Punta Delgada

Providing a gorgeous green welcome to sailors venturing on the long journey across the Atlantic, Ponta Delgada’s shoreline is a reassuring sight, as it emerges into view. Sat on São Miguel Island, the largest of Portugal’s Azores islands - which wait on an outpost of western Europe, some 1,100 miles from the mainland. Ponta Delgada is the island’s largest city, and a place of spectacular volcanic vistas, steaming hot springs and impressive landscaped gardens. The city’s signature trio of arches welcomes you to Ponta Delgada, and its island of verdant volcanic contrasts. Wander between monochrome churches like the Gothic Church of St. Sebastian, and up to the Convent and Chapel of Our Lady of Hope – which houses the revered icon of Christ that is paraded through the streets annually, and believed to have miraculous powers by locals. Or, head for beaches offering sanctuary on charcoal-coloured sands, or the tropical António Borges Botanical Gardens, where tropical plants add extra shades to the Green Island's scenery. Now extinct, the mighty Caldeira das Sete Cidades is a truly awe-inspiring sight - and the colossal collapsed volcanic caldera blooms with lush greenery and scattered wildflowers. The vast crater has been taken over by a glowing, picturesque lake, which reflects the blue sky above. A full three miles wide - and with a circumference of eight miles - it’s a vast panorama to take in. The Lagoa de Fogo – or Lake of Fire – is another of the island’s calderas – rise up to see the crumpled scenery encasing a beautiful lake. São Miguel Island’s geothermal activity has practical uses too, and you can harness the powers to unwind any tired muscles after a long day, by sinking into the hot springs of Poca Da Dona.

tour 1 Furnas Valley, Hot Springs & Botanical Garden

Travel by coach, following the road that heads north of the island, and stop at the Sta Iria viewpoint, from where your visit of the north coast begin. Visit the local tea plantation and factory, and sample some of the better-known Azorean blends. Continue to the Pico do Ferro viewpoint with a magnificent outlook over the Furnas Valley. Head up to the lake in time to see your lunch being taken out of an earthen oven in the ground, where it has been cooked using natural geothermal power. Return to the village to dine at the Casino Terra Nostra (Tripadvisor suggests nice fiews but middle of the road food). Visit the Terra Nostra Botanic Garden, among the most beautiful gardens in the Azores. This park features a natural, hot-water swimming pool. You'll have time for a quick swim if you wish. Visit some hot springs in the village to learn about the different mineral water sources; then, return to Ponta Delgada via the south coast, stopping at Vila Franca, which was the island's first capital.

tour 2 Whale Watching

Located in the Northeast of the mid-Atlantic Ocean, the Azores is the perfect place to spot many different species of marine life, in particular whales - of which there are up to 24 species in the area. Sperm Whales are the most common, however other species that can be encountered are the Humpback, Minky, Blue, Sei, Northern Bottlenose Whale and the Sowerby's Beaked Whale. Dolphins are also common in the area, with regular sightings of Common Dolphin and Striped Dolphin, along with Pseudorca, Bottlenose and others. When you arrive at the boarding platform, a safety briefing will first take place before you board the zodiacs ready to start your tour.

tour 3 Ponta Delgada History and Food Walk

Setting off from the port your walk takes you to the Farmers' Market, where you will have the opportunity to taste some locally made specialties. After visiting the market, continue through the bustling main streets of Ponta Delgada. Stop to admire one of the city's most visited sights, the Gothic church of St. Sebastian, built between 1531 and 1547. The walk continues to Zenite Garden, where you can sit and relax with a delicious homemade dessert. Start then the walk back to the pier.

tour 4 Swimming with Dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean

Experience a thrilling dolphin encounter in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy the ultimate dolphin experience - swimming with wild dolphins in their natural habitat. The crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean that embrace the Azores are teeming with bottlenose, common, and Atlantic spotted dolphins. Where better to swim with these playful marine mammals than in their own habitat? Embarking on a RIB with an experienced skipper and a marine biologist, you'll set out into the ocean in search of these elegant creatures. En route, your expert guides will inform you of the species you are likely to encounter and offer advice on how best to interact with the dolphins, to get the most out of your experience.

tour 5 Sete Cidades Hike

Put on your hiking boots and grab your sense of adventure, and head out on a spectacular journey on foot through the Azores stunning natural landscapes. After a 30 minute drive across São Miguel island, arrive at Vista do Rei, a breathtaking viewpoint considered one of the wonders of Portugal, famous for its magnificent views of the Sete Cidades Caldeira. Also called the King's view, from here you'll not only be awed by panoramic views of two dazzling alpine lakes, but also begin your two-hour moderate level hike at the nearby trailhead. Set out alongside an expert guide across steep pathways, passing the 3 mile wide crater and verdant forest environs dappling the island's western coast. Along the way, hear the fascinating geothermal and geographical history of the region while identifying native flora and fauna. The trek concludes at the quaint village of Sete Cidades on the eastern edge of blue lake. Cool down before being transported back to the port.

tour 6 Gruta do Carvão

Visit the Lava Tunnels of Gruta do Carvão, the largest on the Island of São Miguel. The Gruta do Carvão is classified as Regional Natural Monument and is divided in 3 sections for a total extension of about 1900 meters. Follow your guide who has a speleological formation and learn about the formation of this natural wonder. Please note: Guests are required to lower and crawl in some sections of the tunnels, therefore this tour is only recommended to fit guests. Minimum age required is 10 years old. Gloves, knee pads and a helmet with a built-in light are provided to each participant.​

On to Calheta, Azores

Cruise Lisbon to Buenos Aires