Mindelo - Porto Novo / São Vicente - Santo Antão
For people doing research on a possible island hopping trip to Cape Verde finding out that the distances between the different islands are pretty big, can be very dissapointing. A flight from the island of Sal to the capital Praia can take up to 40 minutes. Getting from Boa Vista to Mindelo by boat (not the fast ferry) will take about 20 (!) hours.
The fact that Cape Verde's second biggest city Mindelo and the island of Santo Antao are practically each others neighbors is a huge advantage for travellers. Porto Novo, Santo Antão's harbour city is only one hour away from Mindelo by ferry. Together, with their very different caracteristics, the two islands are a perfect combination for people who want to get to know Cape Verde on a deeper level.
The ferry's to Santo Antão leave from the Porto Grande harbour in Mindelo. The harbour is located along the Avenida Marginal. By foot the harbour can be reached within 10 minutes from the city centre. In case you have a lot of luggage taking a taxi is a better option. Price for the Mindelo Transfer Service is only CVE 250 (about € 2,50).
Tickets for the ferry can be purchased on the day of departure. Make sure to be extra early in case you need to buy your tickets. Arriving last minute when you still have to buy tickets could mean you miss the ferry if there's a line at the ticket office. Although it is not required, it might be a good idea to buy your tickets in advance, like a day or two before. With tickets already purchased you can easily arrive at the harbour half an hour before departure.
The ticket offices of both ferry companies are located at the harbour. When arriving at Porto Grande, you'll find the Armas office on the left, and the Inter Ilhas office on your right. Both offices are located left of the terminal entrance. Tickets cost CVE 800 one way, with reduced fares for children. Depending on the schedule, one of the two companies leaves at 07:00 other at 08:00. This changes from time to time.
If you are crossing the canal of São Vicente with a car, a one way trip to Porto Novo will cost you CVE 5.000, which includes the passengers ticket. Of course you can also rent a car upon arrival in Porto Novo. You can find the stand of a car rental company inside the terminal, in front of the Armas ticket office.
Both the terminals (in Mindelo and Porto Novo) have places where you can enjoy a light breakfast before getting on the ferry. Both terminals also have an ATM machine. Upon arrival in Porto Novo many drivers will ask you for your destination. Tell the drivers where you need to go, ask what time they will be leaving and what the price is. You can choose to go to places such as Paúl, Ribeira Grande, Corda (through the old mountain road) and Tarrafal de Monte Trigo.
Current Schedule ferry São Vicente - Santo Antão
Office Hours Armas and Polaris
Both Armas and Polaris (Inter Ilhas) have offices at the terminals of Mindelo (São Vicente) and Porto Novo (Santo Antão)
Office hours Armas Mindelo:
Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 18:00
Saturday 07:00 to 15:00
Sunday 07:00 to 08:00
Office Hours Armas Porto Novo:
Monday to Friday, 06:00 to 18:00
Saturday 06:00 to 14:00
Sunday 06:00 to 07:00
Polaris/Inter Ilhas office hours Mindelo:
Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 18:00
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays:
07:00 to 08:00 & 13:30 to 15:00
* Opening hours of the offices often change, and depend on the ferry schedule.
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