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Cruises to Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada (Photo:De Visu/Shutterstock)
Ponta Delgada (Photo:De Visu/Shutterstock)

About Ponta Delgada

The Azores form an archipelago of nine beautiful mountainous islands, located well out in the Atlantic Ocean, significantly closer to Europe than North America. Ponta Delgada, the chief port and administrative center on the island of Sao Miguel, lies 900 miles west of Lisbon. Cruise ships on repositioning voyages between North America and Europe often call there.

Discovered in the 15th century by exploring Flemish and Portuguese sailors, Sao Miguel Island became a favorite stopover for passing ships because of fresh farm food and the abundance of fish in the surrounding waters. Ponta Delgada attained city status one hundred years later, and today the city's population numbers 45,000 with a further 20,000 residing in smaller towns and on the countryside. Since 1976, the Azores have status as an autonomous region of the Portuguese Republic.

Volcanic activity has produced some pretty spectacular scenery on the island, along with some of the highest mountains in "Europe" (if you include the rise from the seabed). Visitors stream out of Ponta Delgada to climb the crater rims for breathtaking views down onto blue and green lakes, hike the mountain and nature trails, and gaze out to sea from mighty headlands.

Unlike the Canary Islands, where travelers go for predictably hot weather and good beaches, the Azores draw a different type of visitor -- one who appreciates the natural beauty of a subtropical environment that produces pineapples, good wines and creamy white cheeses. Hence, beach and resort hotels are few by comparison.

Cruise-ship visitors to Ponta Delgada will often drive out into the countryside for visits to small villages and natural volcanic wonders. There's usually time afterward for a relaxed amble through the lovely port city, noted for its squares paved with black and white tiles, beautiful churches, and public buildings with their white-painted facades and brown-black volcanic stone trim. Fish and shellfish fans will discover moderately priced restaurants, some right outside the cruise terminal.

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DAY 1: New York

15 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

16 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Seville ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

14 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Barcelona ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: New York

18 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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15 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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17 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Florence, Cannes ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
St. Maarten
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Florence, Cannes ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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24 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, San Juan ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, La Coruna ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Seville ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Seville, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Florence, Cannes ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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15 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
La Spezia, Toulon ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Brugge, St. Peter Port ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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27 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Seville ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Halifax, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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Cruise Critic Favorite

26 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
San Juan, St. Maarten ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Brest ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Brugge, Le Havre ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Ponta Delgada

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Florence, Cannes ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Why go to Ponta Delgada?

Pros:

Natural attractions such as Sete Cidades and Furnas are the island's crown jewels

Cons:

Beaches are limited to a few small, rocky areas of sand; locals mainly go to seawater pools

Bottom Line:

The island is not only beautiful but also affordable (by European standards)

Ponta Delgada Cruise Port Facilities?

From the main terminal building's exit, a row of outdoor/indoor restaurants stretches along a promenade to the right. To the left, cafe bars, some with free Wi-Fi (if you purchase a drink or snack), and shops lead the way to town.

Good to Know?

Pedestrians should cross roads at designated crosswalks and be aware of fast-moving cars on one-way streets. If driving, note that the secondary roads are narrow and twisty, and driving up into the clouds requires caution. But otherwise, motoring is a pleasure, as the island is so beautiful, and it's very hard to get lost since the sea is your guide to finding the coastal road back to Ponta Delgada. Watch out for turnoffs that lead to a viewpoint and a short hike down to the sea or along a cliff.

Getting Around?

Taxis are available at the cruise terminal and outer breakwater. Minibus routes serve Ponta Delgada's outlying residential districts, and standard-size buses link the rest of the island. You'll find stops along Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique; just pay the driver when boarding. You can rent cars at the terminal through Autatlantis, which offers rates with unlimited mileage plus taxes. Car rental is a good touring option, as traffic is generally light, though roads beyond the city are curvy and narrow, especially when climbing into the hills. Additional auto rentals are found left along Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Portuguese is the official language. English is spoken at the main tourist destinations but less so in towns and the countryside outside Ponta Delgada.

Where You're Docked?

Terminal Maritimo, the principal cruise facility, is conveniently located just a five-minute walk from Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique, the main street running along Ponta Delgada's harborfront. In addition, some ships may berth at the more remote outer breakwater. Depending on how far out on this arm the ship is docked, it can be a longish 10- to 20-minute walk into Ponta Delgada. If you're docked on the outer breakwater, you won't find any services until you pass through the security gates into town.


Ponta Delgada Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Breakaway
rose4bon
Sail Date: Oct 2018
Temp already getting too hot for me, I am a cold weather person so for me, Ponta Delgada was hot for me. I walked to the public library from the ship and caught up on all my email there. I took the little train... Read More
Devoniantrecker
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Missed this as ship not allowed to stop due to outbreak of pandemic. It looked lovely lush and green from the ship and we were sad not to call. Another time, I hope.... Read More
AdeAfloat
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Pretty, inexpensive and friendly... Read More
LorraineandArthur
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Cheap prices, wine, beer, coffee and portuguese custard tarts. Must have been a good night as i have limited memory. Been twice, worth a tour on first visit... Read More
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