Book a Whale & Dolphin Sea Safari

The Bay of Biscay is one of the top five places in the world to see whales and dolphins

ORCA Whale & Dolphin Sea Safari

Plymouth is the gateway to this vital marine habitat and the starting point for your Sea Safari.

ORCA partner with Brittany Ferries to offer our unforgettable Sea Safari trips each summer, taking lucky groups of passengers across to Santander to showcase some of the wonders of the ocean that can be seen right on our doorstep.

During our return trip we voyage across the English Channel and deep waters of the Bay of Biscay.

Our expert guides will help you spot the magnificent creatures that inhabit these waters, such as fin whales, countless dolphins and elusive beaked whales.

Other possible encounters include pilot whales, Risso’s dolphins, and even the largest animal on earth, the blue whale!

Experience the trip

In this video BBC wildlife producer and cameraman, Matt Brierley, talks about his experience on a Sea Safari and some of the sightings they enjoyed.

Book your Sea Safari today

Included in your trip is:

  • Brittany Ferries return travel
  • Cabin and evening entertainment
  • Dedicated support from expert ORCA guides
Guests will also have the chance to spend a short time in Santander before boarding for the northward crossing.

During 2018 ORCA spotted over 3600 individual animals plus countless birds during seven trips, including two with ORCA Patron Nigel Marven and one with BBC wildlife producer Matt Brierley.

Our 2019 dates are now on sale with five options throughout the summer. Places will fill up fast so make sure to book today to avoid disappointment!

ORCA Sea Safari sightings 2017

2019 Sea Safari dates

  • 9th - 11th July

    Wildlife TV presenter and ORCA Patron, Nigel Marven, will join the ORCA Guide team for this cruise

    Read the sightings report from this Sea Safari here

  • 6th - 8th August

    BBC Earth and Cbeebies presenter, Lizzie Daly, will join the ORCA Guide team for this cruise

    Read the sightings report from this Sea Safari here

  • 13th - 15th August

    Read the sightings report from this Sea Safari here. 
  • 17th - 19th September

    BBC wildlife cameraman and producer, Matt Brierley, will join the ORCA Guide team for this cruise

  • 24th - 26th September


2020 Sea Safari dates

Please note: 2020 Sea Safari dates are subject to change and will be open for booking through Brittany Ferries in late 2019. 
  • 7th - 9th July

  • 4th - 6th August

  • 11th - 13th August

  • 15th - 17th September

Dates for our 2020 Sea Safaris will be confirmed in the coming months and will be available to book through Brittany Ferries. Click on the button below to register your inerest to receive information when the trips become available to book. 

"I will never look at the ocean in the same way again..."

In August 2019, BBC Earth and CBeebies presenter, Lizzie Daly joined the ORCA Guide Team for her first ever Sea Safari on board the Pont-Aven. Check out her review of an amazing few days in the Bay of Biscay:

Weather proof coat and binoculars packed, I was feeling very excited for a serious 48 hours of whale watching. Little did I know I was about to have one of the most thrilling whale watching experiences of my career so far.

The Bay of Biscay is renowned for being a vast rich feeding ground for a diverse range of cetaceans and so going in I was hopeful of a handful of sightings. But can you believe, over the 2 days we spotted a whopping 400+ cetaceans. Whether you’re an avid marine animal enthusiast or not – that’s pretty impressive! Sightings included everything from the unmistakable fin whale, pods of 30+ individual pilot whales and even the charismatic Cuvier’s beaked whale.

 I also learnt more about ORCA’s fantastic mapping software which turned each sighting into a crucial scientific data point. This combination - of inspiring and passionate people, a sense of community onboard and the value of Orca’s work – is what made my experience truly unforgettable! Plus.. after my trip with ORCA I will never look at the ocean in the same way again.

- Lizzie Daly