Tall Ship: Diving Cape Verde

Diving expedition to the best spots in Santa Maria, São Nicolau, Santa Lucia and São Vicente.

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Tall Ship: Diving Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Price: € 1490

  • Dates: 1 december till 8 december 2020
    • 7 Days diving expedition
  • Gain a hands-on sailing experience of this historic ship
  • Visit secluded beaches, stand up paddle and kayak
  • Dive some of the best diving spots of the Cape Verde archipelago


This journey takes us to some of the best scuba diving spots of Cape Verde’s archipelago where the water temperature goes from 21ºC to 26ºC and the visibility is typically between 15 and 30 meters.

The seas around the islands are rich in fish and other marine life including whales, sharks (including tiger, lemon and hammerhead) rays, dolphins, and turtles depending on the season, together with a great diversity of small fish and shells.

Along with sea life divers can explore wrecks, reefs, caves, massive rock formations, and wall drop-offs with rich tropical underwater flora.

We will keep our itinerary flexible to allow our captain and diving master to take us to the best diving sites depending on the weather conditions.

The south end of Sal Island boasts some of the best diving sites on the archipelago. The promontory of Santa Maria is also close enough to the island to allow for island visits. Santo Antão and São Vicente offer a range of diving options including Le Dromadaire wreck, a French East Indiaman shipwrecked in bad weather in 1762 believed to be carrying a cargo of gold and silver. Tribe house reef is another popular diving site with abundant sea life and corals. The southeastern island of Boa Vista is also rich in sea life and the surrounding depths attract some of the giants of the ocean including whale-sharks and manta rays.

When you’re not diving we can arrange transfers to the nearby islands by boat to visit the local markets, beaches and seafood restaurants. Of particular note is Mindelo known as the musical and cultural capital of Cape Verde. The town overlooks the edge of the Bay of Porto Grande, with its colourful houses, colonial architecture, and narrow streets interspersed with broad avenues.


No prior sailing experience is necessary to sail aboard the Santa Maria Manuela. Our crew will invite you to get involved in all elements of the ship’s life, and is here to teach you all about the ship and how it sails should you wish, but participation is voluntary.


People of all ages and abilities are welcome to sail with us aboard the Santa Maria Manuela. To ensure everyone gets the most out of sailing with us we ask all passengers to be are independent and mobile.


  • All meals on board Santa Maria Manuela – including daily breakfast, lunch and evening meal
  • Refreshments (coffee, tea, water and juice) throughout the day
  • Use of safety equipment
  • All instruction on board by fully qualified crew
  • Third Party Liability Insurance


  • The ship has 11 x 2 persons cabins, 4 x 4 persons cabins and 1 x 6 person cabin
  • Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and comfortable beds set up as bunks
  • There is a reading light and power socket (European 2 pin) next to each bed
  • Couples have priority in the 2 person cabins. If you wish to guarantee a two-person cabin for yourself (1 person) we charge a 50% supplement. When the 2-person cabins are full, any additional booking will be in shared cabins split between male and female.


  • Travel to and from the boat
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at the bar (We run a bar TAB during your journey, payable at the end of your journey in cash or card before you disembark).
  • Any excursions and meals on shore
  • VISA fees


This is a list of the items we recommend you bring with you.

  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Wet weather clothing – waterproof and windproof jacket
  • Clothing – enough clothing for all weather circumstances and for sailing at night.
  • Soft soled trainers or deck shoes
  • Swimming gear
  • Toiletries
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Sea sickness medication
  • Personal medication
  • Book
  • Camera
  • Valid passport with 6 months validity


Launched in 1937, and for many decades a flagship for Portugal’s cod fishing industry in Newfoundland and Greenland, the renovated Santa Maria Manuela now offers hands-on sailing and island-hopping holidays, diving expeditions and sail training experiences as part of the Tall Ships Races and other festivals.

Many people who step aboard have not sailed before so our professional crew is ready to ensure a both rewarding and fun experience. Guests are invited to get involved in all aspects of sailing if they wish, from helming to trimming sails to taking part in night watches, but all activities are voluntary.

In addition to sailing, each journey may include a range of activities. If the weather and the itinerary allow the ships fishing equipment, kayaks, canoes and two 12-man powerboats are available to those with adventure in mind. Evenings are spent in good company sharing tales of the day’s adventures around the bar or relaxing with a good book, playing board games or watching films in the Salon Terra Nova.

Cabins are basic but comfortable, each with a private shower and toilet. Paid for Wi-Fi is available through the ships satellite system.

The Salon Terra Nova seats 40 for meals with cushioned bench sofas also offering enough comfort to relax or to be used for company meetings. Bars on deck and below help to create a relaxed atmosphere.

Food is a key part of the Santa Maria Manuela experience, with the ships cook providing a variety of traditional Portuguese and international dishes.

On a sailing or diving journey we never use the word itinerary, as our captain will always be aiming for the best locations and most idyllic or sheltered anchorages and ports depending on the weather forecast. He is as keen as you to include some of the highlights described, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The journey description above is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed.