In 2016, National Geographic Traveler elected the Azores archipelago the most beautiful place in the world and there can be no better way to reach these islands than on board the Santa Maria Manuela.
This 785 nautical mile blue water crossing is a classic tall ship sailing experience. The usual wind is abeam from the north throughout this voyage, offering a perfect sailing angle for our schooner sails.
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 with the ship’s life. Volunteers to hoist and trim the sails speed 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.
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.
2023 will mark the 39th anniversary of the ban on whaling in the Azores. Since 1984, whale numbers have grown, and they have returned to their old feeding grounds of the Azores. As we near the islands we might get lucky and catch sight of one of these magnificent creatures. Sperm whales are the resident species, with blue, fin and sei whales, and bottlenose, Atlantic spotted and common dolphins are also common at this time of year.
We finish our voyage in the cosmopolitan mid-Atlantic city of Ponta Delgada, outward looking, with a thriving economy and lively culture. After an evening of celebrations with fellow shipmates and a sumptuous deck BBQ, we encourage you to spend a few days exploring the island.
Boasting over five centuries of history, Ponta Delgada is a multifaceted city where tradition lives hand-in-hand with the present. Be sure to visit the Igreja de São Sebastião, the Igreja de São Pedro and Igreja São José, and the Convent and Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Esperança. To the west lie Lagoa das Sete Cidades, the Azores' most recognized natural monument, named one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
In August, the Azores enjoy a delightful climate, characterized by mild temperatures and balmy sea breezes. Expect daytime temperatures averaging 24°C (75°F), ideal for both sailing and land-based exploration.
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