• Home
  • Citizen Science Trips

Citizen Science Trips

The Bay of Biscay is a vital habitat that is the perfect place to learn how to be a citizen scientist with ORCA

ORCA Whale & Dolphin Sea Safari

Develop all of the skills you need to be a citizen scientists, monitoring whales and dolphins with ORCA in the Bay of Biscay.

ORCA have a mission to give everyone who cares about whales and dolphins an active role in safeguarding their future. Now you can learn all of the skills you need to play your part in marine conservation by joining one of our Citizen Science Trips.

Working in partnership with Natucate, one of Europe's leading volunteering tour operators, ORCA have developed a unique programme that teaches participants how to monitor whales, dolphins and porpoises from aboard ferries, before taking the group out to sea to practice their new found skills in the field.

The course begins at Portsmouth International Port with a one day classroom based session. You'll learn the fundamentals of ORCA's distance sampling protocol, as well as the basics of spotting and identifying cetaceans at sea.

You'll then board the luxurious Pont-Aven, Brittany Ferries flagship cruise-ferry, for a voyage across the Bay of Biscay in search of marine wildlife. During the crossing to Santander the ship passes over some of the richest waters in the world for whales and dolphins, so you should have plenty of opportunity to hone your skills!

After a brief stop in Santander, you will jump back on board and prepare to head back with plenty more chance to practice surveying as the trip makes its way towards it's final port of call in Plymouth.

Your citizen science experience

Included in your trip is:

  • A unique, hands on training course combined in classroom learning with practical experience at sea
  • Expert tuition by ORCA conservationists, teaching their gold standard distance sampling protocol
  • A single occupancy cabin for the journey from Portsmouth to Santander, plus the return leg to Plymouth.
Guests will also have the chance to spend a short time in Santander before boarding for the northward crossing.

ORCA have been monitoring whales and dolphins in the Bay of Biscay for decades, and it is one of the top five places in the world for species diversity of whales and dolphins. Participants will learn all of the skills they need to be an ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor and play a role in protecting whales and dolphins.

Places for this trip are incredibly limited and demand is expected to be high, so make sure you book today to avoid missing out!

In this section...

Train to be a Marine Mammal Surveyor

Train to be a Marine Mammal Surveyor

Book a Whale & Dolphin Sea Safari

Book a Whale & Dolphin Sea Safari

Become an ORCA Wildlife Officer

Become an ORCA Wildlife Officer

ORCA in Schools

ORCA in Schools

Make a Small Change

Make a Small Change

Photography Competition

Photography Competition