Thinking about taking a ferry from Funchal to Porto Santo?
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
- Staying in 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 18:00.
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 schedule [HERE]
If you are reading this, you are probably a tourist, and a discounted rate for local residents does not apply to you.
A tourist class, adult, round trip ticket costs EUR 59,44 in the high season (April to September) and EUR 48,60 in the remaining months. Child ticket (5-11 years) costs EUR 29,72 and EUR 24,30 respectively. Children younger than 4 travel free of charge.
Bikes can be taken onboard free of charge, but sports equipment such as windsurf/kitesurf/surfboards for an additional charge.
If you are thinking about taking your car, you will need to pay a bit. There are different packages and the price differs per month and the number of passengers
See the full fares list on the [OFFICIAL WEBSITE]
The ferry company sells also ticket+hotel packages to these three hotels:
During our last trip with the ferry, we learnt 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.
According to the official website of the operator:
The designated area – kennel- is located in the garage on Deck 4, mid-ship port side and can be accessed through the stern ramp. There are 10 cages for dogs weighing up to 25 kg and 4 cages for dogs weighing over 25 Kg. The ship’s kennel is ventilated, illuminated and there is access to fresh water. Owners may visit their pets during the trip, BUT such visits should be requested at the Reception and must always be accompanied by a crew member.
How to book?
You can buy the tickets at these [TICKET SALES OFFICES] or book the tickets online. In those offices you can pay using checks; credit/debit cards or cash. When booking online, the only payment method is by credit card.
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 we 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 this map available [HERE] presenting 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 and the 1st class terrace.
Travelling to Porto Santo by ferry – Our experience and tips
Overall, we had a good experience with the Porto Santo Line ferry. The ferry is comfortable and has all that’s needed for a short journey like this one.
Our main tip for all of you: Consider buying a first class ticket, especially if you are hungry and are planning to use the internet.
For the way to Porto Santo, we booked economy class tickets. Somehow we did not consider or even checked the prices of first-class tickets. After entering, we saw the below poster:
After a quick calculation, we realized, that in our case, we would be better off upgrading our ticket.
There is no free internet in the economy class on the Porto Santo line. The price is 3.50 to get access for two devices. Internet is free of charge for the 1st class passengers. Additionally, they can also enjoy free coffee and a nice buffet.
So for example, If you did not have a chance to grab a breakfast and have to spend 8 euro on a full breakfast in the ferry restaurant, then buy one more coffee in the ferry café and above that, purchase internet access for 3.50 – you already paid as much as the 1st class ticket that has it all included.
On the way back, as soon as we boarded, we went upstairs to upgrade our tickets. The room was indeed much more comfortable than the economy room. I had a chance to work on my blog and answer some wedding inquiries.
I especially liked the panoramic views from the 1st class lounge.
The buffet was rather basic but tasty and sufficient enough to serve as supper. Most of all, they had my beloved “Pastel de bacalhau”, so you did not hear me complaining.
This was the 1st class menu on the day of our trip:
Another tip is regarding…
Porto Santo ferry – wheelchair/stroller accessibility and reduced mobility passengers
The boarding and especially offboarding 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.
According to the operator’s site, the ferry has a wheelchair available for transport from the dock to the ship’s interior. There are toilets designed exclusively for disabled travellers on Deck 6. Disable travellers are always accompanied by a crew member during and boarding disembarkment.
After arrival in Porto Santo
If you haven’t organized a transfer, there should be sufficient taxis 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 Baleia along the beautiful beach. The distance is approx. 3 km and we arrived at the main square within 45 minutes, including some “photoshoots” on the beach.
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. At this moment Porto Santo has direct connections with: Lisbon, UK (Birningham, Manchester, London), Denmark (Bilund), Germany (Cologne) and other.
Staying in Porto Santo
During our trip we stayed at Hotel Porto Santo & Spa:
We were tempted by its great spa facilities and a surprisingly good rate offered that day. The hotel has direct access to the beach and a nice beach bar.
We had a very pleasant stay at Hotel Porto Santo & Spa.
We also visited shortly one of the hotels where many of our beach weddings take place – Vila Baleira Porto Santo.
Of course, there are many more hotels and private apartments on the island, please feel free the check them all:
FIND YOUR DREAM STAY ON PORTO SANTO:
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Are you interested in Madeira and Porto Santo as your next travel destination?
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