Madeira, the picturesque Portuguese island situated off the northwest coast of Africa is well-known for its volcanic landscapes, scenic coastline, and delicious cuisine. However, one of the most popular adventures the region offers is the beautiful whale watching experience. With its diverse marine life and breathtaking scenery, Madeira provides an unparalleled environment for spotting whales, dolphins, and other sea creatures. In this post, we will explore the most popular whale watching spots in Madeira, what to expect, and how to make the best of your whale watching adventure. So sit back and take a deep breath of salty ocean air as we delve into the world of whale watching in Madeira.
The 16 Best Whale Watching in Madeira
- Dolphin Spotting and Whale Watching from Funchal
- Half Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal
- Dolphin and Whale Watching
- Funchal Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching
- Dolphin and Whale Wacthing on a Luxurious Catamaran
- Dolphin Spotting and Whale Watching from Funchal
- Quinta Do Lorde Swimming With Dolphins
- Funchal Bay Dolphin Whale Watching Lxury Catamaran Cruise
- From Funchal Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise
- Madeira Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria De Colombo
- Funchal Yacht Tour With Dolphin and Whale Watching
- All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour
- Whale and Dolphin Watching in Funchal
- Funchal Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Tour
- Sunset Catamaran Trip from Funchal
- Funchal Whale and Dolphin Watching Speed Boat Tour
The 16 Best Whale Watching in Madeira
1. Dolphin Spotting and Whale Watching from Funchal
Embark on an ocean adventure during this dolphin and whale watching tour from Funchal. Board the stylish catamaran and kick back as you cruise alongside Madeira’s south coast. Your friendly crew knows these waters well and guides you to the areas where whales and dolphins are most often seen. If the weather is favourable and the sea conditions are good, take a dip in the waters of the Cabo Girão or try your hand at some basic sailing techniques. This 3-hour dolphin spotting and whale watching tour includes food and drinks, as well as hotel pickup and drop-off for your convenience. The meeting point is Praça do Povo, Av. Do Mar 4, 9000-900 Funchal Portugal, and the check-in is at the VMT Madeira Kiosk in Funchal Marina, 30 minutes before departure. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to spot marine life in their natural habitat.
2. Half Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature with this half-day catamaran trip from Funchal in search of whales, dolphins and turtles. Relax and enjoy the stunning scenery from the water, and if you wish to snorkel, don’t worry about packing your own gear as it is provided. This tour is perfect for families and individuals looking for a laid-back day on the water with the chance to spot some of Madeira’s most beautiful marine inhabitants. The tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, and departs from Seaborn Catamaran at Funchal Marina. Remember to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure time specified on your booking confirmation. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the beauty of Madeira’s coastal waters.
3. Dolphin and Whale Watching
This tour offers a breathtaking chance to witness some of the most amazing sea creatures in their natural habitat. The Dolphin and Whale Watching tour includes a life jacket for your safety.
The meeting point is at Marina do Funchal, and the activity ends back at the same location.
Confirmation will be given when booking, and the activity is not recommended for pregnant travelers or those in wheelchairs. Public transportation is easily accessible, and most travelers can participate.
This tour allows for a maximum of 30 travelers and requires good weather for safety. If you need to cancel your booking, a full refund is only available if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Cutting off times are based on the local time of the experience, and late changes are not accepted. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to see some of the ocean’s most incredible creatures!
4. Funchal Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching
Looking for the ultimate whale and dolphin watching experience in Madeira? Look no further than this catamaran cruise from Funchal. With guaranteed sightings, you’ll have the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures up close in their natural habitat. Take in panoramic views of the island from the sea, explore the crystal-clear waters under the Cabo Girão promontory, and snorkel through schools of silver fish with high-quality equipment (available in summer). While onboard, enjoy a drink purchased from the bar and relax on the stable and comfortable catamaran. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included for your convenience. Please note that this tour is not suitable for wheelchair users. Don’t miss out on the best whale watching experience in Madeira!
5. Dolphin and Whale Wacthing on a Luxurious Catamaran
Join this unforgettable dolphin and whale watching experience on a luxurious catamaran along the bay of Funchal. Sail to Cabo Girão, the world’s second-highest sea cliff and spot dolphins, whales, birds, and even turtles from the comfort of the catamaran. Learn all about the thriving ocean ecology of Madeira from the expert crew onboard. Relax on the indoor or outdoor seating areas and enjoy a more intimate experience with fewer passengers than other whale watching tours. If you choose the summer tours, take advantage of the swimming stop. The tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, restrooms onboard, and food and drinks. However, please note that this tour isn’t suitable for children under 6, pregnant women, and people with back problems. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness Madeira’s stunning marine life with a guided dolphin and whale watching tour with professional crew.
