra, National Park of Arrábida, Portugal This voyage takes us to some of the best scuba diving spots of Portugal’s mainland coast where the water temperature can reach 19ºC at this time of year with great visibility.

OriginLisboa Destination Sesimbra, Parque Natural da Arrábida

  • 20May



  • 3Nights

  • 90Nautical miles

  • €450Berth Price
    inc VAT (Shared cabin)

3 days sailing and diving expedition in Sesimbra’s National Park of Arrábida Marine Reserve
Wide variety of dive options including a wreck, reef walls and soft coral nursery

(inc all dive air, weights and equipment. Nitrox available on request at €10 per refill)

Voyage highlights

  • 3 days sailing and diving expedition in Sesimbra's National Park of Arrábida Marine Reserve
  • Wide variety of dive options including a wreck, reef walls and soft coral nursery
  • Sail into the sunset and return into Lisbon at sunrise under Lisbon's 25 de Abril stunning suspension bridge
  • Gain a hands-on sailing experience of this historic ship over 90 nautical miles of sailing
  • Our money back guarantee and COVID security policy

NOTE: Although we mention and include images of marine life, all marine life is wild, so we cannot guarantee that we will find them.

Voyage description

This voyage takes us to some of the best scuba diving spots of Portugal's mainland coast where the water temperature can reach 19ºC at this time of year with great visibility.

The water in Sesimbra's Marine reserve is rich in fish and other marine life including octopus, lobster, grouper, and small tuna. The area is visited regularly by a flotilla of dolphins which come into the estuary on the tide to feed and for the more advanced diver. Nearby the wreck of the River Gurara, a 170m long Nigerian cargo ship offers two dive locations with the stern at 25m and bow at 30m.

We will keep our diving itinerary flexible to allow our captain and dive leader to take us to the best dive sites depending on the weather conditions and visibility but options include:-

Baia Armação: An easy dive from 2 to 12m in a one of the most beautiful and calm bays near Sesimbra. A sand & rocky bottom in the protected marine reserve with great biodiversity.

Jardim Gorgónias: One of the most dived spots in Sesimbra. A light current, flows over a rock covered by sea fans, anemones and sponges up to 18 m. Possibility to see eels, crabs, octopus and schools of fish that often follow the divers.

Pedra Leão: A small island rock in the shape of a lion's head with walls and rocks down to 13m. It's an easy dive with a big hole in which are found large schools of fish squid and moray eels. This is a dive for the keen photograper.

Baleeira: A wall of rocks which rises gradually from 20m to a beach in a protected bay offering a very relaxed dive. Octopus, cuttlefish and a large variety of nudibranchs makes it a very enjoyable dive. Moon fish are sometimes a possibility.

Ponta Passagem: A sand and rocky area covered by a huge density of algae. Some small caves and walls, which drop from 8 to 25 meters, to a small kelp forest, home to lobster eels. Keep an eye on the blue for schools of mackerel and small tuna.

River Gurara: A 175 m long shipwreck, one of Portugal's most dived spots. This advanced dive is from 20 to 32m, combines the wreck with rich sea life. The big propeller, the dark engine room, and groupers, big ells, lobsters, schools of fish and some big snappers, makes this a very special dive.


Launched in 1937, and for many decades a flagship for Portugal's cod fishing industry in Newfoundland and Greenland, the renovated Santa Maria Manuela now offers hands-on sailing and island-hopping holidays, diving expeditions and sail training experiences as part of the Tall Ships Races and other festivals.

Many people who step aboard have not sailed before so our professional crew is ready to ensure a both rewarding and fun experience. Guests are invited to get involved in all aspects of sailing if they wish, from helming to trimming sails to taking part in night watches, but all activities are voluntary.

In addition to sailing, each journey may include a range of activities. If the weather and the itinerary allow the ships fishing equipment, kayaks, canoes and two 12-man powerboats are available to those with adventure in mind. Evenings are spent in good company sharing tales of the day's adventures around the bar or relaxing with a good book, playing board games or watching films in the Salon Terra Nova.

Cabins are basic but comfortable, each with a private shower and toilet. Paid for Wi-Fi is available through the ships satellite system.

The Salon Terra Nova seats 40 for meals with cushioned bench sofas also offering enough comfort to relax or to be used for company meetings. Bars on deck and below help to create a relaxed atmosphere.

Food is a key part of the Santa Maria Manuela experience, with the ships cook providing a variety of traditional Portuguese and international dishes.

