DURING THE ELEVEN days we spent in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, the city was visited by two enormous cruise ships. Resembling huge blocks of flats (apartments, my North American friends!) floating on water, they arrived in the port at night, remained a whole day, and then departed the next evening.
When these vessels disgorge their cargos of tourists, the centre of Funchal becomes crowded; the queue t the cable-car grows longer; and the frequency at which toboggans slide down from the Monte increases.
The port at Funchal is designed to accommodate these ‘humungous’ people carriers, so their arrival does not have the same damaging effect (on buildings and the shoreline) as is created by them in Venice (Italy). Cruising in vessels of this size appeals to many but not to me.