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Cruises to Madeira (Funchal)

Madeira (Funchal) (Photo:saiko3p/Shutterstock)

About Madeira (Funchal)

In the early 1400's, Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal sent his best sailors and cartographers to examine the coast of Africa. The party got blown off course and ended up 310 miles to the west, stranded on the beach of what is now Porto Santos, one of the Madeiran islands. When they returned to Lisbon and told the prince what had happened, he immediately sent them back to colonize the island, which led to the discovery of Madeira, just 25 or so miles away to the southwest.

Much richer in natural resources and natural beauty, the island of Madeira was colonized first, primarily by agrarians from the Algarve district in Portugal; the drier, smaller, sparser Porto Santos wasn't exactly ignored, but did play second fiddle to Madeira. There are two other (uninhabited) islands in the Madeiran archipelago: Ilhas Desertas and Selvagen. But it's Madeira, and the capital city of Funchal, that have flourished in the six centuries since its discovery.

The city of Funchal, named for the huge amounts of fennel (funcho) that grew wild, rises straight up from the sea. The full effect of this extraordinary geography is most evident when sailing out of the city after dark; funneling up from the harbor area to nearly 5,000 feet of mountainous terrain, the lights of the homes and businesses rise straight up as if suspended in air, twinkling aloft in the middle of nowhere. It's a stunning experience -- but that's not to say that the island isn't equally beautiful during the day. Its location on the Gulf Stream gives it ideal year-round weather; flowers, roses and bougainvillea cascade down the mountains in riotous color.

As Madeira is an "autonomous region" of Portugal (self-governing, but established under the Portuguese constitution), its inhabitants are, for all intents and purposes, Portuguese. They speak Portuguese, vote in Portuguese elections and celebrate Portuguese holidays.

Lucky trans-Atlantic voyagers who have Funchal as one of their stops will find cuisine that celebrates the freshest ingredients, a population that is joyous and gracious, activities that run the gamut from vigorous hiking to placid contemplation of nature, and great shopping opportunities for locally made crafts and embroidery.


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  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Madeira (Funchal)

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    St. George, Madeira ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Oceania Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Madeira (Funchal) Route (Oceania Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 3
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 4
      St. George
    • Day 5
      St. George
    • Day 6
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 7
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 8
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 10
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 11
      Madeira (Funchal)
    • Day 12
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 13
      Seville
    • Day 14
      Mediterranean Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Barcelona
    Ship Details

    Sirena - Oceania Cruises

    Pros

    Cozy, small ship with excellent cuisine

    Cons

    Standard cabins are small; weak enrichment program

    Bottom Line

    Port-intensive itineraries in an upmarket setting

    Reviews
    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    Sirena, which debuted in April 2016, is the fourth of defunct Renaissance Cruises' R-class vess...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    gandc01
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Oceania Sirena: 12 days on a bouncy castle... but the food was excellent.
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    garyg2000
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Disappointed with food, entertainment, Activities
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Madeira (Funchal)

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Madeira, Cobh ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Celebrity Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Madeira (Funchal) Route (Celebrity Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Madeira (Funchal)
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cobh (Cork)
    • Day 13
      Belfast
    • Day 14
      Liverpool
    • Day 15
      Dublin
    Ship Details

    Celebrity Reflection - Celebrity Cruises

    Pros

    Newest ship in the Celebrity fleet, impressive free and for-a-fee dining options

    Cons

    Exclusive venues for suite guests could make other passengers feel excluded

    Bottom Line

    Stylish and contemporary mega-ship cruising with exceptional service

    Reviews

    Celebrity Reflection Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    Cool sophistication is the unmistakable vibe onboard Celebrity Reflection, the biggest of the f...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    sevenunderfour
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    WORST CRUISE EVER
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    Cag.60
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Lovely Cruise
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 16 Night
    Cruise to Madeira (Funchal)

    Leaving:
    Lisbon
    Visiting:
    Madeira, Tenerife ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Azamara
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    16 Night Cruise to Madeira (Funchal) Route (Azamara)
    • Day 1
      Lisbon
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Madeira (Funchal)
    • Day 4
      Tenerife
    • Day 5
      La Palma
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Mindelo (Sao Vicente)
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Bahia de Salvador
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Rio de Janeiro
    Ship Details

    Azamara Quest - Azamara

    Pros

    Destination-focused itineraries; friendly and fun onboard vibe

    Cons

    Standard cabins are small with tiny bathrooms, despite a high price tag

    Bottom Line

    Destination-immersive, upscale cruising, with not a lot of nickel and diming

    Reviews

    Azamara Quest Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value3.5

    Editor's Note: A March 2019 dry dock saw the ship's casino converted into ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Aluckyitalian
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Great Trip, South Africa Intensive 2/10-2/20
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    aussie travel bird
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Another top cruise - Maiden South Africa Cruise
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Madeira (Funchal)

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Madeira, Seville ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Madeira (Funchal) Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Madeira (Funchal)
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Seville
    • Day 12
      Malaga
    • Day 13
      Cartagena (Spain)
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Ship Details

    Zuiderdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Partnerships and Music Walk mean exciting enrichment and entertainment choices

    Cons

    Pool and some public areas appear dated; cabins could use more storage

    Bottom line

    Continual refurbishments and additions keep older ship fresh for a variety of destinations

    Reviews

    Zuiderdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.5

    With its traditional heritage and older demographic, you might expect a cruise on Holland Ameri...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Forseti Cruiser
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    7 Day Caribbean Cruise
    Read More
    CasaFenice
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Disappointing vessel
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Madeira (Funchal)

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    St. Maarten, Madeira ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking Ocean Cruises
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Madeira (Funchal) Route (Viking Ocean Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      St. Maarten
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Madeira (Funchal)
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Barcelona
    • Day 15
      Barcelona
    Ship Details

    Viking Sky - Viking Ocean Cruises

    Pros

    Inclusive ship that visits unique destinations

    Cons

    Ship lacks big-ticket nightly entertainment

    Bottom Line

    A beautiful ship that offers exceptional dining and spacious cabins

    Reviews

    Viking Sky Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    It's easy to forget you're on a cruise ship when sailing on Viking Sky; it feels more like a sw...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Arizona340
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    Anniversary Cruise
    Read More
    24111951
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Outstanding Viking Ocean Cruise
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.