Vilamoura Boat Trips for Groups and Parties
Vilamoura with its beautiful coastline, crystal-clear waters and mild climate is a popular destination for boat parties. There are many options for couples or families looking to book a boat trip but group bookings can be a bit trickier. The bigger the group the less options available. Read on for some things to consider when planning your trip and find out what type of boats are available at Vilamoura Marina.
What to consider when booking group boat trips in Vilamoura
Determine the size of your group and the type of boat that would accommodate everyone comfortably. This will probably be your biggest challenge, depending on the size of the group. Most private boat trips in Vilamoura only accommodate 8 to 10 people, the rules are very strict and exceptions are not made. Some luxury yachts can accommodate up to 18 people and tour boats can be chartered privately for very large groups. Alternatively, your group can join a shared boat trip.
Jump to: Vilamoura boat trips by group size
Weather and season
The best time for any boat trip in Vilamoura is during the summer, from June to September. Weather is warm, dry, perfect for water sports and sea conditions are usually ideal.
The shoulder months, April, May, October and November, are also popular for boat trips. The weather is warm enough but there is the risk that your trip is cancelled due to sea conditions. There are also less scheduled trips due to less demand. Pay special attention to cancellation policy when reserving these dates, usually you will be refunded or rescheduled if the trip is cancelled. Winter trips are not usually recommended as weather and sea conditions are most likely not ideal.
South-west winds can cause sea sickness due to the way wind and ocean currents interact. In the Algarve, prevailing winds usually come from the east or the north and the coastline offers protection from these winds. However, when a south-west wind blows, it creates a cross-sea condition, which means that the wind is blowing at an angle to the direction of the ocean currents. This can cause the waves to become choppy and unpredictable, which can make the boat roll and pitch more than usual. Most reputable boat companies will cancel trips when south-west winds are predicted, simply because it may be unpleasant.
Set a budget for the boat trip, which includes the cost of the boat, fuel, crew, drinks and any additional activities or equipment. A shared boat trip will always be the cheaper option, a good example is the 7-hour BBQ Cruise at €60pp includes lunch on the beach and visit to the caves, on a boat that can accommodate 120 people.
Private charters are more expensive and usually cost is per group, per hour and do not include any extras such as beverages or food. The type of boat and itinerary are the most important factors in determining price. A luxury yacht can cost over €10k for 18 people for 4 hours. Again, you need to determine the size of the group before considering this option.
Activities during the boat trip
- Caves and sightseeing: The Algarve coastline is known for its beautiful rock formations, cave, and hidden beaches. A boat trip is a great way to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of the area. Check the trip itinerary and whether the boat enters the caves (some boat trips do not offer entry to the Benagil caves);
- Swimming and snorkeling: Many boat trips offer opportunities for swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters of the Algarve. You can take a refreshing dip in the ocean and explore the underwater world;
- Dolphin watching: The Algarve is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins. Many boat trips offer dolphin watching excursions, where you can see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat;
- Water sports: Many boat trips offer water sports activities like wakeboarding, water skiing, and parasailing. These activities are perfect for adrenaline seekers and can add an extra element of excitement to your boat trip;
- Fishing: Fishing is another popular activity on a boat trip. The Algarve has a rich fishing tradition, and you can try your hand at catching local fish like sea bass, sardines or mackerel.
Food and drinks are an important part of the experience. Decide on the type of food and drink that will be provided on the boat trip. This could include a full meal or snacks and drinks. Consider any dietary restrictions or preferences of the group. The boat companies can usually provide everything you require, some will allow you to bring your own drinks onboard. Be sure to check if this is possible, the private charters are usually more flexible than shared trips.
What to wear and bring along
- Swimwear: As swimming and water activities are common on boat trips in the Algarve, it’s recommended to wear swimwear;
- Cover-up: While swimwear is appropriate for water activities, it’s a good idea to bring a cover-up or a light t-shirt and shorts to wear over your swimsuit when you’re not in the water. This will protect your skin from the sun and prevent you from getting too cold if the wind picks up;
- Sun protection: The Algarve can get very hot in the summer, so it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and use sunscreen with a high SPF;
- Footwear: Choose comfortable and secure footwear that can get wet, such as sandals or water shoes. Avoid wearing flip-flops, as they can easily slip off and get lost in the water;
- Light jacket: While the Algarve is known for its warm and sunny weather in August, it’s not uncommon for the wind to pick up, especially if you’re on a speedboat. Bring a light jacket or windbreaker to protect you from the wind and keep you warm if needed;
- Waterproof pouch: You will most certainly be taking photos and recording your experience. Bring along a waterproof pouch for your mobile and valuables;
- Sea-sickness pills: an easy way to avoid ruining your trip is to take medication beforehand. Found in any pharmacy in Vilamoura, no prescription needed.
