Record number of cruise passengers. Court points finger at Jardim. easyJet debacle. TAP credit card rip-off. Ships horn “concert” for New Years Eve

Record cruise passenger numbers and revenues for 2012:


More than 511,000 “tourists in transit” passed through the port of Funchal until November pouring into the regional economy an estimated 40,880,00 euros.

This is based on studies showing that a cruise tourist spends, on average, during their visit to Madeira, 80 euros, five euros more than they spend in the Canaries. There is also the expenditure made by crew members of ships made stopovers in the port in the first 11 months of this year. It is understood that their spend is above 80 euros for each crew member.

“Objective is to reach 600 thousand tourists in 2012”

The goal that was set by the current president of the board of the port – APRAM – was to reach 600,000 passengers by the end of this year. This would set new records and if this objective is achieved, it will represent a contribution to the regional economy at least €48 million in spending by tourists only.

Port authorities also benefit from this increase in visits to the port of Funchal. Fees paid by the ship owners of between 20 to 30 thousand euros, are their main source of revenue. The amount charged varies depending on the number of passengers and tonnage of vessels calling at our port but, according to calculations, the 288 liners who visited this year resulted in revenues of more than 5,760,00 euros. This is calculated on the basis that each of the 288 ships paid a rate of only 20 thousand euros.

Madeira illegally withheld more than €18 million from the mainland

The Court points the finger at the government of Alberto João Jardim.

The The Court points the finger at the government of Alberto João Jardim.

The Diario reports that the Court of Auditors have found that between 2004 and 2011, the Regional Government of Madeira illegally withheld more than 18 million of revenue share levied by “registries and registrars” in the region that rightfully belonged to the State.

"From 2004 to 2011 the Regional Secretariat of Planning and Finance (SRPF) illegally withheld a portion of the revenues assigned to the State (…) totalling €18,129,933.69 on the grounds of the Region have revenues receivable from the State which had not yet been transferred and waiting (…) certification by the National Authorities, "reads the document.

The report also points out that "under the opening credits of illegal special budgets in 2009, 2010 and 2011 (as well as the change in the accounting rules of the revenues generated by the external service Draj) fiscal revenue recorded in the accounts of the Region of those years under "miscellaneous fees" (…) is overstated. "

Disputing the report, the Regional Secretary of Planning and Finance, Ventura Garcês said he "disagreed with the assessment," arguing that the "calculations in question are effectively the region (…) and are assigned to compensate for skills ensured by the Ministry of Justice reflect equally the payment for a service rendered by an entity external to the Government. "

In this analysis, the TC considered that the internal control system of Draj in the area of ​​outsourcing, "is deficient, particularly in terms of revenue collection and its control."

Thanks again to Peter for this – full story here:

easyJet passengers miss Christmas in Madeira

Following up on Jon Parsons reporting of the easyJet debacle on Christmas Eve on the last blog post, BBC News Bristol carried the following “sad” story:

“Dozens of people hoping to enjoy Christmas in Madeira had to spend two nights in a hotel near Bristol Airport when their flight could not land.The easyJet plane took off on Christmas Eve as scheduled but after two hours in the air, passengers were told they would be returning to Bristol.Disappointed travellers were put up at the Holiday Inn. They were due to fly out to Madeira on Boxing Day afternoon.

easyJet said the delay was caused by bad weather closing Funchal Airport.

Katie Curtis Passenger Katie Curtis, from Plymouth, who was visiting her mother in Madeira, said: "We had to come back and spend Christmas in the hotel.

"The children were really disappointed, they’re only nine and 10 years old. They were very upset on the way home on the plane.

"My Mum in Madeira managed to get a message to Santa so there are presents in Madeira for them and there were presents here for them, too. "The hotel has been great and we had a nice time here but it wasn’t the same as spending Christmas with our parents in Madeira."

Agostinho Mendonca, whose wife, daughters and grandchildren live in Madeira, said: "Everyone was planning to spend Christmas together in Madeira."It was nice here and everybody spent it like a family together but it’s not the same as being with our families back home.Some people had their families and children with them [at the hotel] but I was just by myself."

A spokesman for easyJet said: "The safety and welfare of our crew and passengers is easyJet’s top priority. We appreciate that many of those on-board may have been travelling with us to spend the festive period with loved ones."

TAP delays credit card surcharges

TAP has postponed until March 1st the €7 surcharge on ticket sales for purchases by credit card. I thought this practise was being discouraged after being identified as a complete rip-off – at least TAP are late on the scene. Booking a Thomson flight the other day, I used my Banif “Multibanco” card which is clearly labelled as an “Electron” card – in order to avoid credit card surcharges – only to find that it was impossible to progress to payment because the on-line system was requesting the usual 3-digit CVC – which do not appear on Multibanco cards – has anybody found a way round this?

Ships Horns “Concert” on New Year’s Eve

The Madeira Tourist Authority have announced that on 31 December, at 19.15, the bay of Funchal will host a concert of cruise ship whistles with the intention of creating a “special moment in the farewell of the year 2012”.

