We start our voyage in the bustling port city of La Coruña, home to the Tower of Hercules, the only working Roman lighthouse in the world, and its many typically Spanish squares and medieval churches.
Invigorated by the Spanish culture, we set sail west for the notorious Cape Finisterre, where the north Atlantic winds compress into a narrow channel, at times delivering some exciting sailing conditions.
With all hands-on-deck and a good team effort to hoist the sails, we round the Cape and hope for a favorable wind from the north to help us make good speed for the Berlengas Islands.
There´s nothing our crew like more then to share their knowledge of sailing with our guests, and they will encourage you to get actively involved in the ship’s life. Volunteers to hoist and trim the sails are always welcome, and the feeling of helming a 68m sailing ship as she responds to the command of the wheel is something to savor forever.
Knot classes are a great way to learn a new skill whilst sharing sailing stories with shipmates, and if the weather allows there's the opportunity to go up the mast or relax in the bowsprit netting. A drink at sunset on the deck is the perfect way to round off each day.
Halfway down Portugal’s Atlantic Coast lie the ruggedly beautiful Berlengas Islands, a natural reserve, celebrated for their crystal-clear water, unexplored caves and an unspeakable beauty. This junction of the Mediterranean and Atlantic climates gave rise to a unique ecosystem, now a natural sanctuary protected by UNESCO since 2011. The Santa Maria Manuela is the only ship blessed with the unique opportunity to anchor here, thanks to our close connections with local authorities. The ships kayaks are available for those with exercise in-mind, or explore the islands by zodiac.
Continuing south, Lisbon beckons with its historic shoreline. We motor beneath the famous Ponte da 25 Abril suspension bridge and dock just yards away from the Oceanario do Lisboa, voted many times as the world’s leading aquarium.
If your schedule allows, once you’ve disembarked take time to explore Lisbon, an ageless city where old customs and ancient history intermix with contemporary culture, entertainment and innovation. Visit the historic Belem Tower, a symbol of Portugal's Age of Discovery, explore the vibrant Alfama district, known for its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and Fado music.
July in Lisbon is warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) in the mornings to 30°C (86°F) during the day.
When preparing for your voyage please bear in mind:
The trip between Lisbon and Funchal was really exceptional thanks to the kindness and professionalism of the crew that was always available to answer all our requests. A trip far too short.
It was my first cruise aboard Santa Maria Manuela but it will certainly not be the last.
Catherine - France
I can't imagine the Santa Maria Manuela having a bigger fan than me. It was a remarkable experience and I really enjoyed getting to know the crew as well as all of the passengers. It was a great group of people to spend 6 days with.
Sailwiz - Spain
It was obvious that the crew was very capable of doing everything without the help of the passengers, but I loved that they wanted us to be involved and gave us tasks that we could do. It is also evident how important safety on board is and I was impressed to see all of the crew members in harnesses and helmets whenever they were in slightly precarious positions preparing a sail to be raised or fixing something.
Sailwiz – Spain
The trip was absolutely incredible. I am extremely impressed with the ship and the crew. I felt very at home on board and the crew was so kind, helpful and knowledgeable. I feel like I learned so much about the ship and navigation and I know many of the other passengers feel the same. I truly enjoyed the trip and hope that I will go aboard again.
Julia – USA
My friends and familly are all '50 shades of green' with envy. Thankyou from Andrew and me to you and the crew for an experience of a lifetime.
Gordon - Scotland
As for the trip to Madeira was the best experiences I have had and I take the opportunity to congratulate your team and crew who are fantastic ...
We want to say THANK YOU to all the crew they all were so helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. If the world would follow Santa Maria Manuela’s example we would all live in a better place.
Peter & Ron, UK
Absolutely loved the trip from Lisbon. Such a beautiful ship - have fallen completely in love with her and can't wait to book the next trip.
It was a wonderful journey. The ship is beautiful and in a perfect condition, we felt comfortable at any time, thanks to the gentle team. The meals were very tasteful (thanks to the cook!).
Katrin - Holland
We really enjoyed our Madeira-Tenerife crossing onboard SMM. Great crew, fantastic downwind sailing, pleasant ‘guests’.
Pierre - France
The crew took good care of us, I just hope they enjoyed the trip as much as we did. Could not have been any better.
Irmgard – Germany
Without a doubt, this year the best experience I had was being on board Santa Maria Manuela. The days on board were extraordinary. Crew 5⭐
Nuno - Portugal