Whilst back home autumn may be setting in, Madeira and the Canary Islands still have many months of sunshine ahead allowing us the chance to fully appreciate the diverse and intriguing topography, lunar like landscapes, verdant pine forests and stunning national parks.

Our voyage will begin in the city of Lisbon and then onto the “floating garden in the Atlantic” of Madeira before we make our way to the Canary Islands. Located some 700 miles off Saharan Africa, far from being a sun and fun package destination, there is much to see in this delightful Atlantic Archipelago. In fact, you do not have to stray far from the resorts to discover some marvellously varied landscapes and an absorbing, multifaceted culture. Exploring the hinterlands, back roads and villages brings you in touch with a unique side of Spanish culture, much removed from the mainland. The melting pot of Andalucian, Berber, Portuguese, Italian, French and British migration, together with los Guanches, the original inhabitants who were displaced by the Spanish conquest in the 15th century, have all left their mark, making this a unique destination.

The archipelago consists of seven main islands that are formed from the tips of a vast volcanic mountain range that lies beneath the Atlantic Ocean and we will start by visiting three of the lesser known islands: La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera where we can enjoy nature at its very best. These volcanic islands impress with their unique flora and fauna and boast rugged rocky landscapes, evergreen cloud forests, metre high ferns and bizarre-looking dragon trees. Our final call will be to Santa Cruz de Tenerife where there will be the opportunity to explore the beautiful gardens of the city and spectacular Mount Teide.

Madeira and the Canary Islands have something to offer everyone and so our itinerary has been designed to try and offer a choice of excursion at each port of call. Whether your interests lie in gardens, geology or walking, we are confident that you will find this cruise the perfect antidote to the cold and grey October skies at home.
Fly by scheduled flight and upon arrival in Lisbon transfer to the MS Island Sky. Moor overnight.
This morning explore Portugal’s capital seeing the Gulbenkian Museum, Republic Avenue, Rossio and Commercial Square. We will drive along the Tagus River to the Monument to the Discoveries, erected in 1960 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henrique the Navigator and the Belem Tower, an elegant Manueline structure, built in the middle of the Tagus River. It was from this superb tower that Portuguese explorers were given a rousing send-off. Return to the vessel for lunch and set sail for Madeira.
A day of relaxation. Maybe join one of the onboard lectures or enjoy a book on deck.
Today we arrive in Porto Santo. Although one of the islands constituting the archipelago of Madeira, Porto Santo and Madeira could not be more different. Whilst lush green predominates Madeira, Porto Santo is arid and the southern coast is bordered by a 9 kilometre long beach of golden sand. Our morning tour will introduce us to the island and will include some beautiful vistas, a tasting of Porto Santo wine and a visit to the Christopher Columbus museum, where he once lived. After lunch on board perhaps enjoy some time on the beach, explore the local town or join a hike to the summit of Pico do Castelo offering spectacular views of the island.
This morning we arrive into Funchal and commence our day with a visit to Monte, a charming village high in the hills overlooking Funchal. We will reach Monte by cable car experiencing wonderful views along the way and visit the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. This garden collection has been enriched with plants from all over the world and about 100,000 plant species have been planted. The garden also features a collection of cycads (encephalartos) which, because of their age, are considered living fossils. Before returning to the ship for lunch we will make our way to the Botanical Gardens. Situated in the grounds of a former private house, the gardens are host to a profusion of plants and flowers, from all parts of the world, which thrive in the island’s temperate climate. This afternoon will be at leisure to explore Funchal independently or perhaps join a guided Levada walk. Levada are irrigation channels that were created by the Portuguese settlers in the 19th century, who painstakingly carved them out of the rock by hand. Designed to carry fresh water from the north to the drier southern regions of the island, they helped to create many of the lush landscapes that can be seen today. The walk will follow the course of ‘levadas’ for over three miles, seeing the verdant plants, mountain views and green farmland that cover Madeira. This evening we will dine ashore at the traditional Adega da Quinta Restaurant and enjoy a performance by a local folklore group.
After a morning at sea we will arrive at the Selvagem Islands, a small uninhabited archipelago and, since 1971, one of Portugal’s first designated nature reserves. The scientific and natural interest of this tiny group of islands lies in its marine biodiversity, its unique flora and many birds that breed annually on its rock cliffs or use them on their stopover on normal migratory patterns. It is considered one of the best spots in the Atlantic for bird watching and we hope to see Cory’s shearwater and Berthelot’s pipit. Please note that we will use the ship’s Zodiacs to transfer ashore and will spend a few hours exploring these wild and rarely visited islands.
La Palma is known by locals as the ‘Beautiful Island’, and it is easy to see why, it is a simply stunning, peaceful and most importantly unspoilt destination that has deservedly been declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This morning drive inland to the beautiful village of El Paso and visit the Silk Museum. This is the only place in Europe where the 500-year-old tradition and processes have been preserved. From here we will continue onto the Caldera de Taburiente, a massive depression 8 kilometre wide, scientists agree that this was a majestically tall volcanic mountain that collapsed on itself. Explore on foot and whilst all may seem stoic and still, the forces of erosion are hard at work and some geologists estimate that it will finally disappear in just 5,000 years. Alternatively, for those who would prefer a more energetic excursion there will be a guided trek on offer through the El Pilar area; see remains of volcanic eruptions, the magnificent views of the Valley of Aridane and the crater wall that surrounds the Taburiente National Park. This afternoon will be at leisure to relax on board the ship or a shuttle service will run to Los Llanos de Aridane for independent exploration, the La Palma Archaeological Museum is well worth a visit.
Probably the least known of the Canary Islands, and once considered to be the end of the world, El Hierro is unique and utterly captivating. On our morning island tour it will be impossible not to be entranced by the island’s slow pace and simple style; by its craggy coast, where waves hurl themselves against lavasculpted rock faces; by the pretty farmland and flower meadows of the interior; by the eerily beautiful juniper groves; and by the desolate volcanic badlands that stretch out like moonscapes in the south. We will also have the opportunity to sample some of El Hierro’s excellent wine and visit the lizard house where the island’s unique giant lizards are bred; near extinction they are protected by international law. Alternatively, opt for the La Llania hiking excursion which will take us through primeval forests, along ancient cisterns and mythical witches dance floors to El Hierro’s top viewing point affording spectacular views of the western parts of the island. This afternoon will be at leisure to relax on the ship or a shuttle service will run to Valverde for independent exploration.
La Gomera is a paradise of natural beauty with lush valley and aweinspiring cliffs dotted with charming white washed villages and gives the impression of being lost in a time warp. On a full day tour we will explore the island including Garajonay National Park, home to the world’s only surviving laurel forest and visit the villages of Hermiqua, Agulo and Las Rosas before making our way to a local restaurant for lunch. Before returning to the ship experience a demonstration of Silbo Gomero, the island’s unique whistling language, and visit the magnificent rock formations of Agando. Alternatively, you may wish to join a guided morning trek through the Garajonay National Park commencing in the village of El Cedro which offers some interesting examples of Canarias architecture. Return to the ship for lunch and the afternoon will be at leisure for individual exploration.
This morning will be dedicated to gardens. We will start with a visit to the Jardin Botanico that was founded in 1788 by Charles III of Spain. The purpose of the gardens was to create an area where the plants, shrubs and flowers brought back from the New World could acclimatise to Spanish soil. Many of the plants are the original specimens brought back for the opening of the gardens including the centre piece, an enormous South American fig tree. In contrast to the Botanical Gardens we will then explore the tropical oasis Risco Bello Aquatic Gardens, with its attractive waterfalls and colourful terraces of local flowers, and finally the Sitio Litre Garden which boasts a luscious orchid collection. After lunch on board we will drive inland, along the base of the mountain range through beautiful pine forests to the Parque Nacional del Teide. The area was declared a National Park in 1954 and includes 14 species of plant found nowhere else in the world. Geologically the park is fascinating; of the many different types of volcanic formations examples of more than 80% can be found here. Alternatively there will be a full day tour to Mount Teide on offer for those who wish to enjoy a hike, accompanied by a local guide, through this spectacular landscape.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our return flight to London.

