SailZen
Multi-day ToursBoat ToursEco ToursPrivate ToursNature & Wildlife Tours
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
About
We guide exclusively small groups around the Azores islands by sailboat. During our multi-day trips, we let the wind define the route of each adventure and it is possible to be booked as a shared cruise or as a private boat for you, your friends or family. We maintain a professional, still familiar crew of two members, captain & cook/mate aboard at all times. Our experience recommends a minimum of 6 days and a maximum of 10 days for the duration of each trip. Let us know your idea and together we will trim it.
Vila Franca do Campo, Portugal

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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Travelers talk about
(13 reviews)
(2 reviews)
(2 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles48 reviews
Excellent
48
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FMG
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
An incredible trip with a wonderful team. Travel during this pandemic was never going to be straightforward, and we had a few hiccups along the way, including a few of our friends finding themselves unable to travel. SailZen were remarkably accommodating and helpful; with some creative solutions we were ultimately able to sail and had an amazing trip. This was my first time in the Azores and I would highly recommend visiting; the marine life is simply incredible and there is so much to do. I would also highly recommend sailing with SailZen as a great way to explore the islands. Our Skipper was wonderful - very knowledgeable and a great teacher! I look forward to next year's sailing trip :)
Written August 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your kind words! We hope to sail with you aboard our new boat next year. All the best and stay safe!
Written October 11, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JimE339
Florida30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
Truly a trip of a lifetime with Andre and Rita on their beautiful sailboat sailing around the Azores. The Azores are beautiful, lush, volcanic islands with friendly locals and no crowds! No better way to tour them than with Captain Andre who grew up there and Rita who provided delicious meals made with local ingredients. We were treated daily with beautiful sunrises, sunsets and views of the islands only available from the ocean. Everywhere we anchored for the evening or a trip onshore, we were the only boat; talk about having the place all to yourself!! We snorkeled with whale sharks, saw a humpback whale and her calf and watched dolphins racing across our bow. Captain Andre let us practice the sailing skills we recently acquired and was very patient in helping us increase our knowledge and skills.
Written October 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Jim, It was a great pleasure to sail with you guys. A truly memorable trip especially for me with a lot of firsts after so a few years of doing it eh eh I hope we can share it again one day and thank you for such a great review. Kind regards to you and Lee. André & Rita
Written March 28, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Filip B
Stockholm, Sweden1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
We went for a day trip with Andre and Rita in May 2022. The experience was more than we hoped for! The crew was so welcoming and took such good care of us - we felt right at home. You really feel like you are in good hands with the crew.

The planning beforehand was very good and Andre was quick to reply and set up the day trip beforehand. He regularly checked the weather to see which day would be best for a sailing experience, and was flexible in choosing the best date.

As we enjoy sailing, we got a chance to take part in some of the tasks that were needed to be done onboard which we loved - it was a good learning experience for us. The meal that was prepared was also very good and it was so fun to get to try some of the local foods.

After just a few hours onboard it felt like we had some new friends in Andre and Rita. We can highly recommend Sailzen for anybody looking for a top-notch sailing experience on the Azores and we look forward to coming back for one of their 10 day trips.
Written May 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Filip, it was amazing to share the first sail of the season with you. We hope to see you again aboard at some point and share what we love to do( being at sea). Enjoy life and see you soon around. André & Rita
Written July 31, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lukas S
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Captain Andre was really calm and made the sailing really enjoyable and his girlfriend Rita is the best cook ever. We had a great time sailing and being off the boat, exploring the islands. We been really happy to be on the boat of SailZen and look forward to Sail with them soon again.
Thanks for the amazing time!
Written August 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
You are really welcome back! We give our best and you did too. The so-called great teamwork! See you aboard in 2021? We hope so! Kind Regards. A&R
Written October 11, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Domantas G
Vilnius, Lithuania10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Overall evaluation:
The best word to describe the experience would be lightness. Travelling with André and Rita on a sailboat makes you feel safe, relaxed and part of the company. I understand that all people are different, so I can't imagine how they manage to create that feeling. So now, on shore, our family is longing for all the great times, for our new friends André and Rita, and I want to thank them very much for that!

Emotional evaluation:
For the first time in our lives, our family has decided to spend a week on a boat. Basically, we decided because owning a sailboat is an old dream of mine and the family signed up for the experiment. So you can understand that it was a bit stressful :). I wanted to learn how to sail, my wonderful wife Eglė wanted to have elegant moments, and the kids wanted to have all the water fun they could. And I was worried that if everyone didn't like it, got seasick, couldn't use the toilet and so on, they would end up hanging me on the mast. André and Rita made everyone's wishes come true in one week, allayed all our fears and turned our time into a wonderful adventure that we didn't want to leave the boat at the end of. Everything was great: the sailing, the food, the music, the crew, the water activities, the board games, the space, the marinas and so on. On this boat you are welcome in every marina, every pub and every restaurant. And most importantly, in every sea. We even ended up all together at the Santa Rita Blues Festival!

