Azores (Ponta Delgada)- Ship tour vs "on your own"

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#22
Northern CA
676 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We had a great time in Ponte Delgada on our own. The Lagarta (the Lizard) is a tourist tram with tours of the city. We took both the Garden, and Historic tours. It is also fun to wander the streets, compare the different stone patterns, and admire the architecture. Each street has a different pattern.
Vicki
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#23
Cary, N.C.
76 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by Luv2Crui$e
Hello, We are taking the EPic on the TA in May 2011. We will be arriving in Ponta Delgado at 10am and the ship leaves at 6pm. Can anyone recommend places that were worth visiting, not to miss, etc ? We will be arranging our tour on our own, I've gotten some names of tour operators from here and trip advisor. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! thank you
Hi Luv2Crui$e, we are going on the Equinox transatlantic in May and will be in Ponta Delgada as well . I have been having a very hard time finding a tour company or taxi driver, everyone is completely booked already. Maybe you got some suggestions of people I can contact and what ypou have been advised to see while you are there... Thanks Kaye14
#24
Cary, N.C.
76 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by Sarah11
We arrive on the island in just over a weeks time and I am currently in the process of booking a taxi for a private tour. I'll let you know how it went when we return to the UK.
I would appreciate any info you have for the Azores. We will be there in May and don't have a plan as of yet. We would like to take a taxi tour but cannot find one. Please tell me what you did and if there is someone we can contact. Thanks so much Kaye14
#25
Los Angeles
732 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by kaye14
I would appreciate any info you have for the Azores. We will be there in May and don't have a plan as of yet. We would like to take a taxi tour but cannot find one. Please tell me what you did and if there is someone we can contact. Thanks so much Kaye14
Take a look at www.geo-fun.com. They have quite a few tours for Ponta Delgada.

If you're interested in more adventure/outdoor excursions, try
www.futurismo.pt.
#26
NEW YORK
2,294 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by transplant320
sailaway5- looking for suggestion for ponta delgado may I suggest you go to amazingtours.se, we used ricardo in may of 2006, from 9am to 5pm.
he gave the best and most reasonable of all the tours we had on our 14 day cruise, from the norwegian jewel. the email is [email protected]
hope this helps
martin
We had an unpleasant experience with Ricardo of Amazing Tours in the Azores. I had booked him for a five hour tour for 6 people. When we got there, Ricardo had substituted some other tour guide for himself. Evidently he had taken out another group just a few minutes before us.

I had actually spoken to Ricardo on the telephone about 5 weeks before our arrival and specifically had booked him because of his fine reputation on Cruise Critic. Although the tour that we had was okay, it was far from "amazing." I felt that Ricardo was wrong in making the switch without consulting me. We hired him, not a substitute. Therefore I would suggest being very wary of any arrangement that you make with him for a tour. He is not reliable, will double book, and you cannot be sure that you will get the tour guide that you have hired. I did find out later on that the group that he took had a longer tour than the one we were supposed to have - I suspect he made his choice because of the money involved.

A PS to the story is that the substitute added an hour to the tour without consulting us, and spent a good part of the time on the telephone while he was driving us around.
#27
Fort Mill, South Carolina
6,625 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
We used Ricardo in May and he gave a great tour. Be specific when you book him that you want only him as your driver guide. [email protected]
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#28
Houston, TX
3 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by Sauer-kraut
I have booked with Lisa Ringelberg basically because I wanted to go to the "copper pool" a thermal swimming pool. It is near the botanical garden and then we're going to lunch at a local place. Other than that I have left the rest of the tour up to her as she has the knowledge and experience. It should be a nice overview of the island and hopefully it won't be raining.

Other must see is the coast, the pineapple plantation, the tea plantation and the thermal vents. Someone has mentioned that the 2 lakes are now both the same color due to nitrogen runoff from fertilizers. Its a small place and should be very interesting to explore. Have a great trip!
How was your tour with Lisa? We have been looking at a tour with her. How many were in your van? There are six of us and she has suggested we join another group of eight in a larger van. We are afraid it might be crowded.
#29
Chicago
9,357 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by henryflies
How was your tour with Lisa? We have been looking at a tour with her. How many were in your van? There are six of us and she has suggested we join another group of eight in a larger van. We are afraid it might be crowded.
Somewhere (probably in another post) I mentioned that our tour never took place as our port call in Ponta Delgada was cancelled due to weather. I was very disappointed.