On a sailing or diving journey we never use the word itinerary, as our captain will always be aiming for the best locations and most idyllic or sheltered anchorages and ports depending on the weather forecast. He is as keen as you to include some of the highlights described, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The journey description above is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed.

The ship is available for individual or group holidays, whole vessel charter, business meetings, events and product launches, and as a location for films.

The crew of Santa Maria Manuela look forward to welcoming you aboard in 2018.


No prior sailing experience is necessary to sail aboard the Santa Maria Manuela. Our crew will invite you to get involved in all elements of the ship's life, and is here to teach you all about the ship and how it sails should you wish, but participation is voluntary.


People of all ages and abilities are welcome to sail with us aboard the Santa Maria Manuela. To ensure everyone gets the most out of sailing with us we ask all passengers to be are independent and mobile.


  • All meals on board Santa Maria Manuela – including daily breakfast, lunch and evening meal
  • Refreshments (coffee, tea, water and juice) throughout the day
  • Use of safety equipment
  • All instruction on board by fully qualified crew
  • Third Party Liability Insurance


  • The ship has 11 x 2 persons cabins, 4 x 4 persons cabins and 1 x 6 person cabin
  • Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and comfortable beds set up as bunks
  • There is a reading light and power socket (European 2 pin) next to each bed
  • Couples have priority in the 2 person cabins. If you wish to guarantee a two-person cabin for yourself (1 person) we charge a 50% supplement. When the 2-person cabins are full, any additional booking will be in shared cabins split between male and female.


  • Travel to and from the boat
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at the bar (We run a bar TAB during your journey, payable at the end of your journey in cash or card before you disembark).
  • Any excursions and meals on shore
  • VISA fees


This is a list of the items we recommend you bring with you.

  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Wet weather clothing – waterproof and windproof jacket
  • Clothing – enough clothing for all weather circumstances and for sailing at night.
  • Soft soled trainers or deck shoes
  • Swimming gear
  • Toiletries
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Sea sickness medication
  • Personal medication
  • Book
  • Camera
  • Valid passport with 6 months validity


If your journey is sailing in foreign waters, you will require a full passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of the journey. You will be responsible for obtaining any necessary visas.


We advise all those sailing with us to take out relevant travel insurance.

We have Third Party Liability Insurance to cover all on board Santa Maria Manuela.


Please complete the booking form online in full. It not only gives us important information about how to contact you but also lets us know about any specific requirements you may have.


If you have any questions please email info@santamariamanuela.pt or call

Portuguese +351 9380 41284

International +351 9380 40843

General Conditions

Article 1. – Definitions

Definitions used in these General Terms:

  • a. Carrier: Recheio cash & carry S.A.
  • b. Client: A natural or legal person who enters into one or more contracts covered by these General Terms with the carrier.
  • c. Contract: All contracts signed between the carrier and the client under these General Terms.
  • d. Guest: third parties whose entry into the ship is authorized by the carrier pursuant to the contract signed with the client.
  • e. Ship journey: the entire cruise, including stay on board during the period foreseen in the contract.
  • f. Luggage: luggage which is easy to carry by the client and/or guest; suitcases, travel bags and/or backpacks.
  • g. Ship: the ship identified in the contract.
  • h. Price: the price referred to as such in the contract.

Article 2. – Scope

2.1. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, these General Terms apply to all contracts, including all offers made under this agreement, entered into between the carrier and the client and relating to the transport and/or catering services and other related services.

2.2. These Terms also apply to guests. The client shall be responsible for its guests and indemnify the carrier for any damages caused by such guests.

2.3. These Terms are written in Portuguese and translated into English. In case of any divergence between the original version and the translation, the Portuguese version shall prevail.

Article 3. - Offer / award

3.1. All of the carrier's offers, including offers contained in brochures, advertisements and websites are optional and may be cancelled by the carrier. Such cancellation, if it occurs, will be notified to the client as soon as possible.
3.2. The offer mentions:

  • a. The overall amount of the trip and the percentage that shall be paid in advance;
  • b. The means of payment;
  • c. The maximum number of guests per ship;
  • d. The place, date and time of boarding and landing;

These General Terms are an integral part of the first offer.

Article 4. - The contract

4.1. Except in case of a cancellation as provided for in article 3.1, the contract is concluded after the client accepts the offer. The carrier shall send a written or electronic confirmation to the client, after the agreement has been concluded.

4.2. The client provides to the carrier in advance or, at the latest before departure, all of his/her information as well as that of the registered guests.

