600 year celebrations begin. Economy growing. AIDAprima.

600 year celebrations begin

Sugar caneFeatured in the Diario, the exhibition ‘The White Gold Islands. Artistic Order in Madeira (15th-16th centuries) ‘ is inaugurated today at the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon. The exhibition has been put together with the collaboration of the Municipality of Funchal, which provided several pieces from the “The City of Sugar” Museum to the event. The event marks the start of the celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the Discovery of Madeira and Porto Santo, and will be open to the public between November 16 and March 18, 2018.
The mayor of Funchal, Paulo Cafôfo, will be present this afternoon at the official inauguration of the exhibition, which brings together works of art relating to the sugar industry provided by public and private entities. The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, will attend.
The Municipality of Funchal is committed to various commemorations of the 600 years of the Discovery of Madeira and Porto Santo, with many activities planned over the next two years. In this case, the Madeiran museum has donated eight pieces from its collection to the Lisbon exhibition which hopes to “internationalise the artistic heritage of the city and the Region” , especially those related to “white gold”. A sugar loaf, a form of sugar dating from the end of the 15th century is included in the exhibits of “As Ilhas do Ouro Branco”.

Madeiran economy growing

Diario headline: economy is growingToday’s Diario reports that the Madeiran Economy is growing. The top 500 companies are performing better than last year according to their analysis, which still has the hotel group A.M. & J. Pestana – Sociedade de Turismo da Madeira, SA as the biggest company on the island.


A video has appeared on YouTube of the maiden visit of the cruise ship AIDAprima, when it called into Funchal a couple of days ago en-route to Tenerife. It has a capacity of 3300 passengers and 900 crew. The AIDAprima was completed in Japan last year and so far has focused on the German market, cruising to the Canary Islands.  The 300 metre ship has a gross tonnage of 125,572 and travels at 22 knots (41k/hr).


Crew Center logoWhilst researching the Aida Prima I came across an informative website – Crew Center – which details all of the cruise ships calling at Funchal over the year. I have added it to the “Useful Links” section of the blog on the tab above. Presumably their 2018 timetable will be added in due course.
The recent opening of a new cruise ship terminal in Lisbon illustrates the relentless growth of this market.

23 thoughts on “600 year celebrations begin. Economy growing. AIDAprima.”

  1. Re: Cruise ships. I wonder how useful they are for Funchal restaurants as on many of them food is included in the price.

    A case in point, I was in a restaurant at 12:30 yesterday (eating) when four people clearly from a cruise ship grabbed the last remaining outside table for four and then announced they only wanted to drink (1 wine or beer each).

    This was a restaurant with normal drink prices so little profit for them.

    I wonder if this kind of visitor is the reason why another restaurant in a slightly more touristy location had had normal food prices but crazily high drink prices.

  2. There’s a lot of truth in what Mike says. We take a cruise every few years and rarely go on the organised trips. We usually like to wander around the town and we eat/drink out even though the cruise is all inclusive. But, most other pax seem to rush back for lunch on board.

  3. When booking a cruise you select what food& drink package you require.
    Some can be very expensive so I suppose it makes sense to return,
    although like Mauricereed I too enjoy eating & drinking in the places
    I visit.

  4. I am sorry to say Mike, but I believe the cruise ships are a fairly good income for Madeira because of the harbour taxes they have to pay pr. day.
    The German Aida company has a very sporty concept for their passengers in order to be attractive for younger people. You might have observed how these people run around in Funchal on the company’s bikes or paddle in the bay in kayaks. The Prima has a funny front part reminding of a war ship from the WW1..
    Hopefully time will soon come when the harbour in Funchal can provide the ships with electricity during the stay to avoid the pollution from the engines. But what do you think they do with their waste and sanitary tanks when they leave for open sea…?

  5. mauricereed, sorry about your ignorance, but the cruise ships coming up to my country, Norway, are a serious pollution problem. Small villages along the coast or settlements in narrow fjords have no capacity for waste and dirty water. Till this day the rules said the sanitary tanks could be opened at 300 meters from land. From now on the companies have promised to go further out. Hopefully at least the waste is kept on board till they reach a harbour with waste capacity. The fact is that cruise ships are getting bigger and bigger and continue to fertilize the sea rather seriously. Not a very encouraging evolution, sorry.

  6. With regard to Drinking Water in Funchal and the island beyond, can we get clarifications on whether or not the tap water is safe beyond doubt?
    When I enquirer on line I only get reviews from holiday makers, What I seek is an answer from a government department.
    My wife and I live in Funchal close to the shopping centre of the old Town, Surely the local government can give an answer to my question without the usual ambiguity, should we buy bottled water, boil water, or is it a gamble with tap water ? this cannot safely be answered by holiday makers.

  7. We’ve been using water straight from the tap for 9 years, although it does come via the fridge freezer and it filtered. Never had an issue, although we are not in Funchal.

  8. Water quality throughout Madeira varies considerably, and even within Funchal. At times of considerable rain, for example, the quality of water can become unacceptable and make people ill, for example with gastroenteritis. I won´t drink Funchal tap water unfiltered, but will drink tap water in other parts of the island. Regular surveys are done, the most recent I remember was reported in the Diário a couple of months ago, but I cannot remember the ratings of the concelhos individually.

  9. As this blog is now being censured, consider youself warned that I for one, will stop contributing. Probably something that would make you happy as I often am the one that exposes translation and information blunders, and the subsequent consequences for your readers. It seems that free speech is not allowed for everyone, and shame on you for this on what one would consider in itself a ‘dishonest’ enterprise.

  10. Jorge, where & when have you been censored? As far as I am concerned you contributions ARE wanted. Freedom of speech is a right and I am sure the Admin agrees.

  11. No idea what you are talking about Jorge, unless you are referring to the approval of Comments. WordPress is set to automatically publish a Comment from somebody who has had a Comment approved previously. This feature does not always work, and some Comments are flagged for manual approval, which can lead to a time delay before they are published.
    There is no censorship here, other than the automatic removal of spam and anything offensive, malicious or self-promoting.

  12. Great tap water in Gaula – we drink it direct from the tap every day and have done for the last thirteen years. Whilst we supply guests with free bottled water daily, most guests drink the tap water. Evidently the best spring water is from the village fonts in Gaula!

    Jorges, I hope you come back online – your comments are very much appreciated.

  13. Jorges. Your first Comment was timed at 10.50 – I had already explained that manual approval cab be required because of a WordPress fault – but despite this you were complaining at 10.52! I think you may have an agenda here to try and discredit the blog?

  14. Thank you mauricereed for useful information concerning ship regulations.

    The description of “black and grey” is very interesting indeed.
    The fact is that a documentary recently revealed that the cruise ships add disinfectant to the tanks before they are emptied in open sea. With 3000 passengers on a cruise crossing the Atlantic, I guess they are using something like the “grey-list”… Sorry.

    “The purpose of the London Convention is to control all sources of marine pollution and prevent pollution of the sea through regulation of dumping into the sea of waste materials. A so-called “black- and grey-list” approach is applied for wastes, which can be considered for disposal at sea according to the hazard they present to the environment. For the blacklist items dumping is prohibited. Dumping of the grey-listed materials requires a special permit from a designated national authority under strict control and provided certain conditions are met. All other materials or substances can be dumped after a general permit has been issued.”


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