Vila Franca do Campo
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Vila Franca do Campo Cruises & Boat Tours

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

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Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

2. Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

Go on a boat and embark on a snorkeling experience in the sea. Enjoy the marine life in a supervised and relaxed way.  Receive a brief explanation of the apnea basic concepts, equipment, and swimming techniques. These are theoretical and practical sessions, where safety procedures will be explained.  This activity takes place in the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Island, close to the wrecked cannons from the 16th Century.  Come and see what the underwater world has to offer you with the greatest comfort and safety.

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Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

3. Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

Kick off your scuba diving experience with a small introduction session during which you will learn all about diving equipment, techniques and underwater communication. Then head out to the sea by boat, allowing a supervised and relaxed way to experience diving.  Your dive will take place at the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Islet, an island formed by a volcano crater. Explore an area close to wrecked cannons from the 16th century and see how nature incorporated them into marine life.

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Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

4. Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

Take the opportunity to see some of the sea life found in the Azores including dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds. Before the boat trip, listen to biologists explaining the safety measures aboard, the history of the area, the local wildlife and how to respect them. Then set off! After the 3-hour whale watching tour, stop in Vila Franco do Campo to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Following lunch, board a converted traditional fishing boat and head to Vila Franca do Campo islet, a volcanic crater off the coast that encloses a natural lagoon. Take one of the provided snorkels and diving masks and see the numerous protected fish species in this natural reserve. Following the tour, transfer back to Ponta Delgada by boat or van.

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Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

5. Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

Discover the natural reserve of Ilhéu de Vila Franca, located in the south coast of São Miguel island. This small volcanic island is only situated 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) away from Vila Franca do Campo Marina. Circle around the island with a professional guide who will point out all the rare rock formations. Watch the nesting sites of the local sea birds such as the Garajau-comum (sterna hirundo). Take a peek inside the crater filled with turquoise water.

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São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

6. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

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Azores: Marine Birdwatching Expedition

7. Azores: Marine Birdwatching Expedition

Cruise the Azores coastline and stop at the off-coast nature reserve of the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo to observe known seabird colonies and other marine wildlife alongside a professional birdwatching team. After a safety brief about the “Zodiac RIB” boat you will be traveling in, start your sea journey with an introduction to you the bird species you will observe, their migration routes, and their behavioral patterns. Follow directions provided by inland lockouts via VHF Radio allowing the boat to carefully approach at an undetected distance. Learn about the field imagery and data collection for local research. Many Birds find an oasis in the Azores Islands to breed and raise chicks and as an on-route refuge. Marine birds can be observed yearlong, peaking in abundance in Spring and Autumn with the arrival of migrants and vagrants. See vast colonies of Cory’s Shearwater, Barolo Shearwater, Common and Roseate Terns, Yellow-legged Gulls, Bulwer’s Petrel, Wilson’s, and Madeiran Storm-petrels. On lucky days spot less-common species like Bridled or Sooty Terns.  Not breeding but regularly sighted are Great Shearwater and Leach’s Storm-petrel, Manx and Sooty Shearwater, vagrant Northern Gannets, Arctic, Pomarine, and Great Skuas. Shorebirds encountered include  Buzzards, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Canaries, Little Egrets, Wagtails, and Whimbrels.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vila Franca do Campo

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What people are saying about Vila Franca do Campo

Very interesting excursion, the guide spoke several languages and was able to adapt to everyone. The explanations at the briefing, and during the excursion, were clear and precise. Scientifically very qualitative content

Amazing experience... The marine biologist onboard was a superb guide, we saw hundreds of dolphins (including babies) and a family of sperm whales... The boat ride itself is worth the trip, was super fun!

Very nice guide. A lot of information. A really great experience. We saw hundreds of dolphins. Unfortunately not a whale. But even the ride with the Zodiac is worth it.

Well informed guide, boat was comfortable and didn’t get wet, apart from the shower. Saw a few common dolphins and approx 200 hundred spotted dolphins. Excellent trip.

Incredibly good! We saw dolphins and two different species of whale.