This musical work entitled ‘Last Sunset Symphony 2012 "by Francisco Loreto and promoted by the Tourism Madeira, will last 10 minutes and has been written exclusively for vessels Bella Aida, Aida Sun, Azura, Boudicca, Queen Victoria, Thomson Majesty, the ferry ‘Lobo Marinho’ and tug Commander Passos Gouveia.

33 thoughts on “Record number of cruise passengers. Court points finger at Jardim. easyJet debacle. TAP credit card rip-off. Ships horn “concert” for New Years Eve”

  1. lets be generous about the cruise ship income, and say it rounds up to 60,000,000€ a year. Another 100 years or so and Madeira’s (not Portugal’s) debt will theoretically be paid off. Can’t wait!!!

  2. EasyJet: As I posted earlier, they were NOT teling the truth.

    As far as I know, Funchal Airport was never officialy “closed” – true it was “out of limits” for SOME aircraft landings for approx 90 minutes but ALL other operators managed to get their aircraft (and pax) here on ( a couple via Porto Santo for an hour or so) Christmas eve = max delay some 2 hours or so and then ONLY mid/late a.m. Thereafter it was a gorgeous sunny day after ground cold front passed through = cooler, sunny and with a light breeze. No way could this weather have affected EasyJets later arrivals – they simply cancelled ALL of their flights. Our guests watched in amazement as, after being told the Airport was closed, Thomson pax etc. gaily carried on checking in (alongside them) and then flew home for Christmas, as planned, on time! Our EasyJet pax then spent Christmas eve p.m. sat on their Hotel balcony (in the sun) overlooking the Airport and drowning their sorrows as they watched everybody else going home……..

    EasyJet cancelled ALL four of their inbound flights including those later in the day from Gatwick and Lisbon – there was NOT a breath of wind!

    I contacted Sky, BBC news and the Daily Mail with NO response – a true travel industry cover up….I just wish someone would “pick up” on this and publish.

  3. Just before Christmas I spoke to a friend who had returned from Madeira recently having been recommended to go there by me. He said that he had enjoyed himself, liked Madeira and the people but had missed a day because his flight had returned to UK after about an hour and that he had not enjoyed some very wind and wet days plus a mini problem with the hotel.
    It was before this fiasco with Easyjet and I had not asked him which airline so I wonder if it was them.
    We are coming on the early Heathrow Tap on the 8th so cross your fingers against strikes, weather or any other problem for us.
    Have a lovely New Year – We shall hopefully be watchingthe fireworks on the internet

  4. from Dnoticias Users Committee will protest against rising cost of transport

    The Commission on Public Transport Users Madeira (CUTPRAM) promises to start the year with protests against the announced increase in transport prices. The new figures represent an increase of almost 2% and come into force on 1 January.

    Agostinho Santos, CUTPRAM ensures that despite the upgrade price is “ridiculous” vai deserve public outcry.

    “The Users Committee is studying the situation and certainly in January, at the beginning of next year, we will meet with the committee and advance measures CLAIM and counter that despite this increase be negligible impacts at a time that people are going through a particularly difficult time in terms of income, taking effect on household income, “explained the director strange that although the increases were decided without any public announcement. “It’s an increase unreasonable, given that there are still about 10 months ago, there was a sharp increase in the amount of 15% of public transport and more with these increases now, at a time when everything increases, prices, costs and lower yields, “Santos considers Augustine. “There is no reason this increase, which wants to impose citizens, yet for another tax increase that is so completely in secret, without the knowledge of populations. Far not addressed this, people are unaware unless they will carry tickets and passes, “he stresses.

    Riding a bus in Madeira will get more expensive as from 1 January. The social passes and tickets pre-purchased at the price increase 1.87%.

    With regard to the business hours of Funchal with respect to HF, all rates increase, with the exception of the ticket price edge, which remains unchanged and continues to cost 1.90. The same goes for the ticket pre-bought child, who remains at 0.70 cents.

    With regard to intercity transport, including Rodoeste, Coach of São Gonçalo, Reed and SAM, there are increases. The passes will endear averaged 1.87% and the tickets cost more onboard spend five cents.

    The President’s Schedule of Funchal, Alejandro Gonçalves, justifies this increase in the price of public transport with the obligations imposed by the Plan of Economic and Financial Adjustment.

  5. How is the situation with the denque now? When I come soon to Madeira do I have to make precautions ?

    Barbie look at the blog of may 31 2010. You can also look at Youtube by looking for floods or mau tempo and february 2010.

  6. Karen – I did post a link for possible live viewing of fireworks but it seems to have been deleted which may be for security reasons by admin.
    If they or someone else is able to post a link to appropriate site they may do so to help you otherwise try googling live firworks Madeira or somesuch

  7. Readers can put this in UTUBE The Harbour Symphony July 9, 2012. “Brute” by Mack Furlong. It will give them a taste of whats going to happen tonight. Ships Horns “Concert” on New Year’s Eve. Sorry I can not put the link on the blog.