Article 5. - Cancelation

5.1. In the event of the contract's cancellation, the client must inform the carrier as soon as possible, by letter. The valid date for the contract's cancellation is the date of receipt of said letter by the carrier.

5.2. The contract's cancellation by the client requires the payment of a fixed amount to the carrier, in the following terms:

Compensation - ship:

  • 15% in the event of cancellation up to 6 months prior to departure;
  • 20% in the event of cancellation up to 5 months prior to departure;
  • 30% in the event of cancellation 4 months prior to departure;
  • 40% in the event of cancellation 3 months prior to departure;
  • 50% in the event of cancellation 2 months prior to departure;
  • 75% in the event of cancellation 1 month prior to departure;
  • 90% in the event of cancellation 1 day prior to departure;
  • 100% in the event of cancellation on the day of departure.

Compensation - catering and other services:

  • 15% in the event of cancellation 2 months prior to departure;
  • 25% in the event of cancellation 1 month prior to departure;
  • 50% in the event of cancellation 2 weeks prior to departure;
  • 75% in the event of cancellation 1 week prior to departure;
  • 95% in the event of cancellation 1 day prior to departure;
  • 100% in the event of cancellation on the day of departure.

Whenever the losses incurred by the carrier, as a result of the cancellation, exceed 15% of the fixed amounts mentioned above, the carrier shall be compensated by the client who shall pay such additional amounts.

Article 6. - Suspension and termination

6.1. In the event of breach of the obligations provided in the contract, by either party, the other party has the right to suspend the fulfillment of its obligations, except in cases in which such non-compliance does not justify the suspension due to being based on matters of special or minor importance.

6.2. Failure by one of the parties to comply with the obligations provided in the agreement, gives the other party the right to cancel its respective pledge, except in cases in which such breach does not justify the cancellation due to being based on matters of special or minor importance.

6.3. The carrier reserves the right to terminate the contract at any time with immediate effect in case of:

  • - Bankruptcy, insolvency, initiation of a special revitalization process or receivership;
  • - If the client does not fulfil his/her obligations within 5 working days after receiving a written notification to do so.
  • - If there is a situation similar to that referred in Article 11, paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 below.
  • - If the ship is not available due to unforeseeable circumstances and if, despite the efforts made by the carrier, a similar ship cannot be made available.

6.4. The cancellation or suspension must be notified in writing, by one party to the other, stating the relevant reasons. The contract is deemed to have been settled amicably upon receipt of the cancellation letter by the client.

6.5. If the client is responsible for the cause underlying the suspension or cancellation, the resulting damages will be borne by the client.

Article 7. - Price and price amendments

7.1. Unless otherwise agreed, the price does not include port expenses, bridge or locks expenses, fees and other similar expenses, which shall be borne by the client who is on board the ship.

7.2. The referred price is subject to changes resulting from the unforeseen increase in government charges, taxes or surcharges on fuel, whenever these occur after the signing of the contract.

7.3. If, as a result of the increase in prices, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, the agreed price has an increase of more than 15%, the client has the right to cancel or withdraw from the contract.

Article 8. - Payment

8.1. Payment shall be made by bank transfer to the account designated by the carrier. The date on the carrier's bank statement is considered the payment date.

Article 9. - Late Payment

9.1. The client defaults after the agreed payment date has expired. In that case, the carrier shall notify the client granting him/her a period of five working days after receiving the notification to make the payment.

9.2. Failure to pay the amount due after the period stipulated in the payment notice entitles the carrier to charge interest calculated from the due date, at the applicable legal rate, plus 3% per year over the due amount.

9.3. If the client remains without paying the amount due after being notified to do so, the carrier has the right to add collection costs to the amount owed, which include the judicial and extrajudicial costs.

Extrajudicial costs amount to:

  • 15% over the first 2,500.00 euros of the outstanding amount, which shall amount to at least 40 euros;
  • 10% over the following 2,500.00 euros of the outstanding amount;
  • 5% over the following 5,000.00 of the outstanding amount;
  • 1% over the following 15,000.00 of the outstanding amount, Unless the amount spent by the carrier is less than such amounts.

9.4. All billing claims shall be made in writing, clearly defined and documented, and sent promptly to the carrier upon receipt of the invoice.

Article 10. – Carrier’s obligations

10.1 The carrier performs the cruise according to its best practices and efficiency rules.

10.2. The carrier shall ensure that the ship and the crew comply with the legal requirements of the country where the ship is registered.

10.3. The route shall be defined by consulting the client, unless it has been previously fixed by the carrier and/or by the captain of the ship.

