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Sail away with Saga and ORCA

Discover our ocean's stunning marine life on an ORCA cruise

Seeing amazing animals such as whales and dolphins in their natural habitat is a thrilling experience, and we are delighted to invite marine charity ORCA on selected cruises to help our guests spot sea and birdlife.

Thanks to the ORCA charity's specialist knowledge, you can enjoy deck watches and informative talks with wildlife experts, getting closer to these magnificent mammals than you’d ever thought possible.

Start planning your ORCA cruise today.

ORCA, the marine experts at sea

Formed in 2001, ORCA is an independent charity, dedicated to learning more about marine life and protecting it for future generations. One of the patrons of the ORCA charity is TV presenter and wildlife expert, Chris Packham.

With more than a third of the world’s whales, dolphin and porpoise species found in UK and European waters, ORCA share their research across the globe, providing a local solution to worldwide issues.

Dolphins, whales and porpoises

During a decade of cruising with Saga, the ORCA experts and our guests have encountered a stunning array of animals.

The most recorded is the short-beaked common dolphin with 7538 individual sightings.

In addition, they’ve seen a total of 134 orcas, 217 humpback whales and 28 blue whales, along with countless other dolphin species, seals and harbour porpoises – even enigmatic basking sharks and a sperm whale with its calf.

Birds and other wildlife

Of course, there’s more than just sea life. ORCA and our guests have also recorded countless birds on our ORCA cruise trips - a total of 160 species.

This has included white-tailed sea eagle, puffins, kittiwakes and razorbills. It’s a birdwatcher’s heaven.

On one trip to arctic Norway, guests even spotted an elusive polar bear in its natural habitat.

Themed activities to join in

On days at sea, guests sailing on our ORCA charity cruises can enjoy deck watches with the experts. There’s also the chance to spend time as a volunteer and collect data for the team to use in their research.

The ORCA team also hold informative talks, and sometimes join special wildlife excursions ashore too. All add to the enriching ORCA cruise experience for our guests, along with a packed programme of activities and entertainment.

Our Commitment

Saga’s commitment to safeguarding the environment extends via a marine conservation project undertaken by the ORCA charity. ORCA believes that the only way to protect our whales and dolphins is to identify areas where they are vulnerable and study their habitats. That way, we can protect these places by changing the way we use them. The ocean faces so many threats including shipping, fishing, noise pollution and marine litter, and by supporting ORCA’s data collection Saga can help to provide a local solution to a global problem and play an important part in safeguarding the ocean for the future. The charity’s trained volunteers frequently travel on our ocean cruise ships to carry out valuable conservation work, here’s what they have said about our support;

"Saga is integral to our conservation work. With a team of four Marine Mammal Surveyors being on a forward facing platform onboard the Saga ships means we can collect high quality data which is actively fed back to Government and key policy and legislation decision makers."