Lush vegetation and bizarre volcanic cones, colourful fishing villages and black lava fields, former pirates’ hideaways, whales and dolphins – on this expedition with the HANSEATIC, all nine Azores islands and Madeira line up their riches like a string of pearls. Discover a springlike Garden of Eden on various walks and activities.
from Tenerife to Lisbon
|Cruise dates:||from 22.05.2017 to 05.06.2017 (14 days)|
| Your ship:|| MS HANSEATIC|
| Cruise number:|| HAN1709|
This cruise is operated in German. For individual programmes kindly ask our travel concierge.
Madeira: island of eternal spring
Looking to experience unspoilt nature? You will find just that when the HANSEATIC heads for the Atlantic’s island treasures. Wherever you set foot on volcanic soil, the beauty of creation will find new ways to fill you with wonder. For example when you reach Madeira, the green oasis. The ship sails slowly into the magnificent harbour of the capital, Funchal, nestled in high mountains like an amphitheatre stage. Explore life by the blue ocean from an unusual perspective by taking a “tukxi” through Funchal*. These electric vehicles with open sides will transport you through narrow alleys into the heart of the city. One of the island’s greatest sights is nature itself, as you will discover on a levada hike* along the famous water channels in a stunning setting.
Great natural experiences ahead
Like the settlers and seafarers of old, the HANSEATIC will continue north-west until an Atlantis-like archipelago suddenly appears before you: the Azores. This paradise for hikers and nature lovers remains largely unknown. Lakes surrounded by flowers and lush volcanic craters are punctuated with green valleys and bustling towns. Here, where there is a good chance of seeing whales, you will experience unforgettable panoramas and expedition moments at the most beautiful time of the year. The first highlight is Sao Miguel, the largest of the nine islands: fertile land for growing tobacco, wine grapes and pineapples, and the site of Europe’s only tea plantation. The scenery is characterised by laurel and eucalyptus trees, and the island’s volcanic origins are evident in bubbling springs and the smell of sulphur. The excursion to Furnas’ fumaroles, tea plantations and Botanical Park* provides an insight into its natural diversity, while a spectacular scene awaits at the crater lakes of Sete Cidades*. Alternatively, take a local boat with a positioning system and an expert guide for some whale watching – in search of sperm whales*. This cruise will also offer plenty of opportunities for encounters with various whale and dolphin species – both on guided excursions and from the deck of the HANSEATIC.
Sao Jorge, whose expansive plateaus and volcanic cones are reminiscent of a dragon, makes an elemental impression. Particularly stunning here are the many “fajas”, lush, green stretches of land formed by cooled lava, where tropical fruits and even coffee are cultivated. Sample this in truly typical fashion: “fajas” and coffee tasting*. A walk to Faja dos Vimes* with idyllic views takes you along a goat track through the rich endemic vegetation.
Set foot on Flores, the island of flowers, for a hike along ancient island trails*. A sea of flowers in intense colours, the waterfalls and bizarre rock formations will be a delight for all nature lovers. Corvo UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the smallest of the Azores, is home to marine mammals and birds. What initially appears to be a mountain will turn out to be a huge crater on an individual exploration with our experts.
Over 100 volcanoes, deep-black rocks and deep-blue water add accents to the natural canvas of Pico – named for its approximately 2,350 m (7,709 ft) high volcano, Portugal’s highest mountain. The scenic journey across the crater island of Pico* fascinates with rocks and lava fields, rainforest-like vegetation and former whalers’ villages. Today, it is mainly researchers and scientists who are drawn here from around the world by the marine mammals. The animals will also be discussed during exciting presentations by your experts on board. Equipped with new background knowledge, your boat trip for whale and dolphin watching* will be even more intensive. You will also follow the marine mammals on the island of Faial. Until the 1980s, hunting whales was still a major part of everyday life. The people who have circumnavigated the globe in Peter Cafe Sport in the harbour of Horta will certainly have plenty to say about this and more. A tour to the Capelinhos volcano* or a hike to the Faial Caldeira* tells of the elemental forces of the earth – both will reward you with wonderful views of the island and ocean. The seldom-visited island of Graciosa, whose appeal lies in its natural beauty, is an insider’s tip. On a hike to the Furna do Enxofre*, descend to a sulphur cave where hot springs bubble: a spectacle of untamed nature. The pioneering spirit of former Portuguese seafarers will come to life when the HANSEATIC docks at Terceira pier. In the narrow alleys of the old town in the World Heritage Site of Angra do Heroismo*, white houses and old churches tell of the times when the city was an intermediate stop for overseas trade. As in the past, the landscape – which you will enjoy on an island tour* – offers idyllic retreats.
Santa Maria is known for its idyllic beaches and sunshine. The typical whitewashed houses with colourful windows and doors lend the villages their special charm. By the time you hike to the Pedreira do Campo stone quarry*, the many experiences of your expedition will feel like they have been set in stone – unforgettable!
A change in itinerary may be required on this expedition. The captain will decide on the best possible alternative depending on local conditions.
* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to change.
= at anchor
Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German.
For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.
Following programmes we offer in German:
PRE-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: HIGHLIGHTS OF TENERIFE
POST-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: LISBON AND ROYAL SINTRA
Country expert on the team
Birgit Siegel began studying Atlantic history while attending the University of the Azores. A tour guide, she has been living on the island of Sao Miguel since 2003. She therefore knows many hidden beauties on the archipelago as well as fascinating background information – from politics through to its bird life.