6. Dolphin Spotting and Whale Watching from Funchal
Looking for an exciting adventure in Madeira? Join a catamaran crew and go on a dolphin and whale spotting tour along the south coast of Madeira. Be in awe as you watch these amazing marine mammals play in their natural habitat. During the summer season, take a stopover and swim at the foot of Cabo Girão, one of Europe’s highest sea cliffs. The catamaran crew will provide you with live commentary throughout the journey. Hotel pickup and drop-off, food, and drinks are included in the package. Additionally, if you don’t get to see any cetaceans during the tour, you will receive a second whale and dolphin watching trip for free. Experience the thrill of spotting these fascinating creatures while you enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscapes.
7. Quinta Do Lorde Swimming With Dolphins
Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat in the high concentration cetacean area of Madeira Island. An experienced instructor will teach you how to approach and interact with the dolphins. Head out on your boat to the area with a 99% chance of seeing dolphins and get the opportunity to swim with common and spotted dolphins. As you enter the water, stay safely connected to the boat at all times. Our animal welfare principles go beyond the typical tours and classes. We are committed to protecting the well-being of the animals and adhere to guidelines created in consultation with World Animal Protection.
8. Funchal Bay Dolphin Whale Watching Lxury Catamaran Cruise
Spot the dolphins and whales that call Funchal Bay home on this luxury catamaran cruise. Board the catamaran from New Marina – Funchal and receive safety information from the experienced crew before embarking on an adventure at sea.
During the cruise, try to spot whales and dolphins from the luxurious interior or comfortable outdoor seating. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a plunge into the crystal-clear waters under Cabo Girão and snorkel with your companions.
While sightings can’t be guaranteed, the expert crew will do their best to ensure you have the best chance of spotting these majestic creatures. Admire stunning views of the coastline and take in life from the sea before returning to shore.
This tour is perfect for those wanting a luxury catamaran experience and a chance to observe marine life in their natural habitat. Book your Funchal Bay Dolphin Whale Watching Lxury Catamaran Cruise today and make unforgettable memories on the seas of Madeira.
9. From Funchal Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise
Experience the best of Madeira Island’s wildlife in an eco-friendly way with the silent emission free Dolphin and Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise. Our modern and purpose-built catamaran is equipped with large observation nets and hybrid engines, making us the only catamaran in Madeira to provide this unique and eco-friendly experience. From Funchal, we will sail a few miles out and watch for a variety of wild animals, including dolphins, whales, turtles, and endemic birds. Our knowledgeable guides will provide you with informative commentary and fun facts about the sea life. Witnessing the wildlife in the open waters of Madeira is an unforgettable experience, and with our eco-friendly approach, it will be a sustainable one too. Join us for a green adventure with the #1 dolphin and whale watching provider in Madeira Island!
10. Madeira Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria De Colombo
Have a unique experience and climb aboard a convincing replica of Christopher Columbus’s original vessel, the Santa Maria. Built right here on lush Madeira Island, this tour takes you on a time-travelling journey back to the 15th century, walking along the southern coast of the island before reaching Cabo Girão. Keep your eyes open for possible sightings of dolphins and whales peeking above the blue waves as you walk along the Atlantic coastline. Marvel at the natural views of the Madeira coastline and stop for a refreshing swim in the azure waters off the coast. Sample Madeira wine and honey cake before returning to port, you will have had the opportunity to make unforgettable memories on the Madeira Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria De Colombo.
11. Funchal Yacht Tour With Dolphin and Whale Watching
Hit the waters near Cabo Girão on a sailboat cruise trip from Funchal and experience the thrill of searching for dolphins and whales. Marvel at the stunning views of the coastline and soak up fascinating facts about marine animals from your guide. After spotting some beautiful creatures, take a dip in the water and explore the world beneath with the provided snorkel. Relax with a refreshing drink in hand as you sail back to the Funchal Marina. This full-day tour includes round-trip sailboat cruise, guide, captain, crew, a drink, snorkel, and hotel pickup and drop-off. Please note that this tour is not suitable for people with mobility impairments. Grab your camera and capture some unforgettable moments on this exciting yacht tour.
