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 that were enjoyed. 

Cruise Costs: 

  • £215 per person (based on 3 or 4 sharing an inside cabin - 2 upper and 2 lower berths)
  • £240 per person (based on 2 persons sharing an inside cabin 1 upper and 1 lower berth)


  • Single occupancy of standard inside cabin, extra £30
  • 2 persons sharing larger inside cabin (2 lower berths) extra £30 per person
  • Larger outside cabin (port-hole), extra £20 per cabin

Included in your trip: 

  • 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.

2020 Sea Safari dates

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Sea Safari mini-cruises have unfortunately been cancelled. We are busy planning for 2021 and will announce new dates when we can, so watch this space!

During 2019 ORCA spotted over 3800 individual animals plus countless birds during five trips, including one with ORCA Patron Nigel Marven! 
ORCA Sea Safari sightings 2017

"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