10.4. The carrier and/or the captain of the ship may change the cruise for navigation reasons.

Navigation reasons include, but are not limited to, all aspects relating to weather and sea conditions, blocking of sea lanes, state of the ship, force majeure, strikes and the salvage of lives and property at sea.

These reasons may also include the amendment of the place of departure and/or arrival and/or the decision not to set sail.

10.5. In the cases mentioned in the previous paragraph, the carrier and/or the captain of the ship shall always try to find, together with the client, an alternative solution. All reasonable additional costs, shall be borne by the client.

Article 11. – Client's (and guests) obligations

11.1. The client and his guests are to have their personal documentation duly organised and updated and the carrier declines any responsibility for the failure to comply with these duties.

11.2. Children travelling with their parents or authorised by them to travel with other adults are required to have their own personal identification document.

11.3. Unless otherwise agreed, at the end of the cruise, the client shall deliver the ship under the same conditions as the client found it upon boarding.

11.4. During the duration of the cruise, the client and the guests must maintain appropriate behavior towards the crew and other persons on board.

11.5. The instructions given by the carrier and/or the ship's captain and/or crew must be strictly followed for safety reasons and to maintain order on the ship.

11.6. If, in the opinion of the carrier and/or the captain, the client fails to comply with paragraphs 2 and 3 above, the carrier and/or the ship's captain may terminate the contract immediately and/or deny the client and/or his/her guests access to the ship, unless such breach does not justify the termination of the contract due to being based on reasons of special or minor importance.

11.7. The client and the guests are not authorized to carry other goods on board other than the luggage mentioned above, unless prior authorization is given by the carrier and/or the ship's captain.

11.8. The client and guests may not carry pets on board, unless prior authorization is given by the carrier and/or the ship's captain.

11.9. The client and guests may not bring on board or be in possession of materials or objects that may endanger the health, well-being and/or safety of third parties, such as hazardous substances, explosives, radioactive and/or toxic substances, contraband, weapons, ammunition and drugs.

11.10. The client must deliver to the ship's captain a list with the name of the guests, no later than the day of their arrival.

Article 12. – Force Majeure

12.1. Force Majeure are unforeseeable circumstances that can lead to delays or the inability to comply with the contract, whenever these circumstances cannot be avoided by the carrier due to legal, contractual or social issues.

12.2. Force Majeure includes damage to the ship that causes the ship to be unable to perform. These damages must be caused by circumstances that the carrier could not anticipate or prevent.

12.3. The termination of the contract for reasons of force majeure gives the carrier the right to be reimbursed for expenses incurred before the occurrence of such force majeure that led to the termination of the contract and provided that the client benefits from the services provided.

Article 13. – Carrier's liability

13.1. The carrier shall not be liable for damages resulting from death or injury and/or property damage that is caused by circumstances whose consequences any diligent carrier could not have avoided.

13.2. Any compensation to be paid, as a result of the inability to comply with its obligations as set out in Article 10 above, shall be limited to the agreed price for hiring the ship.

13.3. If the carrier proves that the damages were caused by the client's and/or the guest's fault or negligence, or if such fault or negligence contributed to the damages, the carrier's liability shall be removed, in full or in part.

13.4. The carrier shall not be liable for damages caused by delays due to meteorological reasons, the time the cruise starts and/or finishes or the availability of a replacement ship due to unforeseen circumstances.

Article 14. – Client's (and guests) liability

The customer is liable for the damages caused by himself or his guests on board the ship, except in cases where the damages are due to the carrier's acts or omissions.

Article 15. – Claims

15.1. Claims relating to the performance of the contract shall be clearly presented to the carrier and/or to the captain of the ship immediately after the relevant facts have occurred.

15.2. All claims for invoices must be submitted, in writing, within a maximum period of 10 days after receipt of the invoice.

Article 16. - Disputes

16.1. All disputes relating to this contract are governed by Portuguese law, with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Maritime Court of Lisbon (Tribunal Marítimo de Lisboa).

Article 17. - Cork fees

17.1. Aboard the SMM we serve a range of wines, beers and spirits. If you wish to bring your own alcohol our cork fees per bottle are:

  • Spirits & Wine €20.00
  • Beer €2.00

Artigo 18. - Special Diets

18.1. Santa Maria Manuela will always seek to accommodate guests needs and preferences, but since our infrastructure space is limited we can only accommodate allergies and intolerances. In our daily menu there is some options including salad, soup and vegetables.

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