Thinking about visiting the beautiful Porto Santo Island by ferry?
Whether you are planning to stay on Porto Santo for a couple of days, or you are just looking for a day at the beach, this post is for you.
- Porto Santo Line with the Lobo Marinho ferry
- Can you spot dolphins on the Porto Santo Line?
- Lobo Marinho – Ferry & facilities
- After arrival in Porto Santo
- Other ways to get to Porto Santo
- What to do on Porto Santo?
Porto Santo Line with the Lobo Marinho ferry
On most days, the ferry leaves Funchal at 08:00 in the morning and it departs Porto Santo back to Funchal at 19:00. There are, however, exceptions. In the summer months, there are two ferries around the weekends and the departure hours are different. Please consult the official timetables.
Funchal – Madeira
If you are staying in Funchal, we recommend taking a taxi instead of a car, because there is no parking directly at the ferry terminal.
One of the best & closest options to park is the paid Parking Plaza CR7 (Around 5 minutes walk from the ferry).
If you are reading this, you are probably a tourist, and a discounted rate for local residents does not apply to you. Always choose prices marked with “SEM desconto” which means “without discount”.
A tourist class, adult, round trip ticket costs EUR 64,36 in the high season (April to September) and EUR 52,62 in the remaining months. Child ticket (5-11 years) costs EUR 32,18 and EUR 26,30 respectively. Children younger than 4 travel free of charge.
If you are thinking about taking your car/motorcycle/quad, there are different packages and the price differs depending on the month & number of passengers.
If you have no right to a discount, remember to look at page 2 prices “WITHOUT immediate discount of the Social Mobility Allowance”.
During our first (ever) trip with the ferry in 2019, we learned a valuable lesson – sometimes you are better off buying a first-class ticket. Keep reading if you would like to know why.
Yes, pets are allowed on the Porto Santo Line, but they must be transported in a specific area reserved for this purpose or, in case you travel by car, inside the vehicle. They can not be taken with you to the main passengers’ desks.
How to book?
You can purchase tickets at one of the local agent offices in Funchal, or simply online, paying with your credit card. There is no need to print tickets – showing digital scans of your QR code during boarding is sufficient.
Can you spot dolphins on the Porto Santo Line?
Yes, we were looking out for them, I haven’t spotted any, but my friends who travelled two days after us, during better weather, were accompanied for a couple of minutes by a big group of dolphins. They say it felt almost like a paid dolphin watching tour they had done a day before.
Check out the IG account of the Porto Santo Line – where they post interesting graphics of the species of animals spotted each week. If you browse through these graphics you will see that dolphins (spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins) can be spotted on a Porto Santo cruise almost every week. Occasionally, you can also spot whales (dwarf sperm whales, sperm whales, tropical pilot whales) or sea turtles.
Check also the map available – HERE – presenting the exact locations of species spotted on particular parts of the cruise.
Lobo Marinho – Ferry & facilities
The ferry is called Lobo Marinho (Sea Wolf) and has a capacity of over 1150 passengers. As it serves as a short route (approx. 2 hours 15 minutes) there are no private cabins to be rented.
On deck 1 you will find a video games room. On deck 2 children’s playroom and a cinema.
The main deck is deck 5 and you will find there the reception, restaurant, shops and main lounges. On the top deck (8) you have access to the solarium.
Deck 7 is the 1st class area – the Estrela do Mar Lounge and bar as well as the 1st class panoramic terrace.
Porto Santo ferry – wheelchair/stroller accessibility and reduced mobility passengers
The boarding and especially off boarding process once we arrive in Porto Santo wasn’t the best. The gangway in Porto Santo was rather steep and I can not imagine walking it with reduced mobility.
If you have reduced mobility, if you are travelling with a stroller or an older person, please ask the crew as they will guide you to another exit with a lift.
The operator’s website states that the ferry is fully adapted to people with reduced mobility and that:
“Passengers with special needs (mobility, blind and oxygen-dependent) should contact the Carrier and the crew members before purchasing the ticket in order to be given all the support, with regard to access, escorts, guide dogs or assistance, with a minimum of 48 hours.”
SEE: [SOURCE] Article 12ª
After arrival in Porto Santo
If you haven’t organized a transfer, there should be sufficient taxis waiting by the exit of the ferry.
As we are a couple of eager walkers and didn’t have any baggage we simply decided to walk to Vila Baleira along the beautiful beach. The distance is approx. 3 km, and we arrived at the main square within 45 minutes, including some “photo shoots” on the beach.
Travelling to Porto Santo by ferry – Our experience and tips
We used the Porto Santo Line many times, and we had a good experience. The ferry is comfortable and has all that’s needed for a short journey like this one. The ferry always left on time.
Other ways to get to Porto Santo
Flights from Porto Santo to Madeira
There are daily, direct flights between Funchal and Porto Santo – usually one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They are operated by Binter Canarias Airlines. The duration of the flight is only 25 minutes.
Flights to Porto Santo from other destinations
You can also get to Porto Santo via Lisbon or Porto, or using one of the charter flights.
What to do on Porto Santo?