During last year’s Trans-Atlantic cruise on board the Celebrity Summit, we enjoyed a fantastic day on the friendly beautiful island of Madeira. When we visited last year we really did not expect to ever have a chance to return to this remote and exotic island, but our upcoming cruise will bring us there again for a second chance to take in the unique scenery and culture of the island.
During our visit last year we covered many of the single day highlights of the island. We first visited many of the beautiful gardens of the island. After a little souvenir shopping, we enjoyed the islands famous wicker toboggan ride down the from the famous island retreat of Monte. After we tried a bit of Madeira’s famous wine, we ended the day by enjoying a beautiful sunset and sail-a-way from the island from the balcony of our ship.
This year we have no specific plans, but are aware of many options due to our research prior to our visit last year. The ship will dock again at the capitol city of Funchal. The walk into town is about 30 minutes from the cruise ship. Some of the possibilities might include a visit to the islands’ museum “The Madeira Story Center.” This interactive museum includes exhibits that tell the story of the island from its volcanic beginnings, to colonization by the Portuguese, and the riches of the island from the one time strong sugar trade, today’s main industries of tourism and fortified wine production. We also might choose to take the cable car up from the same area back to the scenic Monte suburb. I also plan to do a more serious wine tasting. Last year I only had time to try a bit on wine in a gift shop. During this next visit I hope to visit an actual winery and try some of the better quality wines.
I know other cruisers who have enjoyed both independent and ship tours that have included some of the islands other highlights. These tours included visits to the islands botanical gardens, art museums, Nuns Valley and other scenic vistas.
What ever we choose to do on or visit, I know we will thoroughly enjoy our return visit to Madeira.