  8. Anneke the dengue numbers did go down significantly, to around 52 or 55 per week in the first half of December, at which point the medical authorities stopped giving out
    the numbers. We live in Funchal, although about 2 km from the town centre and have not seen any of the ‘bad’ sort of mosquito in the last few weeks. However, we do use repellent about once or twice a day just as a precaution. I would suggest that you bring some Boots repellent containing Deet with you or else buy some ‘Tabard’ here which all the farmacies sell but do come and don’t let it spoil your holiday. Happy New

  9. Happy New Year to all. Thanks Jaquine for your info. I bought already some DEET in Holland so for that part I am prepared. I hope the mosquitos have disappeared. But I had no plan to stay home because of the denque. I love Madeira too much to stay home.

  10. From Dnoticias Government prepares new laws to ban tobacco entirely in restaurants and cafes
    The current legislation has 5 years and consumption has decreased by 5%. It just says Health Minister

    The tobacco law in force five years ago today, reduced by 5 percent the number of smokers, but the Government is preparing new legislation, more restrictive, to completely prohibit smoking in restaurants and cafes.

    The law, which took effect on January 1, 2008, limits the use of tobacco in public places.

    Since that date, smoking is prohibited in public services in local direct service to the public, workplaces, health centers, nursing homes, schools, museums, cultural centers, meeting rooms, venues for shows, closed areas installations Sports, fairgrounds, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, service stations, airports and transport.

    In the case of restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, the legislation allows the creation of own smoking areas, provided that their area exceeding 100 square meters and that these areas do not occupy more than 30 percent of the total area.

    Still, it must be physically separate and have their own system of air extraction.

    The Ministry of Health is studying the reimbursement of medicines to help smokers quit smoking, while going ahead with legislation to stop the new restaurants, cafes and the like having spaces for smokers.

    The restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs with smoking areas will have eight years to eliminate them.

    In recent statements Lusa, the assistant secretary of state’s Health Minister Fernando Leal da Costa, who took the law in force “was a bit hasty, surely badly drawn.”

    One in four Portuguese die prematurely, partly due to tobacco.

    Health care costs related to tobacco represents an annual fee to the state of almost 500 million euros, according to data from the Ministry of Health
    Meanwhile, Health Minister Paulo Macedo, said today to a “positive balance” of measures taken to reduce smoking in Portugal, as the tobacco law, but considered insufficient to 5% reduction in the number of smokers.

    “It is a positive number, but not a sufficient number to consider,” said the minister Lusa, the purpose of reducing the number of smokers.

    This is because, he added, “smoking affects people, in concrete terms, not just in the case of lung cancer, but has negative effects in multiple pathologies.”

    Paulo Macedo spoke Lusa on the sidelines of the visit he paid today to the Hospital José Joaquim Fernandes in Beja, belonging to the Local Health Unit of the Lower Alentejo (ULSBA).

  11. from Dnoticias Blackout affected the entire island
    A power failure of unknown origin, left all the dark wood, but electricity is already being restored gradually

    A blackout of recorded about 21:45 today, left the island of Madeira in the dark.

    A power failure is still unknown and is still being refined by the company Electricity of Madeira.

    However, electricity is gradually being restored, as explained to DIÁIRO President of the Board of Electricity Madeira, Rui Rebelo. The center of Funchal was the first place where the electricity was resumed.

  12. Is all of Madeira’s electricity hydro or diesel or wind or all 3?
    Enough wind in government.
    I guess it’s oil burning generators.
    No power from waste?
    No solar of any significance ?

  13. Electricity Board Figures from year 2011:

    Thermal = 73.1 %
    Water supply = 13.5%
    Wind = 8.0 %
    Urban solid residue = 3.8%
    Fotovoltaic = 1.5%

    There you go Martin and a Happy, non shocking, New Year to you!

    We’ve got Solar panels for Water and have applied for Voltaic allocation….and burn local “dead” wood = blimey, nearly Green! Must start homebrewing….

  14. from Dnoticias Breakdown in Power Plant Caniçal the source of the blackout

    A breakdown in Caniçal Power Plant, belonging to a unit private producer, led to the blackout registered late on Wednesday on the island of Madeira. An advanced this morning given by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Electricity Company of Madeira Rui Rebelo gave that still has that same unit was to charge 25% of the energy needs of the entire island when the malfunction occurred.

    Rui Rebelo said that restoring power can only be done gradually, regretting what happened.

  15. Not sure what the power source is Martin:

    A thermal power station is a power plant in which the prime mover is steam driven. Water is heated, turns into steam and spins a steam turbine which drives an electrical generator. After it passes through the turbine, the steam is condensed in a condenser and recycled to where it was heated; this is known as a Rankine cycle.

    We really do need to harness our natural resources….

  16. Jon, I want to write you, but on your site is no email adress. Can you let me know how I can reach you by email? Maybe admin can help and he can give you my emailadress. I would appreciate that.

  17. Does anyone know anything more about the delay on Christmas eve. We were on the Bristol flight to Madeira and spent two nights in a holiday Inn in Bristol with two very upset children who missed Christmas with their grand parents. Would be grateful of any info finding the truth! Regards, kate

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