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The Beautiful Island of Madeira

Oct 29, 2014

If you were asking for a favourite cruise destination then the beautiful garden island of  Madeira would be high on the list with lush gardens, decorative flowers and plenty to do it was a port all passengers were looking forward to.

The ship docked on a beautiful summer day, the sun was beating and the streets bustling, as we disembarked the ship we were met by local taxi and tour guides offering tours around the island for very reasonable prices which was fantastic for the many passengers on board who struggled with walking.

I decided to opt for the big yellow bus, at a price of only 12 euros your ticket lasted for 24 hours and took you on a whistle stop tour of the island. My first chosen stop was The Forum a beautiful shopping centre, which boasts unusual boutiques, lovely cafes and British favourites such as H&M and C&A’s.

Madeira also hosts an array of fabulous markets, selling local produce such as handmade knitted goods, beautiful embroideries and hand crafted cork goods, everything from photo frames to jewellery and handbags crafted from local cork they really are impressive.


For me there is only one way to take in the real beauty of Madeira and that’s by cable car. I boarded my cable car at the bottom, sat back and took in the spectacular panoramic views as we travelled 800 meters into the hills. The views of the island from the top Is nothing short of spectacular a very much recommended trip in Madeira. 

Our penultimate port of call was the Portuguese capital Lisbon. A stark contrast to our previous ports Lisbon Is a busy, cosmopolitan city filled with shops, bars, café’s, museums and spectacular architecture. I decided to use the hop on hop off bus to make my way around the vast city. The bus costs 15 euros, lasts for 24 hours and transports you around all the famous sights Lisbon has to offer. During the tour we visited the beautiful Jeronomos Monestry, the famous Belem tower and stopped for lunch under the beautiful arches to the city.


Lastly MS Boudicca docked in the small town of Lexious for tours to Oporto. Fred Olsen offered a variety of wonderful tours taking passengers down the Duoro river and into the Port making factories or city tours of Oporto. However we opted to go ashore independently, as we arrived at the quayside we were met by a number of hop on hop off bus services which for only 10 euros would transport you from Lexios to Oporto and give you the opportunity to stay on board for the 2 hour round trip or hop off the bus and spend the day in Oporto.

Running through the heart of Oporto is the beautiful Duoro river, with its impressive bridges and beautiful scenery a trip down the river comes highly recommended. Oporto is also famous for its port production and whilst in port you can take a tour of a port factory and discover how the port is produced and aged, you will also have the chance to taste a few different ports at the end of the tour.

Cruising through Portugal and the Azores was a truly wonderful experience. Every port of call was unique and interesting, the weather was on our side in most places and everybody has had a wonderful time on board MS Boudicca- Success all round.

If you are thinking about a Fred Olsen cruise why not speak to myself or one of our Fred Olsen experts who have all sailed on board? We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.