Portuguese passenger ships used to operate cruises from Lisbon to Funchal, Madeira Island for the New Year's eve famous fireworks display. Empresa Insulana de Navegação started those cruises with their passenger and mail ship LIMA in the 1930s while in 1948 Companhia Colonial de Navegação also did begin cruising to Madeira with their handsome SERPA PINTO. Companhia Nacional de Navegação also operated some cruises to Madeira, namely using their flagship NYASSA in the late forties and early fifties.
On 30 December 1955 the liner VERA CRUZ departed from Lisbon for Funchal on one of such cruises as advertised in this page. She did a call in Tangiers on her return to Lisbon.
Unfortunately the final cruise of traditional Portuguese passenger ships to Madeira for the 31st December and New Year was performed by INFANTE DOM HENRIQUE for the 1975/76 New Year, and this was also the final voyage of INFANTE under CTM ownership. On her return to isbon on 3 January 1976 she was laid up and offered for sale.
Copyright photograph from the Luís Miguel Correia collection