Island Hopping in the Azores

Island Hopping in the Azores

From GBP £4,495


Far out in the Atlantic, some 800 miles from the Portuguese coast, the nine islands of the Azores are known for their spectacular volcanic scenery, abundant flora and peaceful lifestyle. The appeal of this remote and unsophisticated archipelago is difficult to define in words, but if you appreciate dramatic scenery, exploring islands where time appears to be standing still, watching for passing whales and learning about the local people and their customs, then this could be the voyage for you. The islands are also perfect for walking enthusiasts with paths through verdant mountain landscapes and we have included some hiking opportunities which, weather permitting, will be a joy for the keen walkers in our group.

Trip Name
Island Hopping in the Azores
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 95 Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2019 MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation. AIR-CONDITIONING The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning. DAILY PROGRAMME A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service. DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance. DISABLED FACILITIES The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift. DOCTOR A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require.  ELECTRICITY The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor. GRATUITIES Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday. INTERNET The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location. LANGUAGE All members of the crew speak English. MONEY The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted. PUBLIC AREAS • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas SNORKELLING Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach.  TELEVISION The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship. ZODIACS Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 


Day 1 - Day 1 London to Sao Miguel, Azores.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima for embarkation. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we moor overnight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Sao Miguel.
Enjoy a full day exploring the island of Sao Miguel, known as Ilha Verde, the green island and home to some of the most stunning viewpoints in the Azores. This morning we head west towards the Sete Cidades volcano from where we can enjoy excellent views over the Lagos de Canarios. We will continue our drive along the attractive northern coast before arriving in the Furnas Valley, an enormous valley and luxuriant garden in the east of the island where we enjoy lunch. We will also visit the village of Furnas and the botanical gardens before returning to the ship and sailing this evening. For the keen hikers, if weather permits, we will arrange to walk the trail in Sete Cidades.
Day 3 - Day 3 Santa Maria.
The most southerly of the islands of the Azores, Santa Maria was the first to be inhabited by Portuguese settlers in 1439. It was also the first call made by Christopher Columbus on his return from the Americas in 1493 and during our island drive we willl visit the village of Anjos where he attended mass at the chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Anjos. Also see the remote settlement of Sao Laurenco known for vineyards which rise steeply up high sea cliffs in terraces whilst the coastline is accentuated by a dramatic waterfall, lava tubes and caves. Return to the ship via the picturesque village of Santo Espirito with its pretty whitewashed houses and 17th century Baroque church. The afternoon is free to explore the town of Vila do Porto independently.
Day 4 - Day 4 Terceira.
This morning explore Angra do Heroismo, a charming UNESCO heritage town with a distinct Mediterranean flavour of cobblestone streets and a certain quiet charm. Enjoy a walking tour that takes in the Misericordia church, Convent do Sao Francisco, public gardens and museum. In the afternoon there will be free time to hike to Monte Brasil, offering wonderful views over the island, or alternatively relax and wander the historic town at your own pace.
Day 5 - Day 5 Graciosa.
Known as the ‘White Island’, Graciosa has a gentle rolling landscape, dotted with windmills and traditional whitewashed houses. Visit Furna do Enxofre (‘Cave of Sulphur’), a geologically unique phenomenon and one of the original examples of the volcanic Azores and take the winding stairway down to the magnificent volcanic cavern and lake. Also see the village of Santa Cruz and the charming Matrix Church. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure to explore the small town of Vila da Praia.
Day 6 - Day 6 Flores & Corvo.
Named after its abundant flora, Flores is often regarded as the prettiest of the Azores. A rugged terrain island with flowers growing in the deep canyons and waterfalls casting hues of blues and green as they splash down to the sea. Visit the vertical basalt cliffs of Rocha do Bordoes, formed by the cooling of lava. See a stunning array of natural features including calderas, fajas, rivers, waterfalls and valleys. This afternoon we will use our small ship to circumnavigate the tiny island of Corvo, the smallest island in the archipelago.
Day 7 - Day 7 Sao Jorge.
This largely rural island is of geographical interest with its cliff shoreline marked with flat fajas sweeping to the sea. We start our full day tour on the western part of the island, Ponta dos Rosais, visiting a Forest Park and cheese factory. As we move to the north we enjoy the view over the Fajas, an area of flat land at sea level resulting from the erosion of cliffs. As we make our way to the south side towards Calheta we will stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to Urzelina to visit the remaining tower of a church buried under lava from the eruption of 1808. Now it is surrounded by fruit trees and vegetation. Upon our return to Velas we will take a walking tour of this charming old-world harbour town. We remain moored overnight for anyone wishing to take an after dinner stroll.
Day 8 - Day 8 Pico.
Explore distinctive Pico, home to Portugal’s highest peak and numerous black lava flows. The UNESCO-designated Lajido Acros tells the story of early winemakers who used the volcanic soil for the grapes and, on a visit to a vineyard, we will enjoy a tasting of the local product. After a typical Azorean lunch we will learn about whaling life in the Azores at the Museum of Lajes returning to the ship via the Lagoa do Capitao offering views over the north of the island.
Day 9 - Day 9 Faial.
Our day begins with an island drive where we explore the fairly recent volcanic activity at Ponta dos Capelinhos. See how a 1957-1958 volcanic eruption transformed the area and created a new land mass. Visit the Volcano Interpretation Centre before continuing to the impressive Caldera, now a nature reserve, which is 400 metres deep and nearly 1500 metres in diameter. This afternoon a walking tour of Horta will include the Scrimshaw Museum and Café Peter, a famous stopping point for sailors crossing the Atlantic.
Day 10 - Day 10 Sao Miguel to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £4,495Standard Stateroom
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £4,495Standard Single
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £4,795Classic Stateroom
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £5,095Superior Stateroom
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £5,595Deluxe Stateroom
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £5,995Junior Suite
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £6,595Owner’s Suite
11-04-202320-04-2023GBP £6,995Serenissima Suite
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £4,795Classic Stateroom
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £5,095Superior Stateroom
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £5,595Deluxe Stateroom
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £5,995Junior Suite
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £6,595Owner’s Suite
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £6,995Serenissima Suite
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £4,495Standard Stateroom
20-04-202329-04-2023GBP £4,495Standard Single


    • Santa Maria
    • Terceira & Graciosa
    • Flores & Corvo
    • Pico & Faial