Located on the Portuguese peninsula of Madeira, Funchal is the island's fascinating capital city that you definitely don’t want to miss! Filled with natural beauty everywhere you turn, this is a wonderful destination to escape from your stresses and enjoy some tranquil relaxation. Explore Funchal’s many parks, gardens, rolling hills, estates, wine cellars, and more. You will also discover numerous museums, scenic lookouts, and iconic landmarks that are certain to captivate all your senses. Plus, Funchal is famous for its delicious and hearty cuisine! From thick tomato soups to exotic seafood dishes, and garlicky beef skewers, you definitely won’t go hungry when spending time here.
A great time to visit Funchal is between April and September if you want to enjoy the best weather, though the weather tends to be nice year-round! The city can get very hot, so you might plan on ensuring you bring plenty of water and refreshments, especially if you plan on hiking.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Funchal. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Funchal. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Funchal:
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Funchal, along with a brief description:
♦ Madeira Botanical Garden
Madeira Botanical Garden is the most top-rated attraction in Funchal. In addition to featuring some of the most breathtaking views of the city, these massive gardens cover over 800,000 square feet of ground! Among the kinds of horticulture, you can view trees, shrubs, succulents, medicinal plants, and plants native to Madeira. You’ll also discover a bird park (featuring over 250 exotic birds), and a Natural History Museum where you can learn more about the many kinds of flora and fauna. Plus, you can take a cable car to the entrance, which will also reward you with fabulous views.
♦ Monte Palace Tropical Garden
If you can’t get enough of outdoor fun in Funchal, another attraction that’s worth checking out is the Monte Palace Tropical Garden. Just slightly smaller than Maderia Botanical Garden, you can discover a giant collection of exotic plants from all over the world! The walking trails are decorated with tiles from the 15th to 20th centuries. Also, don’t be surprised if you see wild animals, such as chickens or peacocks, wandering the grounds with you! You might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a black or white swan. This garden also features a museum, where you can view artistic sculptures and a global mineral collection.
♦ Funchal Cathedral
History buffs will certainly not want to miss Funchal Cathedral, an original 15th century church that has been standing since the peninsula was colonized. Admire this cathedral’s stunning Gothic architecture along with its cedar wood roof and beautiful exterior stone walls. Inside, you can view a silver cross donated by one of Portugal’s kings (it is considered a metalwork masterpiece). There is also a statue of Pope John Paul II outside. You don’t have to be religious to admire the stunning history and art of this magnificent landmark!
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