Magellan Deck (Forward)

£ 4895 GBP pp
Magellan Deck (Forward)
Suites measure approximately 21m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Magellan Suite

£ 5095 GBP pp
Magellan Suite
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Columbus Deck Superior

£ 5395 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Premium

£ 5595 GBP pp
Marco Polo Deck Premium
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite

£ 5695 GBP pp
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite
Suites measure approximately 22m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. These suites have two windows, one at the front and one at the side. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony

£ 6295 GBP pp
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2 with an extra 4 m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Explorer Owners Balcony

£ 6495 GBP pp
Explorer Owners Balcony
Suites measure approximately 22m2 with an extra 8m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full-length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator

Magellan Suite Sole

£ 6625 GBP pp
Magellan Suite Sole
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Columbus Deck Superior Sole

£ 7035 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior Sole
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Island Sky

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2010

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

On board there is a high ratio of crew to passengers. Our friendly crew of 75 are mainly Filipino and Eastern European and our Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship.   If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

Your Space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The onboard library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus.

Cabin layout for Island Sky
Island Sky

Island SkyIsland Sky

Luxury Expedition Luxury Expedition

11 Days from
£ 4895 GBP pp

Highlights

• Explore Portugal’s capital seeing the Gulbenkian Museum, Republic Avenue, Rossio and Commercial Square

• Arrive at the Selvagem Islands, a small uninhabited archipelago and, since 1971, one of Portugal’s first designated nature reserves. It is considered one of the best spots in the Atlantic for bird watching

• Discover La Palma, known by locals as the ‘Beautiful Island’

• Visit La Gomera - a paradise of natural beauty with lush valley and aweinspiring cliffs dotted with charming white washed villages

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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