Cruise Conservation

ORCA have partnered with the cruise industry for more than ten years, monitoring some of the remotest corners of the ocean to help protect whales and dolphins. 

Cruise Conservationists

ORCA Cruise Conservationists are highly trained wildlife experts who deliver unforgettable wildlife experiences aboard cruise ships across the world.

These passionate and dedicated individuals work to showcase the incredible diversity of wildlife that can be spotted from the decks of cruise ships, helping guests on board learn more about the marine environment.

ORCA not only have the opportunity to inspire people from all walks of life, but also collect vital scientific data that can be used to help protect whales and dolphins around the globe.

ORCA Cruise Conservationists deliver a range of exciting and engaging activities, including:

  • Wildlife watches on deck

  • Lectures and workshops

  • Q&A sessions

  • Learn and play activities for kids

  • Shore excursions

  • And plenty more besides!

As a cruise line, we make our livelihood at sea, so to be able to support an organisation that works hard to preserve the marine wildlife that lives within it is so important to us. No single organisation can protect our oceans, it is something we all need to work together to achieve.

Vicki Smith - Enrichment Administrator at Fred. Olsen


    Celebrity Cruises is part of the Royal Caribbean Cruise group and cater for child friendly mass market cruising. Their partnership with ORCA was launched in 2019 with two Cruise Conservationists on board the Celebrity Millennium on a pilot cruise to Alaska.

    Click below to read the latest Wildlife Reports from Celebrity Cruises: 

    Vancouver to Seward - 10th to 17th May 2019

    Seward to Vancouver - 17th to 24th May 2019

  • Crystal Cruises

    ORCA’s partnership with Crystal launched in 2019 with a two Cruise Conservationists on board the Crystal Symphony for a pilot cruise to Alaska. Crystal Cruises are at the luxury end of the cruise market and only have a small fleet. Their partnership with ORCA focuses on staff training alongside guest experience.

    Click below to read the latest Wildlife Reports from Crystal Cruises: 

    Fjord Explorer: 20th - 27th January 2019 

    Scienic Alaska: 27th August - 3rd September 2019


    ORCA’s partnership with Fred Olsen launched in 2019 with two Cruise Conservationist on board the Boudicca on an inaugural Cruise to Iceland. Fred Olsen is the largest family owned cruise company and cater for a primarily adult audience. On board, Cruise Conservationists will deliver lectures, run Q&A sessions, as well as running deck watches helping guests to identify the wildlife they see and recording data.

    Icelandic Wonders & Wildlife - 16th June 2019 - 1st July 2019 

    Northern Norway with Sami National Day - 31st January 2020 - 14th February 2020

    South American Exploration (the Caribbean) -  2nd-16th March 2020


    ORCA’s partnership with Hurtigruten launched in 2019 with a Cruise Conservationist on a pilot cruise to the Antarctic. Hurtigruten are expedition specialists focussed on the polar regions but they also run a coastal ferry service in Norway.

    22nd February - 4th March: Antarctic Peninsula - Highlights of the Frozen Continent

    4th March - 15th March: Antarctic Peninsula - Highlights of the Frozen Continent

  • Noble Caledonia

    ORCA launched a Citizen Science Project in partnership with Noble Caledonia which in 2018 involved on board training for staff and crew on three of their expedition vessels. In addition ORCA Cruise Conservationists travelled on board expeditions to Iceland in June 2018 to assist and provide detailed lectures on their conservation programmes as well as the conservation of these magnificent animals generally.

    In 2019, once again an ORCA Cruise Conservationists joined an expedition to Iceland and throughout the year Noble Caledonia  expedition staff continue to collect data on the sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the incredible habitats their ships visit around the world.

    Guests relish being part of this exciting initiative as part of their holiday with us such that they can take away even more than the lasting memories Noble Caledonia holidays provide.

    Click here to read the latest Wildlife Reports from Noble Caledonia

  • Oceanwide

    ORCA have been partnering with Oceanwide Expeditions since 2014, providing ORCA Cruise Conservationists for selected itineraries primarily focussed in the polar regions. The programme is focussed on citizen science and involving guests in data collection, and teams consist of either one or two Cruise Conservationists.

    Click here to read the latest Wildlife Reports from Oceanwide Expeditions

  • P&O Cruises

    P&O Cruises are part of the largest cruise company in the world and have been partnring with ORCA since 2015 to deliver a programme of engagement activites to help guests enjoy the diverse array of marine wildlife seen in the different regions they visit. 

