For over a decade, Saga has invited experts from marine charity ORCA on board their small ships. These wildlife specialists enhance the cruises with whale and dolphin watching, guided excursions, talks and lots more!
Who are they?
Formed in 2000, ORCA is dedicated to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises in UK and European waters. They identify vulnerable whale and dolphin populations, helping to protect their natural habitats. Saga has had a strong relationship with the organisation for over 10 years, with experts cruising on Saga’s Spirit of Adventure ship along with Saga Ruby, Saga Pearl II and Saga Sapphire – allowing them to conduct research on board free of charge.
The ORCA cruise experience.
What happens on-board?
You could enjoy the wildlife activities on cruises to various regions – although Norway cruises, Iceland cruises and Mediterranean cruises are the most popular. Guests sailing on the cruises can enjoy deck watches on sea days – and when cruising to your next destination. If you like, you can even spend some time as a volunteer and collect data for the team to use in their research, recording what you see from the open decks. The team will also offer informative talks and activities on board, and come ashore for optional wildlife excursions, so you can get up close to many of these amazing animals.
What will you see?
Every cruise is different, but ORCA have had fantastic success on previous Saga cruises. During just five cruises last year, they sighted a stunning 2,890 whales, dolphins and porpoises from 15 different species – to the delight of the stunned passengers! Other sea mammals included grey, harbour and ringed seals, while fish species included enigmatic basking sharks, ocean sunfish, flying fish and tuna.
Cruise wildlife: the many animals you can see while on a cruise.
What about birds?
Of course, there’s more than just the watery wildlife. On other departures Saga cruisers saw the elusive polar bear in its natural habitat, while birdwatchers will relish in the chance to see many captivating avians – up to 160 species have been recorded on previous trips. This has included the white-tailed sea eagle, although puffins, kittiwakes and razorbills are a much more common sight.
Click here for details of Saga’s next ORCA-themed cruise.