The Project

The Algarve Cruise and  Restaurant ship Rivolé, with a length of 30 meters and 220 seats, is under restoration and modernisation for a higher standard of safety, comfort and better communication and environmental compatibility. Once finished the overall appearance of the ship will differ significantly from the previous one, it will be a completely new Rivolé with all the comfort and safety which you expecting but sure as well with a lot of fun and adventure.There is no better way to discover the Algarve coast and his wonderful caves.

After pre-investment of € 150,000.00, the project is perfectly organised for completion. By December 2017 € 490,000.00 will be invested.
Our EU-funded project in the  program Algarve 2020 is expecting an additional equity of € 140,000.00, which we would like to finance in the form of crowdfunding in order to receive the subsidies of the EU amounting to € 350,000.

If everything goes to plan the Rivolé cruise ship should start with the first Excursions and Restaurant service in the middle of January 2018.


Algarve cruise and restaurant ship

Our Goal

  • Barrier-free excursion boat
  • Modernisation of the technical infrastructure on board
  • Improve safety and comfort on board
  • Reduction of Co2 production per passenger
  • Restaurant with traditional Portuguese cuisine
  • Cultural program on board – with live music, fado, traditional Portuguese entertainment music, as well as regular changing art exhibitions
  • Creation of 12 full time jobs
  • Continuous documentation of our trips with webcam on: www.rivole.com
  • Increasing the attractiveness of the river port in Portimão
algarve cruise and restaurant ship, barrier free


The Team

Our Team consist of people which have emigrated from Germany to Portugal in the 90’s and have learned to know and love the country, its people, way of life and culture.
Our experienced captain Hermann Arens has been doing sea tours in the Algarve since 1992. First with the ‘Leaozinho’ excursion boat and since 2001, with the sailing ship “Santa Bernarda“.
After careful consideration we came to the decision to take over the restaurant and excursion ship named “Rivolé”, which has not undertaken excursions since 2014.
We also feel the importance of keeping alive the old Portuguese tradition of wooden ships.
Its berth is in the Arade river, right in the heart of the city of Portimão, in the West Algarve. We are offering our guests excursions along the coastal caves and in the evenings we are running a restaurant on board with traditional ambient and typical local food.

Rivolé Team
The Rivolé Team: Captain Nico, Captain Hermann, Office Uwe. (From left to right)

Rivolé on the way to the dock
On the way to the dock

The company behind Rivolé

The history of the “Santa Bernarda Cruzeros Lda” started with the first ship “Leaõzinho”, bought and commissioned by the company owner Hermann Bernhard Arens. His second ship, Santa Bernarda (better known as the Pirate Ship of the Algarve) was built in 1968 on the Atlantic coast of France in Bajonne.
Until 1992 it served as a fisher boat in the North Atlantic and the Biscay under the name “Le Tridente”.
In 1995, she had already been deported from the fishing industry and entered the port of Portimão. Because of technical deficiencies the crew could not continue their journey.
The boat was abandoned in Portimão, where it was acquired by the current owner. After 14 months of planning and approval procedures, the conversion under the new name “SANTA BERNADA” started in October 1996.
Following the launch of the masts in 1999, the masts were completed in 2000, as well as the inspection by the experts from the Lisbon Maritime Authority.
From October 2000 onwards the regular operation started from Portimão port. The area stretches between Lagos and Sagres in the west, and Albufeira, Quarteira and Villamoura in the east.

In 2015 we acquired the passenger ship Rivolé and since then we are working to transform it into a safe, comfortable traditional wooden cruise and passenger ship with a perfect equipped professional restaurant kitchen on board. The Rivolé has space for 220 people and once overhauled we are offering our guests excursions along the Algarve coast including visits to the wonderful caves, BBQ’s on hidden beaches and in the evenings we are running a restaurant on board in the port of Portimão.