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How to get to Madeira by ferry

Oh, Madeira! With its lush landscapes and azure waters, it’s no wonder this island is on many travelers’ bucket lists. But how about we ditch the airplane noise for a bit and consider a more scenic route? Yep, we’re talking about ferries.

The Allure of Madeira

Madeira is not just another island. It’s an experience. From its tropical gardens to its world-class vineyards, there’s a reason it’s called the “Garden of the Atlantic.”

Why Choose Ferry Over Flights?

The scenic voyage:
Ever watched the sunrise over the horizon while the gentle waves sing you their morning song? That’s a tiny glimpse of what awaits you on a ferry to Madeira.

Traveling at a leisurely pace:
While flights are about getting from point A to B quickly, ferries let you savor the journey. The ocean stretches out, telling stories of adventurers of old and new.

Environmentally friendly option:
Reduced carbon footprints? Yes, please! Ferries, especially modern ones, often have a lesser environmental impact compared to planes.

Key Ferry Routes to Madeira

to madeira by ferry

Several ports, especially from Portugal and nearby islands, offer routes to Madeira. Research in advance to pick the one that best fits your itinerary.

Preparing for Your Journey

Booking your tickets:
There are multiple platforms, both online and offline, where you can secure your tickets. Early bookings often come with delightful discounts.

What to pack:
Pack light, but don’t forget essentials like your passport, tickets, and any medications. And perhaps a book to enjoy with the ocean view?

Onboard the Ferry: What to Expect

Amenities and services:
From cozy cafes to evening entertainment, modern ferries offer a plethora of amenities to ensure a comfortable voyage.

Cabin options:
Whether you’re on a budget or ready to splurge, there’s a cabin for you. Options range from shared rooms to luxurious suites.

Duration and Costs

The journey’s length and its cost largely depend on your starting point. Typically, it can range from a few hours to a day.

Starting Point Approximate Duration Cost Range (€)
Lisbon, Portugal 24 hours 70 – 150
Porto, Portugal 28 hours 80 – 160
Tenerife, Spain 15 hours 60 – 140
Gran Canaria, Spain 18 hours 65 – 145
Azores, Portugal 30 hours 90 – 170

Making the Most of Your Ferry Ride

Activities onboard:
From movie nights to live music, there’s no room for boredom. Engage in onboard activities or simply enjoy the serene ocean views.

Meeting fellow travelers:
Ferries are a melting pot of cultures. Start a conversation, and you might just walk away with a friend from a different part of the world.

Safety Protocols to Keep in Mind

Always listen to onboard announcements, familiarize yourself with safety exits, and ensure you know where lifejackets are stored.

Arrival in Madeira

As the island comes into view, with its towering cliffs and welcoming harbors, know that an adventure is about to begin. The ferry ride was just the beginning.


  1. How far in advance should I book my ferry ticket to Madeira?
    While there’s no strict rule, booking a month or two in advance is advisable, especially during peak seasons.
  2. Are pets allowed on ferries to Madeira?
    Most ferries accommodate pets but always check the specific guidelines of your chosen service.
  3. Can I take my car on the ferry?
    Yes, many ferries offer the option of transporting vehicles. However, there might be additional charges.
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Irene Zagalo

"I love Portugal and especially the island of Madeira."View Author posts

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