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Funchal to Portimão ferry returns this summer

Published on 08/04/2019

The ferry service between Portimão and Funchal in Madeira will resumed on 8 July, 2019 with a weekly service operational until the end of September.

Ticket prices will be the same as last year for passage on board the Volcan de Tijarafe ferry for the twelve trips and are available from the middle of next week.

The trips begin on Sundays, with the ferry leaving Tenerife at 8:15 pm, arriving the next morning at 8:15 am in Funchal. Two hours later, the ferry leaves for Portimão arriving Tuesday at 09:30. Three hours later, it leaves for Madeira, arriving at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, leaving again at 18:00 for Las Palmas, arriving at six o’clock on Thursday.

The ship is chartered by the Madeirense Shipping Company (ENM) from the Spanish owner, Naviera Armas and carries a maximum of 1,000 passengers, 300 vehicles and 35 45-foot trailers.

Last year, on the twenty-four trips between Funchal and Portimão, it transported 10,424 passengers, 2,300 cars and received a €3 million subsidy, part of a three year, €9 million deal with the Madeiran government.

The initial objective was for a passenger and cargo line to operate all year round, but after discussions with several shipowners and the opening of two international tenders (the first one resulting in no bids), the operation was reduced to running only in the summer months.

Between 2008 and 2012, a Naviera Armas ferry sailed weekly, year-round, between Funchal, Portimão and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, until it was scrapped, with the Spanish shipowner accusing the regional authorities of creating obstacles.

In January 2016, Miguel Albuquerque’s Madeiran government opened the first competition for the service.

Madeira has always insisted that it is up to the State to support a ferry link between the island and the mainland, but this always has been refuted by the Ministry of the Sea.