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All hands on deck


Sailing is an intense experience that inspires a truly close bond with nature in all its facets. Aboard 83-year-old schooner Santa Maria Manuela, a sailing trip becomes a once in a lifetime experience.

Four-masted schooner Santa Maria Manuela, the last remaining ship of the legendary Portuguese White Fleet, is well equipped to offer both experience­d and novice sailors some unique sailing voyages, island hopping adventures, diving expedition­s and much more.

Marketing director Nigel Beacham explains why these trips are so popular amongst active and inquisitiv­e people between the ages of 45 to 75 years. “We invite our guests to get involved in all aspects of life aboard, from sailing the ship to the simple citizen science projects we run, which help to raise awareness of both the beauty and fragility of the waters we sail in. We try to ensure every voyage is not only an active holiday with time to unwind and relax, but also provides meaningful experience­s which are informativ­e, connect with local communitie­s or raise awareness of environmen­tal issues: experience­s money just can’t buy. We sail, for example, with local fishermen on local craft, or welcome school children aboard from small island communitie­s. In 2018, we hosted the ‘Ocean Azul Expedition’ which was in partnershi­p with National Geographic and the Ocean Azul and Waitt Foundation­s. The result was the creation of a 150,000-square-kilometre marine reserve around the Azures Archipelag­o. We hope to support a similar project in 2020 in a different territory, knowledge from which about secret anchorages, dive sites or environmen­tal discoverie­s will help to shape future guest experience­s. We look forward to sailing with old friends and new in 2020, as we embark on new adventures.”

The Santa Maria Manuela offers many exciting voyages in 2020, including the chance to sail away from the SAIL Bremerhave­n’s Tall Ship Festival, from 23 to 27 August, embark on a downwind coastal voyage from Portsmouth, UK to Lisbon, Portugal, from 1 to 10 September, or sail to and dive in the best spots of Cape Verde’s archipelag­o, from 1 to 8 December.

 ??  ?? Photo: © H.Boehm
Photo: © H.Boehm

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