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Getting To Know Madeira – Cruise Port Guide


Madeira is a port that features on a wide variety of itineraries, including Canary Island sailings, World Cruises and Caribbean transatlantic. It’s one of those ports that always has something to offer and whether you’ve been before or you are about to visit for the first time, our Madeira cruise port guide has all the information you need to plan the perfect visit.

Your ship will dock in Funchal and you’ll find there is a shuttle bus service offered, although, it’s usually a service at a small cost. If you’re feeling fit, you can walk into town from your ship. It will take you approx. 15 minutes.

Funchal is a very pretty port and the sail in/out is quite spectacular in terms of scenery – if you’re lucky, you may even have an escort from the local friendly dolphins. Speaking of which, dolphin watching excursions are hugely popular here and we would definitely recommend one!

Funchal is a great place to explore on foot and there are numerous cafes and restaurants for you to stop at along the way. If you’re feeling adventurous, the cable car is a great way to see Funchal and you’ll get a rather impressive view of your ship. Your cruise line will likely offer this as an organised excursion, but if you want to beat the crowds, we’d suggest doing this on your own. It is quite a walk from the terminal, but taxis will be readily available across the street from where the shuttle bus will drop you off. If you’re feeling brave, we highly recommend you make the journey back down from the top of the cable car via the traditional toboggan run. It’s definitely an experience that’s not for the faint hearted.

Madeira’s Botanical Garden is a must for those who love the outdoors and its natural beauty. The garden was first opened to the public in 1960 and it still remains very popular to this day. Not only are the gardens stunning but so is the view! The Bom Sucesso Estate, which is where you’ll find the gardens, dates from 1881 and was created by the Reid family as their very own private park. The garden also has a Museum of Natural History.

Religious or not, the Funchal Cathedral is beautiful inside and out, and certainly worth a short visit. It’s right in the middle of the town, you can’t miss it.

Travel Tips

The Visit Funchal website offers a printable map

There is a tourism office located inside the cruise terminal

Don’t leave before you’ve enjoyed a stroll around the small park that’s right in the middle of the town –  you can’t miss it!

Madeira cable car

Key highlights of Madeira

  • Funchal
  • Dolphin Watching
  • Cable Car
  • Reid’s Hotel – where Churchill frequented
  • Monte Toboggan rides
  • Cape Girão
  • Pico do Arieiro
  • Madeira Botanical Garden
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Funchal Cathedral 
Tenerife Cruise Port

Regular cruise line visitors

  • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Silversea
  • Saga Cruises
  • P&O Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • MSC Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean

Funchal, Madeira


Curated News for No Fly Cruise Lines that Visit Madeira


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