Troia and Setubal Dolphin Watching Cruises

dolphin watching in Setubal

The Setubal dolphin watching and scenic cruises take place in the waters around the Sado estuary, the Troia peninsula and the Arrabida natural park. This includes the Bay of Setubal also known as the Bay of the Dolphins and recognized by UNESCO as one of the most beautiful bays in the world! This coastal region is known for its calm waters, white sandy beaches, often with dramatic craggy backdrops, and a balmy microclimate.

We currently offer half day and full day cruises allowing you to observe the dolphins in their natural habitat and take in the beauty of the region with boarding possible in Setubal and Troia. You can also combine a dolphin watching cruise with a jeep tour of the Arrabida natural park with pick up in Lisbon if desired. In the summer there will be sunset wine cruises on Saturday nights. On each cruise you will be accompanied by a marine biologist who will help you identify the different dolphins and is responsible for monitoring and protecting the local dolphin population. Specialist bird watching cruises are also available in winter.

Setubal Dolphin Watching Cruise – 3 hours

The Setubal dolphin watching cruises offer a fantastic opportunity to observe wild dolphins in their natural habitat. The dolphins spend much of their time in the estuary hunting, playing and socializing and on most occasions we are lucky enough to be able to watch them as they swim, leap and pirouette through the water. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

The bottle nose dolphins in the Sado estuary are the only permanent, resident population off mainland Portugal. The estuary offers an abundant food source for the dolphins as many fish species live and breed here. Population numbers are falling due to problems with water quality, pollution and maritime traffic so it is essential that the importance of this population is recognized and protected. Setubal dolphin watching cruises are regulated and can contribute to the protection of the dolphins by monitoring their behaviour and numbers and increasing the public’s knowledge and appreciation of them. During the cruises the boat will stay approximately 50 metres from the dolphins letting them approach if they wish and will maintain a slow, steady pace and when dolphins are spotted passengers are asked to keep noise levels to a minimum to avoid startling them.

Dolphin sightings cannot be guaranteed as they are wild and free to come and go as they please however the cruises have a very high level of success (95%) and for many passengers the dolphins become one of their most treasured holiday memories. The Setubal dolphin watching cruise is a 3 hour cruise and runs in the mornings and afternoons. It costs from to for adults and € to € for children (exact price vary depending on the boat chosen and the time of the year). It is possible to join the cruise in Troia. Pick up is possible in Lisbon and Cascais for an extra fee. Please contact us with any questions or to book places on the three hour Setubal dolphin cruise.

dolphin watching in Setubal
boats include: sailing catamaran, motor yacht and a RIB

Arrabida Jeep and Dolphin Watching Cruise

With pick up possible in Lisbon, Cascais and other local towns this tour combines the three hour dolphin watching cruise as described above with a jeep tour of the Arrabida natural park. With expert guides you will learn about it’s traditions and stories, visiting convents and palaces, the pretty village of Sesimbra and stopping at the José Maria da Fonseca vineyard for wine tasting. There will be the chance to learn about traditional Azuleijo tile making at a workshop that still uses 17th century methods to hand manufacture these famous Portuguese tiles, or enjoy a visit to the Castle of Sesimbra and of the Shrine at Cape Espichel.€/adults with pick up in Lisbon or Setubal/Troia or € from Cascais, 30% discount for under 12s.

jeep tour

Sado Jeep and Dolphin Watching Cruise

On this tour as well as the dolphin watching cruise we will travel by jeep through the rice paddies of Comporta to the fishing harbour of Palafita at Carrasqueira. At Herdade da Comporta the cellars are open for wine tasting then we’ll be exploring Monte-Novo and Montevil where bird life is abundant with a diverse range of species including storks, egrets and in the winter flamingos. Finally we will visit the castle of Alcacer do Sal before returning to Setubal or Troia. €/adults, €/kids under 12 with pick up in Setubal or Troia.

dolphin watching in Setubal

Arrabida Cruise – Full Day Cruise

Leaving at 10am and returning at 5pm the Arrabida cruise has been designed to offer a day of relaxation and pleasure in beautiful surroundings. You will cruise past many of the region’s most famous landmarks both manmade including historical buildings such as the convent of Arrabida, the fortress of S.Tiago do Outão and Comenda Palace and natural such as the striking, white beaches of the Troia peninsula.

The cruise takes in Albarquel, Comenda, Forte do Outão, Figueirinha, Galapos, Portinho da Arrábida, Pedra da Anicha, before returning via the Sado estuary and the Três Irmãs, Setúbal Bay (also known as the Bay of the Dolphins), Tróia, Caldeira de Tróia and Canto Verde.

During the cruise there’s plenty of time to sunbathe and to enjoy the views, you can take a refreshing dip in the sea and of course keep a look out for the dolphins! A traditional Portuguese lunch will be served including sardines á Setubalense a local speciality and good regional wines. The Arrabida cruise costs € for adults and € for children.

The cruises are available all year round but are subject to good weather conditions and a minimum number of participants. The boats are also available for private charter.

Sunset Wine Cruise

During the summer months we will be sailing out on Saturday nights for a special sunset cruise during which you can enjoy wine from one of the excellent local vineyards, oysters, local cheeses and other specialities. There will be a DJ onboard playing live music and there is of course the chance to see wild dolphins. An unforgettable, romantic and relaxing night out! This is a two and a half hour cruise in the catamaran and you can board in Setubal or Troia. /adults, €/under 12s.

Bird Watching Cruise

A three hour cruise with binoculars, guide book and specialist guide to help you spot and identify the wealth of bird life in the bay over winter. We recommend photographers bring at least a 200m lens. This tour runs from October to March and costs €/adults and €/under 12s.

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sunset dolphin watching in Setubal

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