Itineraries for boat tours from Vilamoura Marina
Vilamoura to Benagil Cave Trips
This is the most common itinerary and also the most popular. The Benagil cave is a stunning natural wonder located on the algarve coast near the town of Carvoeiro. It is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the Algarve. Located 45km from Vilamoura by car, Benagil is not accessible by land and you’ll have to swim, kayak or join a boat trip to visit the cave.
Depending on the boat, a typical boat will take a minimum 3.5-4 hours for the return trip. Important to note, not all boats can enter the cave (due to size) and once inside it is strictly forbidden to disembark from boats. The only way you can stand on the beach inside is if you either swim (not recommended), kayak or paddle board to the cave.
Algarve Coastline Trips
Typically boat trips that depart from Vilamoura Marina will sail along the coastline towards the Albufeira area. The coast has beautiful rock formations, beaches and views that you can only really appreciate from the sea. The 3-hour Condor sailing trip goes as far as the Galé Beach in Albufeira, a relaxing short cruise perfect for groups.
Sunset Boat Trips
Sunset boat trips are a great option especially during the warmer weeks of summer. Usually departing around 4pm various itineraries are available. Sunset Benagil, Sunset Vibes or Oysters and Bubbles are some of the cruises available.
Custom Itinerary from Vilamoura
When booking a private charter you can discuss a custom itinerary with the operator. The possible itinerary depends on the duration of the boat trip. Depending on the boat you will require at least 6/7 hours for a full day beach barbecue trip or 3/4 hours for a Benagil trip.
Another popular destination is the Rio Formosa nature reserve area near Faro. The area is beautiful, unspoilt with warm waters.
Boat trips in Vilamoura by group size:
Groups up to 10 persons
Groups this size are the easiest to accommodate and there is plenty of choice in Vilamoura. Private speed boats with water activities, parasailing speed boats or luxury yachts. Even the larger catamarans are available if you have the budget for it.
Groups up to 12 persons
For groups of 12 the choice of private vessels is significantly less. Only a few yachts in the Marina can accommodate this number.
Groups up to 18 persons
There is one luxury yacht in Vilamoura with capacity for 18 people – The Albatroz. The Azimut is one of the most luxurious yachts on the Marina. Check out the promotional video below. Contact us for a quote.
Groups up to 60 persons
Parties of up to 60 people have a few boats available for private charter: the Vital catamaran, Ocean Quest or the Condor de Vilamoura. Choose from a Sunset trip, full day beach BBQ cruise or your own custom itinerary.
Groups up to 110 persons
Parties this large can opt for the Condor de Vilamoura or Ocean Quest Catamaran. Both these tour boats are available for private charter.
Type of boat
Shared boat trip
The cheapest option for your group is usually a shared trip. Book early and secure the places for your group. Note that some companies might not accept parties such as stag-dos on a shared trip. Contact us via the enquiry form at the end of this page and we will be happy to assist with the booking.
Most of the tour boats in the Marina are available for private charter, make sure to book early before the dates are closed out for shared trips. Private speed boats and yachts are also available for smaller groups usually for 8, 10 or 12 people. Enquire here.
A catamaran offers distinct advantages over other boats. Its design provides exceptional stability, ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride, even in rough waters. With spacious living areas and ample deck space, catamarans are perfect for accommodating large groups or families.
Not only are catamarans maneuverable and speedy, but they also have shallow drafts, granting access to shallow waters and hidden beaches. Additionally, catamarans provide easy access to water activities.
Whether you charter a catamaran for a day trip or a week-long adventure, it offers unparalleled stability, space, and recreational opportunities. Experience the joys of cruising along the Vilamoura coast on a catamaran and create unforgettable memories on the water.