Rational evaluation:
Sailing: 10/10. Andre&Rita's sailing experience is impressive, spanning all the world's oceans, and they are happy to share it if you are willing to learn.
Food: 10/10 Excellent, very varied, delicious home-cooked food. Rita has foraged a wide variety of herbs and is constantly replenishing her supplies from local farms. And our children were constantly spoiled with desserts :)
Comfort: 10/10 (if this is not first time on boat) 8/10 (for begginers) Space on board is always limited, but Irró has been well organised and thought out, so apart from the corner of the ceiling above the galley, everywhere is easy to move around. None of us got a bump or hurt anything.
Hygiene: 10/10 (for sailors) 8/10 (for begginers) The ship has a 2 toilets and shower and uses organic detergents.
Safety: 10/10 I would rate it even higher because the crew always keeps one eye on how you feel and always helps. Also, Andre's safety briefing deserves a special mention.
Weather: 8/10, but it's the Azores and this year July was cooler. All the locals said they couldn't remember such a year. But in this case Adnre, knowing how much my wife loves the sun, was always trying to sail in sunshine.
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Domantas, thank you very much for your amazing review! It was really a pleasure to share sailing with you and your family and you are all super welcome to join us on a new adventure at any time! See you soon over the seas and always steel some happiness today from the next day of you can 😘✌️😎😜
Written August 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alicia R
Berlin, Germany2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Friends
Sailing with Sailzen was an extraordinary experience. It was my first time sailing and Andrè and Rita made it very special. It was not just the sailing trip that made it special but also the trips on land, their company and of course the best food that Rita is cooking. They are great in adjusting the trip to your needs and sailing experience. I highly recommend it to everyone who is looking for a unique and personal sailing trip.
Written November 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Alina, thank you for such great review. we really do hope to see you again aboard sometime, Your child eye & smile regarding the sea and enjoying the life aboard is missed by us. We hope to see you soon somehwere in this beautifull world. Kind nautical regards, André & Rita
Written July 31, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

wheretogonext44
Chapel Hill, NC39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
If I could give Sailzen 10 stars out of 5 I would. We had an absolutely fantastic time on our 6-day trip in July. One of the most memorable travel experiences I have had and I have traveled a lot. It was so beautiful and peaceful and we saw lots of sea-life including fabulous snorkeling and fluorescent dolphins at night, which was truly magical. Andre and Rita were fantastic hosts. Made us feel so welcome and really went out of their way to make sure we had a great experience. The boat is beautiful and comfortable, Andre is a very experienced and professional captain so you are in excellent hands whether you know how to sail or not, and Rita cooked fabulous local food. Totally positive experience. Highly recommend.
Written August 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your review! We had a spectacular trip really and also thanks to the passengers too! You are more than welcome to come back and enjoy life aboard with SailZen.
Written August 30, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sara M
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We (my husband and I, and our three children (ages 17, 15 and 13)) are first time sailors, and to be honest, we did not know what to expect. Sailing with Andre and Rita was the best choice we could have ever made. They are the best at easing you into the experience and making a most enjoyable and memorable trip. Our family absolutely loved sailing on Irro! Each morning, you are greeted by warm smiles and cheerful good mornings. Then comes one of the best parts of the trip, Rita’s amazing food/cooking! Andre is a wonderful person and Captain. He made all of us at ease with his knowledge of sailing and the seas. He answered all our questions and took us to some of the most beautiful areas of the islands….some completely remote where we saw four different types of dolphins, turtles and Portuguese man o war.

One of the days, in Santa Maria, we swam from the boat and hiked to the port where we then met Andre and Rita at a local café. From there, we decided to tour the beautiful island, including the unforgettable red desert. The day our children will never forget though is when they were able to jump off cliffs into the ocean of a secluded bay. Later that evening, Andre took us spearfishing. Andre caught fish, which then he cleaned and grilled for an amazing fish bbq dinner. Additionally, we played on the kayaks and paddle board exploring the areas where we docked. We dove off the boat into the blue water. We lounged, we slept. Most of all though, we had the chance to “go where the wind will take you!” If you have the opportunity to sail with Andre and Rita (Sailzen), you should JUMP at the chance. Not only will you have an amazing time, but you will leave with two new friends! Thank you Andre and Rita!
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Sara and family. We had such a great time together. It is really amazing to provide such an experience to a first-time sailing family and you were awesome on the water and living life to its fullest sailing. This kind of trip makes us gain the will to keep doing what we do with SailZen. Hoping to see you again aboard one day, maybe somewhere else? Kind nautical regards, André & Rita
Written July 31, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cindy C
Sebastian, FL7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
An amazing sailing experience with Captain Branco aboard Irro`. I have been three times and each time is unique, new sites to see, swimming areas, food and laughter. This time we saw a sperm whale with her calf. This was a first for me! Rita is a wonderful, kind and lovely hostess. She makes delicious meals for us and tends to our needs to make us comfortable and the trip enjoyable. Andre`is an expert sailor/captain and you feel safe when you are sailing with him. He also shares sailing techniques and is a wonderful host. The whole 10 days are exciting, not only because of the beauty of the Azores but also being with this great couple! Ready to return!
Written September 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Cindy, we love you! And we hope to meet you again soon! Thank you for trusting us again and again to sail you around the islands. Looking forward to seeing you always. With love from Azores
Written October 21, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peter P
New York City, NY1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
We have sailed all over the world, and our week with Andre and Rita on their boat in the Azores was one of the very best. My family usually bareboat charters when we take sailing holidays.
Our week with SailZen was worry-free; we did not have to provision or spend time cooking and planning our course.
Andre and Rita took care of all of that. Their boat was perfect for the blue water sailing in the Azores, and the food was fantastic. We loved the unspoiled, quiet islands of the Azores. If you like breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and abundant sea life mixed with some of the most beautiful hikes you will ever encounter, you will love sailing with them. Captain Andre and his wife and crew member Rita were full of local knowledge and a total pleasure to be with. I can't recommend Sailzen enough! We will for sure sail with them again.
Written September 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for trusting us and joining our sailing trip!!! We feel super lucky to share experiences like the one we had together. We really hope to host you again in the future. All the best in life!
Written October 21, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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