12. All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour
Your 3-hour all-inclusive luxury catamaran tour departs from the new marina of Funchal. Once aboard the catamaran, you’ll receive a welcome glass of sparkling wine. Then, relax in the indoor or outdoor seating areas as you sail towards Cabo Girão, the world’s second-highest sea cliff. Along the way, watch for dolphins, whales and turtles in their natural habitat.
During the tour, you’ll enjoy unlimited drinks from the open bar. After spotting marine life, the catamaran will stop for 30 minutes at Cabo Girão where you can take a swim in the crystal clear waters. Once back on the boat, enjoy the views of the Funchal coast on the journey back to the marina.
The tour includes a guided dolphin and whale watching tour and restrooms for both men and women aboard the catamaran. This is the perfect way to experience Madeira’s marine life and beautiful coastline in style.
13. Whale and Dolphin Watching in Funchal
Looking for an unforgettable wildlife adventure? Join a dedicated crew for a cruise along the coast of Madeira on the lookout for whales, dolphins, birds, and turtles in their natural habitat. With the advantage of 2x 250hp engines, this fast and comfortable boat is perfect for covering large distances, giving you the best possible chance of encountering marine life. Learn about Madeira’s aquatic fauna and flora from a certified marine biologist, as informative commentary keeps you informed and entertained throughout the trip. Enjoy food and drinks on board, and benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off as part of this complete tour package. Please note that this tour is not suitable for people with back or heart problems. Don’t miss this opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close and in person!
14. Funchal Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Tour
Looking for an unforgettable experience in Madeira? Look no further than the Funchal Dolphin and Whale Watching Sunset Tour! This guided sunset tour offers the chance to see dolphins, whales, and sea turtles in their natural environment up to 3 miles from the coast. With a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to witness native marine life in their natural habitat. You can also swim, snorkel or just enjoy the views while sipping on a complimentary beverage from our open bar. This tour is perfect for those who want to see beautiful sea creatures in a relaxing and peaceful setting. Hotel pickup and drop-off, snorkeling equipment, and food are also included. The tour is not suitable for people with mobility impairments. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to admire a beautiful sunset while surrounded by marine life!
15. Sunset Catamaran Trip from Funchal
Experience the changing colors of the sunset and reflections on the water from a unique perspective as you take a 3-hour catamaran cruise off the coast of Madeira from Funchal. Climb aboard the catamaran at Marina do Funchal and cruise along the south coast of Madeira, while enjoying the peaceful melody of the ocean. A qualified crew will provide detailed information in English and Portuguese about the cetaceans you may spot, as well as other technical and historic information to ensure a complete and unique experience. If there are no sightings of dolphins or whales, you will be offered a 2nd trip entirely free. Put on a wind-shield and warm clothes (recommended) and enjoy watching the sunset from the catamaran, while spotting dolphins and whales from a unique perspective.
16. Funchal Whale and Dolphin Watching Speed Boat Tour
Embark on a thrilling speed boat tour off the coast of Madeira in search of whales and dolphins. Your expert biologist guide will provide a short briefing on the marine species found in the area before you set out to sea. Take in the stunning coastline of Madeira as you search for various species of dolphin and whales with the help of your experienced crew. Sightings of cetaceans are guaranteed and if any species are not found, a second trip will be offered for free. Please note that this tour is not suitable for pregnant women, people with mobility impairments, or wheelchair users. Insurance, lifejackets, biologist guide, and experienced crew are included in the tour. Experience the best whale watching in Madeira with this unforgettable adventure.
Whale Watching in Madeira – Frequently Asked Questions
Are you planning a whale watching excursion in Madeira, but have some questions about what to expect? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about whale watching in Madeira, with answers based on factual evidence and personal experience.
1. What types of whales can I see in Madeira?
Madeira is home to over 20 species of whales and dolphins, making it an excellent destination for whale watching. The most commonly sighted species include:- Sperm whales
– Humpback whales
– Pilot whales
– Bottlenose dolphins
– Common dolphins
– Spotted dolphins
2. When is the best time to go whale watching in Madeira?
Whale watching is available year-round in Madeira, but the best time to go depends on what species you want to see. From June to October, you are more likely to see sperm whales and humpback whales. From July to September, you may see blue whales. From April to October, you can observe pilot whales and several dolphin species. Keep in mind that whale watching tours are weather-dependent, so it’s essential to check the forecast before booking.
