Funchal

A picturesque bay protected by sloping mountains
The majestic Church of the Incarnation
The Cabo Girão cliffs

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FUNCHAL CRUISES

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Let an MSC Mediterranean cruise take you to Funchal, the capital of the Madeira archipelago, a string of sub-tropical islands in the Atlantic Ocean formed by volcanic eruptions 20 million years ago. Founded in 1510, Christopher Columbus came here to buy cane sugar, the “white gold” that made Madeira rich. MSC Cruises excursions offer plenty of exciting things to see including:
 

  • Cabo Girão – Europe’s highest promontory
  • The best of Madeira
  • Exploring Funchai 4x4
 
Our MSC Cruise excursion takes you to Pico da Torre, 205 meters high, and Pico dos Barcelos, 355 meters above sea level, both with a panoramic view of the city. For even giddier heights, we continue to Cabo Girão. It’s the highest promontory in Europe and the second highest cliff top in the world. Walk across the glass floor skywalk and you look down a 500 meters vertical drop to the Atlantic Ocean raging beneath you.
If you have the time and inclination, a cable car can take you down the cliff face to the terraced fields at the cliff base.


Or take an MSC excursion to see the best of Madeira. You’ll visit Ribeiro Frio, a governmental trout farm in a steep valley surrounded by mountains. A short drive through sugar cane plantations from here takes you to Faial, a pretty village named after local shrubs.
Then travel to Machico, where the first explorers disembarked on Madeira in 1419. It’s home to Madeira’s oldest church, 'Capela dos Milagres'.
Alternatively travel to the centre of the Monte district to see the Nossa Senhora do Monte, the most important pilgrimage site in Madeira.
 
Alternatively consider a 4x4 road trip further inland to Madeira’s forest regions, where there’s an abundance of the wild fennel, or “funcho” that give Funchal its name.
It’s a chance to explore scenic forest landscape that is sadly a rare sight along the Mediterranean.
Here there’s the biggest concentration of ‘Laurissilva’ forest in the world, and many unique flora and fauna. About 149 of 760 plants species growing wild are endemic, as well as several birds too, including the Madeiran long-toed wood pigeon and Zino's petrel.

Must see places in Funchal

Discover our excursions

    Reach the port

    Port of Funchal

    This section contains information on how to reach the port.

    Cruise Terminal:

    Cais Sul Avenida Sà Carneiro (South Terminal)

    Reach the port by

    • Car

      The port is open to motor vehicles between 8:00 am and 23:00 pm.
      Follow the signs for Funchal and Port or Pontinha.
      Car
    • Plane

      Madeira Airport is less than a half-hour drive from Funchal’s city centre and port. There is a taxi rank immediately outside the airport building. 
      A bus service operated by the company SAM runs hourly at most times of the day, travelling from the airport to Funchal city centre and port.
      Plane

    Portugal

    Golden beaches and coloured azulejos
    Golden beaches and coloured azulejos

    Once a powerful seafaring kingdom that dominated the merchant routes to Africa, South America and the Orient, Portugal today is a friendly, low-key place with a laidback vibe and a fantastic coastline, much of it fringed by golden sands and endless dunes.

    Many of these beaches extend as far as the eye can see, and are rarely busy even in high summer, but as they face the full power of the Atlantic, they can be dangerous for swimming. 


    Its rolling interior is perfect for exploring on foot, by kayak, by bike or even on horseback – though a large part of the country’s charm comes from languorous days on the beach, dining on fabulously fresh seafood and kicking back with a beer to watch the sunset over the Atlantic. 


    During a holiday to Portugal legacy of its former wealth and power can be seen in its historic cities; Lisbon, superbly sited on the Tejo river estuary, is popular today for its grand Manueline monuments and medieval alleyways. 


    A cruise to Portugal is also a good chance to visit Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean.