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Portuguese Islands & Cities

Sep 22, 2016

Portuguese Islands & Cities: Highlights from our escorts’ journey aboard the Boudicca

2nd July 2016: Several Portuguese islands and cities were waiting to be explored. Sailing from Greenock (Glasgow) this Fred Olsen cruise aboard the Boudicca would take us to Praia da Vitoria, Porta Delgada (both in the Azores) followed by Funchal in Madeira and two stops in Portugal including Lisbon and Oporto. This Cruise promised to “combine culture-rich cities with idyllic islands” and it definitely delivered…

The first part of the journey was 4 days spent sailing the impressive Atlantic Ocean and experiencing everything the Boudicca had to offer. Daily quizzes, piano concertos and dance classes were just a few of the activities available to keep everyone on board busy. If classes or quizzes weren’t your cup of tea then the varied choice of food, drink and fine dining was sure to excite you.


Day 5 and we arrived in Praia de Vitoria, the first port of call on our Cruise. Upon reaching the shore we were greeted by dramatic volcanic landscapes, cobbled streets and whitewashed architecture. There was an island tour excursion to take advantage of on this day and we were all very impressed by the sights and sounds of Praia da Vitoria. The tour revealed lush green vistas, glimpses of the thriving dairy industry as well as an impressive Cathedral and World War 2 battlement, complete with an on duty solider standing guard.


As the days went on, experiencing new places with familiar faces made this a trip to remember. From visiting crater lakes of the extinct Sete Cidades Volcano in Ponta Delgada to simply enjoying a refreshing Limonada whilst sitting in one of the many quaint market squares-this cruise was definitely one to excite the senses. The Azores were quickly becoming my favorite islands and yet there was still so much more to explore and I couldn’t help wonder what Madeira and Portugal had to offer…

Funchal, Madeira: It really was a beautiful capital. Thousands of terracotta tiled roofs stretched as far as the eye could see alongside the vibrant green palms and banana plants. Due to Fred Olsen’s Boudicca being such as small ship it meant that we could pull up close to the port, meaning we had some of the best views upon arrival. There were many boutiques to explore and traditional seafood cuisine to try. I found a great little spot firmly nestled in the heart of Funchal Old Town and enjoyed a dish of succulent grilled prawns, fresh salad and diced potatoes which were shortly followed by a sample of the local wine of course!


 Wandering on, I found myself purchasing a combination ticket for an open top return bus ride and a cable car trip. What an experience that was! The views on the way up were spectacular and the summit boasted the renowned botanical gardens and a picturesque church.


Once back on board our trusty ship, we set sail for our penultimate ports of call. Lisbon and Oporto were filled with charm and history and are destinations that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Cruising through the Portuguese Islands and Cities really was a memorable experience. The weather was on our side and it was sunny and warm most days making the experience even more wonderful. This cruise with Fred Olsen was one filled with promise and it didn’t disappoint. The beautiful beaches and stunning scenery were definite highlights. I really can’t wait to visit again...maybe I’ll see you there soon!

Category: Ocean Cruises