Friday, 21 February 2014

Madeira's Floral Delight

Madeira's annual Flower Festival is one of the horticultural highlights of the year, on a par with Bloemencorso in the Netherlands each year and the annual Battle of the Flowers in our own Jersey.

But the Madeira version is best visited by ship and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering the chance to visit Funchal, Madeira, during its annual floral spectacular on board Braemar’s10-night ‘Sunshine, Shopping & Spring’ fly-cruise, which departs from Santa Cruz, Tenerife, on May 3 and returns to Harwich on May 13.

The Flower Festival, which is held every May when the flowers are at their best, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madeira, filling Funchal with a riot of colour and scents. This enchanting and beautiful festival showcases the island’s most wonderful gardens and flower displays, as well as playing host to a parade – with vibrant costumes and traditional dance – a flower market and other activities, including the making of flower carpets in the streets, prizes for the best shop window, classical music concerts and variety shows.

The cruise takes guests to Funchal on May 7, where they can explore this exquisite ‘Garden Island’ and soak up all that its celebrated Flower Festival has to offer – glorious sunshine, the finest flower displays and an abundance of local traditions, festivities and celebrations. 

Prices start from £675 (£539 cruise-only) per person, based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded, inside cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, flight and airport/port dues. Guests can also choose to upgrade to the ‘all-inclusive’ drinks package for just £10 per person, per night.

More info: call 0800 0355 242 or visit 

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link.