HOWEVER, I did keep in contact with Lisa for a while afterwards and she did mention that now many ships are docking there she was getting busy. When I booked with her, the terms for the minivan were 5 passengers max (for one van) as she needed a seat and she used a driver. We actually had enough people from our roll call to fill two minivans. I am sorry I can't help you further as we never experienced the minivan. I don't know what type of bus she means as 'larger' unless it is more like those hotel shuttle things we have around here that will seat about 20.
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#30
SE Queensland, Australia
5,347 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
My understanding of Ponta Delgado is that it is one of those ports that ships frequently miss - because of weather. Certainly, this is what happened to us on Arcadia in January this year.

Barry
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#32
Long Island, NY
160 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
A guide who was very highly recommended to me is Pedro Ferreira ([email protected]). I had a tour all arranged with him for our stop last week in Ponta Delgada on the Eclipse TA, but we never made it there because of storms in the Atlantic. But all through the months that Pedro and I emailed, he was helpful, reasonable, and professional. if you contact him, tell him Claire says hi!
#33
S.E. MA
941 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
We took 2 full day tours with Elvis, owner of Green Zone Jeep tours. He drove us one day, his wife the other. We saw the twin lakes, tea plantation, pineapple plantation, Furnas, etc. Terrific lunches included both days. I would book with him again any time!
#34
Henderson, NV
16 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Originally posted by Olde Gnome
We had a great time in Ponte Delgada on our own. The Lagarta (the Lizard) is a tourist tram with tours of the city. We took both the Garden, and Historic tours. It is also fun to wander the streets, compare the different stone patterns, and admire the architecture. Each street has a different pattern.
Vicki
We are two couples on this cruise. We were wondering if you had any specific recommendations as to must see sights? Arlene
#35
Northern California
7,062 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Yofi
We are two couples on this cruise. We were wondering if you had any specific recommendations as to must see sights? Arlene
I actually recommend getting out of Ponta Delgada and seeing a little bit of the island. If there is a paradise on this earth, this Island is a strong contender for it!
We used Ricardo as a tour guide in 2006 and we had the most amazing day.
Here are 2 of the literally 100's of pics I took that day to give you an idea as to the beauty and natural lifestyles on the Island.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_3511.jpg (20.5 KB, 120 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3529.jpg (14.1 KB, 116 views)
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#36
Bend, Oregon
12 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We were on the Nieuw Amsterdam trans Atlantic cruise which stopped at Sao Miguel (Punta Delgado) on April 10, 2012. We checked out tour guides and we were very pleased with Festitour. Festitour is a one man operation with a seven passenger van guided by Antonio Cabral. We did a custom tour of the island based upon Antonio's suggestions. We invited two other couples to join us and the price per person was only 30 Euros for the entire day. We toured a ceramics factory, a licquer manufacturer with samples, a tea plantation, the wonderful volcanic area of the Furnas and many other wonderful sights. Antonio will take you wherever you want to go as long as there is time and the weather cooperates. He even made us cheese sandwiches for a picnic lunch with fruit juice and bottled water. The ship's tour cost twice as much and can not be customized. Antonio is really wonderful to work with via email. His email is [email protected]
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#37
Ponta Delgada
11 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
I Live in Ponta Delgada and I'm also a traveler.
In Ponta Delgada it is only a 10 minutes safe walk to the town center. Is a nice and beautiful safe walk.

Nice People living here, no crime, or problems, visitors are respected and allways welcome.
It's easy find people speaking english here.

The official site from Azores tourism:
Visit Azores
Things to do in Ponta Delgada
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#39
Penwortham, Preston
14 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Beautiful photos of the Azores and many other places!
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#40
Tennessee
229 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I just returned from a trans-Atlantic cruise which included a stop in the Azores. I wish to highly recommend Gary Travassos tour from Ponta Delgata. Gary is extremely accomodating and professional. The tour is less expensive and more personal than one offered by the ship. We could not have been more pleased.
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