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Aboard the Santa Maria Manuela we offer environmentally conscious hands-on sailing and island-hopping voyages, diving expeditions and sail training experiences.  No previous sailing experience is necessary, with guests invited to get involved in all aspects of sailing under the careful guidance of our professional crew.


The wheel is astern of the bridge, the nerve centre of the Santa Maria Manuela, allowing the captain to give directional instructions to the helm (driver). From here the helm also gets a clear view of the whole deck and the sails, and can keep an eye on the sailors as they trim for best speed. 

Guests are invited to take the helm by day or night.  Its an incredible feeling to be in command of this 1930s 4 masted schooner as she ploughs through the waves. This is also a popular place for guests to socialise with a glass of wine in hand as the sun sets.


The bridge is the nerve centre of the Santa Maria Manuela, and is located next to the wheel allowing the captain to give directional instructions to the helm (driver). From here the captain also gets a clear view of the whole deck and the sails.  The SMM is equipped with modern navigation and communication systems, but we are obliged to also carry paper charts on which the officers of the watch plot our course.  Guests are always welcome on the bridge, and there is nothing our offices like more than to give instruction in navigation, weather forecasting or how to use a sextant.


It was in these wooden boats that the fishermen spent twelve hours in the cold, often lost in fog that covered the chilly waters of Newfoundland and Greenland. The doris were numbered with lotts drawn by the fishermen at the beginning of each campaign. The most superstitious refused some numbers as bad luck. The sailors fished several miles away from the Ship, carrying only a piece of cod and bread to eat. Fishing was done by handline hundreds of meters long loaded with hooks and bait. The more cod they caught, the higher the profit for the fisherman.  Competition was rife, but it wasn't without risk.  It was not uncommon for overlaiden dorys to sink taking their catch and their master to a frozen and watery grave.   


The deck once housed 50 dorys loaded one on top of the other, with space still for gutting and cleaning the day's catch before it was salted and racked for the long journey back to Portugal.

Today the Santa Maria Manuela's deck is known as one of the widest open decks amongst the tall ship world, making it the preferred party ship during festivals, and an ideal host ship for environmental expeditions, film locations and business events. The deck of Santa Maria Manuela is 62 meters long and is easily adapted for all event solutions. Her capacity alongside the quay is 70 seated for dinner under awning and 200 on foot.


There are two pantries and a main galley located near the bow. This area is equipped to serve up to 150 meals a day.


Historically, this room was where the ship’s officers dined and planned their cod fishing campaigns.  The captain sat at the head of the table according to the

protocol. On the wall we see historic pictures of the SMM, a board with the name of all captains and a photograph of Manuela D'Orey, the wife of Vasco Albuquerque d'Orey who named the ship after her as she gave him 16 children.  There is also a historic chart of the fishing grounds of Terra Nova, preserving knowledge of the best spots which was jealously guarded from other competing ships. 


The SMM has a capacity for 44 guests to sleep overnight.  The cabins are functional yet comfortable, with air, conditioning, private heads (WC) and shower.  In keeping with the cod fishing days, the beds are bunks and have a private reading light, power socket (European 2 plug) and wardrobe. Most beds measure 190cm X 80cm.


The Salon Terra Nova is the heart and sole of the SMM.  The bar is a perfect spot to discuss the days adventures and share sailing stories, and our barman is always keen to show off his cocktail making skills. 

This area seats 40 for meals with cushioned bench sofas offering enough comfort to relax.

At 80 m2 this flexible room can be used to host dinners, company meetings, film screenings or presentations. It is equipped with a modern 49’ LCD (UltraHD).


We have two Zodiacs aboard which are used to access the shore or as dive boats during our diving expeditions. These are coded for 14 pax including 2 crew, and have capacity for 8 divers including all equipment

Kayak and Fishing Equipement

There are a number of inflatable kayaks and Stand Up Padel Boards aboard for use when the SMM is at anchor for those with adventure in mind, and the ships extensive collection of fishing equipment is always readily available