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“Under-marketed experience!”
Review of Santa Maria

Santa Maria
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Sailing along the coast of Madeira in the replica of Santa Maria boat.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Under-marketed experience!”
Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

We took the morning sailing on the last day of our 1st time Madeira holiday and this was the highlight of the week for me. A truly outstanding feat of engineering & craftsmanship. We had spent the week seeing the vessel navigating in/out of the harbour thinking (quite wrongly) that this was a 'mackled-up' modern boat-based replica. It isn't; the builder/owners & their team who operate the vessel seemingly are just serious boaters & not marketing men. This ship is in my opinion one of ( if not THE) main attraction in Funchal; the fact that the crew ( who are actually sailors) don't make a big fuss & dance only enhanced the experience for me. We saw dolphins & enjoyed complimentary Madeira cake & wine on a flat-calm sea & bright sunny day. For me though it was all about this beautiful ship.
100 tonnes if solid handcrafted mahogany, not to be missed if you love proper, hand built, one off ships of excellence!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank AngellHardyll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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362 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
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  • English first
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
222 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Great trip along the coast with an entertaining crew!”
Reviewed January 30, 2014

We chose the 3 pm sailing on a late January afternoon, sun was really warm for the first half of the trip, but then it cooled, take layers! They lower the big sail before turning around and serve honey cake and Madeira wine, very nice indeed. The crew are fun and knowledgeable. They searched for whales and dolphins, but none were spotted. Didn't matter though, came back to the harbour close to shore which was nice.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Liz F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
119 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“A bit cold and no dolphins but still a beautiful trip.”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

Me and my husband went out with this ship on an afternoon, and unfortunately we neither saw dolphins nor whales and it also got really cold in the wind. It was a bit boring going out to sea, but on the way back we went along the coast and it was really nice to see!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Hannah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Chance of a lifetime”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

The conditions were perfect for our sailing on the Santa Maria. I have some great pictures of the ship as well as the coastline. The crew was great! We got to try Madeira wine and bread. I particularly enjoyed the fact that there was a Parrot and a dachshund on board. I highly recommend this trip.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank BrianH6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Obidos, Portugal
Level Contributor
98 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“So glad we did this”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

The Santa Maria is a replica of Columbus' ship - the staff were really friendly and helpful. There was a lovely young dog on board, Pippa, and two large parrots - Lola and Vasco. We sailed out for a couple of miles and saw pilot whales, which was very exciting. We then sailed back towards the coast and stopped so that those who wanted to could swim (not me!), we then had a glass of madeira and a slice of honey cake, delicious. A very enjoyable 3 hours.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank kayboia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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