Silversea Luxury Cruises A Porto Santo, Madeira

The small island of Porto Santo lies 21 miles northeast from Madeira, a two and a half hour trip by local ferry.As a result of this close proximity, Porto Santo’s history has been associated with that of its larger sister island since the 14th century, when both appear on a Genoese map. It was in the early 15th century that the Portuguese explorer, Joao Goncalves Zarco, landed on uninhabited Porto Santo after being blown off course while exploring the coast of Africa. View more

He returned the following year on a voyage sponsored by Henry the Navigator; this time he spotted Madeira on the horizon. Compared to Madeira, Porto Santo still remains largely unspoiled, with beautiful sand beaches. Its climate is fairly predictable - dry and warm with few differences in temperature between the seasons, which allows swimming almost year-round. In addition to fine beaches, the island’s major claim to fame is based on the fact that Christopher Columbus lived here for some time and was married to the daughter of the local governor. In the small capital,Vila Baleira, the house of Columbus has been converted into a museum.Another attraction on Porto Santo is the Pico do Castelo. The fort, standing on the highest point of the island, was erected in the 16th century to ward off attacks by French and Algerian pirates. In recent years, thousands of trees have been planted in various parts of the island in an effort to stem the erosion of precious soil. Results so far offer pleasingly green patches in an otherwise dry and arid landscape. Remote Porto Santo still offers visitors an air of tranquility and a look at an unhurried way of life, where stress has not yet had its effect on the 5,000 or so islanders. On the other hand, one must also keep in mind that tourist facilities on Porto Santo are not of the same high standard as on the sister island, Madeira. Pier Information The ship is scheduled to dock at the port of Santo. The pier is about two miles from Vila Baleira, the island’s small capital.Taxis may be found in limited supply for the short ride to town or for a trip around the island. Rates should be agreed on before leaving the pier. Facilities at the port include telephone and fax services, a pharmacy and a rental car office. Shopping Local souvenirs include objects made from straw such as miniature windmills and dolls. They can be found in shops around Vila Baleira. Opening hours are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., opening again at 3:00 p.m. Most shops accept U.S. dollars. The local currency is the euro. Cuisine If you feel like having lunch ashore, seafood is your best choice, which you can find at either Mar e Sol or Por do Sol in Vila Baleira. Other Sites Of interest in town are several churches, the town hall square, a monument dedicated to Portuguese discoveries and the Museum “Casa Colombo.” Around the island you find ruins of 16th-century fortifications and a geological monument at Pico Ana Ferreira. Most of these sights are covered on the tour.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

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Porto Santo, Madeira