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28th April, 2020

A whale of a time!

Images: courtesy of ORCA

For over a decade, Saga has invited experts from the marine charity ORCA on board their ships. These wildlife specialists enhance the cruises with whale and dolphin watching, guided excursions, talks and lots more!

What is ORCA?

One of the world’s leading whale and dolphin conservation charities, ORCA is dedicated to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and porpoise in the UK and European waters. Working with governments, research institutions and other conservation groups, they monitor populations and help protect vulnerable habitats.

Life on board with ORCA

Every cruise is different, but ORCA have had fantastic success on previous Saga adventures. During ORCA cruises in 2019, they sighted an impressive 4225 whales, dolphins and porpoises from 21 different species – to the delight of the thrilled passengers! Common dolphin were the species seen most often with 1456 individuals recorded, but in addition to this, an incredible 202 beluga, 107 humpback and 18 blue whales were also recorded. The highlight of the year was a very rare sighting of a dwarf sperm whale – the first time ORCA has ever recorded this species in its long term data, and a beluga mother and calf in the St Lawrence River. Other sea creatures spotted included three different seal species, two shark species, two turtle species and the Eurasian otter.

A map, courtesy of ORCA, detailing marine wildlife sightings on board all Saga cruise ships between February and November 2019

Map: courtesy of ORCA

Using the binoculars supplied, guests love helping to identify rare species and to learn more about them. Offered on various itineraries from Northern Europe, to the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, the ORCA team give informative talks and host various activities on board, and even come ashore for optional wildlife excursions, so you can get up close to many of these amazing animals.

Want to become a marine spotter yourself?

You can join the ORCA experts on the following cruises in 2021:

Spirit of Adventure

Exotic Morocco and Canaries — sailing January 19, 2021

Norwegian Aurora — sailing February 19, 2021

A Taste of the Mediterranean — sailing March 7, 2021

North Cape Explorer — sailing June 10, 2021

Inspirational Iceland — sailing July 3, 2021

Greenland and the Midnight Sun — sailing August 10, 2021

Spirit of Discovery

Mediterranean Ancient Wonders — sailing April 12, 2021

Wonders of the Ancient Mediterranean — sailing July 18, 2021

Taste of the British Isles — sailing August 2, 2021

Coastlines of Croatia — sailing September 2, 2021

Autumn Colours of the USA and Canada — sailing September 29, 2021

Wonders of the Canary Islands — sailing November 21, 2021

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.