This unique eco voyage is, for the second year, hosted by one of Portugal’s leading marine biologists, who will offer an insight into Flores’ pristine marine biodiversity, and the chance to get actively involved in eco workshops aboard.
Our Azorean sailing adventure starts and finishes in Terceira, with an open ocean crossing to the pristine island of Flores, the western most point of this mid Atlantic archipelago, designated an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We spend 2 days in this lush green paradise where waterfalls and volcanic lagoons abound.
Take advantage of the Santa Maria Manuela’s zodiacs, and our crew’s adventurous spirit by exploring the hidden sea caves and rock formations and swimming in secluded bays.
Consider hiking to one of the islands many waterfalls. The majestic Ribeira Grande Waterfall plummets from a granite wall on the west of the island. In contrast, but equally striking, the tiny waterfall of Ribeira da Cruz drops into a hidden pond, in a deep the valley. The most famous of the Flores waterfalls is Ribeira do Ferreiro in the Morro Alto Forest Reserve, with its walls totally covered in dense vegetation, or more accessible is Poço do Bacalhau waterfall which drops 90 meters into a plunge pool ideal for a refreshing dip.
Or save your legs, and book a bus tour to visit some of the seven lakes of Lagoa Rasa, Lagoa Funda, Lagoa Seca, Lagoa Branca and Lagoa da Lomba.
Over the water is Corvo Island and the chance to explore Monte Gorde Volcano.
Whilst aboard there’s always time to learn. Led by our onboard marine biologist, and ably supported by our crew, our Manta Net and microscope, donated to us by Waste Free Oceans, allow us to collect and analyze water samples. In 2023 our findings of a blue dragon (Glaucus atlanticus), various plankton and microplastics provided inspiration for some lively debate.
After our island adventure help the crew to hoist and set the sails again as we head east. 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. 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.
We finish our voyage on Terceira Island anchoring in the bay of UNESCO-listed Angra do Heroísmo, the Azores' oldest city, with its 16th-century fortress and Renaissance town. We disembark after a sumptuous deck BBQ and an evening of celebration with fellow shipmates.
Consider visiting Algar do Carvão with its 90m-deep volcanic chimney, and the island’s small vineyards and lava-rock bathing pools in Biscoitos.
NOTE: Shore excursions are not included within the price of this voyage. We recommend you book transport and tours well in advance as there are very few suppliers on the islands.
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