A few weeks ago some friends mentioned they had read somewhere that the Portimão to Funchal ferry service had returned after its six year absence. How exciting we thought as it is a voyage we have wanted to take for years. So on our return I immediately began investigating to see whether we could take it this spring.
Unfortunately however this is a journey we will not be taking anytime soon. It did return briefly last summer, and nearly 7,000 residents of Madeira took full advantage of the discounted ticket price of 29euros each way. However the numbers travelling were far below that envisaged, and only 35% of the passengers paid the full price. Consequently it seems there is much uncertainty as to whether or not this ferry route will return this summer let alone increase to weekly trips year round. More info here.
And even if it did return I must admit the full price of 374 per couple one way for an exterior cabin plus an additional charge of over 100euros for the car is daunting. Looking at the ferry website there were chair only prices last year at 87 euros per person one way but for a journey of just under 24hours I am not sure it’s a voyage I want to take in a chair! I will though continue to keep a look out because if the campaigners are successful in their efforts to get this ferry route reinstated with state subsidies and increased freight traffic to ensure its long term survival, then just maybe the prices will reduce.