3. What should I wear on a whale watching tour?
We recommend dressing in layers, as it can be cooler out on the water than on land. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes with non-slip soles. It’s also a good idea to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
4. Is sea sickness a concern during a whale watching tour?
Some people may experience seasickness while on the water, but the majority of tour boats are stable and large enough to minimize the effects of rough seas. If you’re prone to motion sickness, we recommend taking medication before the tour.
5. How long does a typical whale watching tour last?
Most tours last for around two to three hours, but some may be longer or shorter. Some tour operators offer half-day or full-day tours that include additional activities.
6. How close can we get to the whales?
Whale watching tours in Madeira all adhere to strict regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of the whales. Boats are not allowed to approach closer than 50 meters to any whale or dolphin. However, the whales and dolphins are curious creatures and may approach the boats themselves, sometimes coming within just a few meters.
7. What type of boat will be used for the tour?
Tour operators in Madeira use a range of boats, including RIBs (rigid inflatable boats), catamarans, and traditional fishing boats. The type of boat used depends on the operator and the size of the group.
8. Can I bring my camera on the tour?
Yes, we encourage you to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery and wildlife. Some tour operators may rent or sell binoculars on board, which can be helpful for spotting wildlife in the distance.
9. How many people are typically on a tour?
Tour group sizes can vary from operator to operator, but most tours have a maximum of 10-12 people per boat. However, some boats can accommodate larger groups.
10. What happens if we don’t see any whales during the tour?
Whale sightings cannot be guaranteed on any tour. However, if you do not see any whales during your tour, most operators offer a free or reduced-price tour on a future date.In conclusion, Madeira is a fantastic destination for whale watching, with a wide variety of species to observe year-round. Remember to dress appropriately, take medication for motion sickness if needed, and follow all guidelines set forth by your tour operator to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Happy whale watching!
How to do Whale Watching in Madeira: A Comprehensive Guide
Are you planning a trip to Madeira and hoping to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures of the sea? Whale watching in Madeira is one of the most popular activities among tourists and locals alike. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of planning a successful whale watching trip in Madeira.
Step 1: Choose the right time of the year
The first step in planning a whale watching trip in Madeira is to choose the right time of the year. The best time to spot whales and dolphins in Madeira is from March to October, with the peak season being from May to July. During this time of the year, the water is calmer, and the weather is warmer, making it ideal for whale watching.
Step 2: Book a tour with a reputable company
Booking a tour with a reputable company is crucial for a successful whale watching trip. There are many companies offering whale watching tours in Madeira, but not all of them are created equal. Look for a company with experienced guides, good reviews, and a commitment to environmental conservation. Choose a tour that limits the number of visitors on board to ensure a more intimate and responsible experience.
Things to Consider Before Booking a Whale Watching Tour
- Weather conditions
- Duration of the tour
- Size of the boat
Step 3: What to Bring for the Trip
Before embarking on your whale watching trip, it is essential to bring some essential items. Consider bringing:
- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- A hat to protect from the sun
- Binoculars (not necessary but can enhance the experience)
Step 4: What to Expect on the Tour
Once you are on the tour, the guides will provide you with information about the different species of dolphins and whales in the region, their habits, and the best ways to spot them. Keep in mind that whale watching is not guaranteed, and it can take time to spot these creatures in the wild. Be patient and enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you.
Things to Keep in Mind During the Tour
- Respect the environment – do not shout, whistle, or throw anything into the water.
- Follow the instructions of the guides.
- Be mindful of others on the boat and avoid sudden movements.
- Do not touch or feed the dolphins or whales.
- Enjoy the experience and take plenty of pictures, but remember to live in the moment.
Step 5: Best Places to Spot Whales and Dolphins in Madeira
The waters surrounding Madeira are home to a wide variety of whales and dolphins. There are several locations where you are more likely to spot them. Some of the best places to spot whales and dolphins in Madeira are:
- The waters around Calheta, on the south-west coast of the island.
- The Desertas Islands Natural Reserve, which is a protected area and home to several species of dolphins and whales.
- The waters around Ponta de São Lourenço, on the eastern tip of Madeira.
Book Your Tour Now
Whale watching in Madeira is an unforgettable experience that allows you to see these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can plan and enjoy a successful whale watching trip in Madeira. Remember to choose a reputable tour company, bring the necessary items, follow the instructions of the guides, and respect the environment. Happy whale watching!
Table of Contents