Skip to main content

Santa Maria Manuela - Madeira & Portugal Programme 2019

Levada walks on Madeira

Sailing the Madeira Island Group

Situated off North Africa, just North of the Canaries, the three islands of Madeira, Santo and Desertas are familiar to Santa Maria Manuela captain and crew and a perfect place to explore for a Portuguese run tall ship. This four masted schooner has plenty of deck space to relax on, whether you chose an ocean voyage from Portugal to Madeira, or book an island hopping voyage within the island group.

You can also sail to Cape Verde from Funchal which is a classic downwind ocean passage making full use of the NE trade winds.

Santa Maria Manuela

Sail Portugal to Madeira

An 850 mile voyage is a proper ocean passage but on a 200ft schooner like Santa Maria Manuela it offers a different view from a yacht. You are part of the crew helping trim the sails and taking part in a watch system. On this ship there are typically 4 watches so your rota will not come round too fast. Lisbon is a dramatic waterfront city to depart from as you have to sail under the Abril Bridge golden suspension bridge and past the famous statue to 'Henry the Navigator'.  700 miles of open ocean later you can see the city of Funchal perched on the volcanic slopes of this famously lush and verdant island.

Behind the city is a natural park which has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its flora and vegetation. The mountains are covered in laurel bushs and banana trees. Their are walks than contour the hills, following the route of water aquifers.

There should be a chance to explore Madeiria for a few days and perhaps nearby Santo.

plenty of deck space once the sails have been hoisted.
plenty of deck space once the sails have been hoisted.


Madeira - Island hopping by tall ship

This voyage is already full for 2019, but it is one of the ships favourite sailing grounds so we are sure similar voyages will be possible in 2020

This is an island hopping tall ship voyage based around the three islands in the Madeira group. Get ready to relax on a natural sanctuary. The Santa Maria Manuela leaves the beautiful tropical city of Funchal for the golden sands of Porto Santo. After a day of exploring, the ship sails through the natural sanctuary of Ilhas Desertas to arrive back in Funchal. 


  • Explore Funchal and nearby UNESCO Word Heritage natural park;
  • Take the helm, trim the sails and help to navigate;
  • Swim off Porto Santo's famous nine kilometer golden beach, voted in 2012 by '7 Wonders: Beaches of Portugal' as "The Best dune beach"
Santa Maria Manuela - what a way to leave harbour
Santa Maria Manuela - what a way to leave harbour

Madeira to Cape Verde - 1400 mile Trade Wind passage

Santa Maria Manuela leaves Funchal in the autumn and heads for more tropical waters around the Cape Verde islands. When you are not involved in the sailing there is plenty of time to fish, read, play board games or share sailing stories by the bar. Trade wind sailing on this historic sailing ship should be amazing. 4 masts with mighty gaff sails and topsails to set above that.  You are also in prime waters for catching dorado, wahoo and tuna....and the mostly Portuguese crew know all about cooking fish.

The island of Sal welcomes us with its fine white sand, turquoise waters and local kids doing back flips off the wooden jetties. 


  • Sail 1400 miles of blue water sailing;
  • Hands-on sailing experience in all aspects of the ships life;
  • All trainee guests are invited to take part in the ships watch system
  • look out for flying fish & big game fish
  • star gaze in the tropical night and soak up the ocean sunsets
Cape verde swimming
Cape verde swimming

Relevant voyages


What others say about us


Facebook reviews

"A life changing experience with talented crew who gave us hope for mankind ...and biscuits"

Customer comments

Read what the press say about our holidays

Magazine articles


Why book with Classic Sailing?

The call of the sea

Destinations for sailors & explorers

Over 300 voyages a year

11, 051 customers introduced to

traditional boats and tall ships.

Tell us your sailing dreams


Office Team of Skippers

6 Times Around the World between Us

Selling Holidays for 22 Years

2 Dogs to make us laugh

Contact Us

How to Book

Voyage Applications Online 24 /7

How to book a voyage

Terms & Conditions   Travel Insurance

Loyalty Discounts & Price Match

Frequently Asked Questions