    The Cruise Conservationist programme was launched on board in 2018 with teams of two, delivering a family focused programme on some ships, as well as a programme of activites to help guests discover the diverse array of wildlife in our oceans during adult only itinerraries. Activities are tailored to each cruise to take into account the habitats and species likely to be encountered, but typically include inside lectures on marine conservation and the environment and deck watches where guests can spot and identify marine wildlife. 

    Click below to read the latest Wildlife Reports from P&O Cruises; 

    P&O Cruises Auroa, Madeira - Barbados - January 2020

    P&O Cruises Arcadia - The first leg of Arcadia’s 2020 World Cruise - Southampton to San Francisco -  January 2020

     P&O Cruises Aurora: Norway & the Northern Lights - February - March 2020 

    Click here to read Wildlife Reports from 2019 and 2018

  • SAGA

    SAGA is our longest standing cruise partner spanning over a decade, and was the first to take our dedicated teams further across oceans to collect essential scientific data on whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans). With ORCA’s teams and guests learning more about the world’s oceans and its inhabitants, SAGA is enabling and contributing to the research and conservation of these wonderful creatures and their habitats.

    ORCA’s trained teams of four volunteer experts are on board specially selected SAGA cruises, inspiring and informing guests with lectures and wildlife watches on deck. SAGA’s cruise ships offer a superb viewing platform to take in the oceanic wilderness, with forward-facing spacious decks offering a panoramic view of the ocean and animals both ahead and all around. The smaller cruise ships in SAGA’s fleet get guests closer to the water, better enabling you to see these charismatic animals.

    Click here to read the latest Wildlife Reports from Saga Cruises

  • Silversea

    Silversea is working with ORCA to enable guests to discover and engage with incredible marine life on their Silversea adventures and contribute to ORCA’s ongoing marine conservation work by helping to collect critical sightings data of whales, dolphins and porpoises. This partnership launched in 2018 with cruises from San Diego - Vancouver and Vancouver - San Francisco, marking ORCA's first ever survey in the Pacific Ocean.

    ORCA conservationists will travel on board select voyages, complementing the extensive Silversea enrichment programme by sharing their knowledge of the rich diversity of marine life on these voyages.

    Click here to read the latest Wildlife Reports from Silversea cruises.  Silversea cruises. 

Sightings maps 

These maps show some of the wonderful sightings we have had on board several cruises with our partners (click on the map to see a larger image) 

Cruise Conservationist training course 

ORCA’s unique Cruise Conservationist programme sees the charity partner with cruise lines around the globe, offering unforgettable wildlife experiences to thousands of guests at sea whilst collecting vital scientific data about whales and dolphins in some of the richest waters in the world.

ORCA run an intensive at sea programme that covers a variety of fundamental skills that will enable delegates to join ORCA’s Cruise Conservationist programme. Topics include:

  • Introducing ORCA, our history and exploring our high impact marine conservation work
  • Discussing key conservation issues facing the marine environment and threats to whales and dolphins
  • Learning science communication skills, covering strategies and techniques for communicating complex scientific concepts to a variety of different audiences
  • Exploring ORCA’s different cruise programmes and understanding the array of activities delivered at-sea, including how to deliver exceptional wildlife experiences
  • Understanding life on a cruise ship, including expectations, etiquette and key procedures for working at sea

The course fee is £600 which will cover a berth in a shared same-sex cabin, as well as food and refreshments throughout this residential programme. Delegates will be responsible for travel costs to reach the departure port, as well as any transfers or  flights necessary. This is a hands on, practical programme that will also give delegates the opportunity to put into practice some of the skills they cover during the programme. 

After successful completion of the course, delegates will be eligible to participate in the ORCA Cruise Conservationist programme. These are paid opportunities that see ORCA Cruise Conservationists travelling to some of the richest wildlife hotspots on the planet, helping to inspire guests on board whilst collecting vital scientific data.

This unique opportunity is limited to a handful of places, which are available on application only. Details of future courses will be posted on the ORCA vacancies page.

Cruising with ORCA 

ORCA teams help to enhance and enrich your cruise experience, by conducting deck watches for whales and dolphins from the open decks, and by delivering a series of informative lectures. We look forward to seeing you on board! 

Click on the button below to find out what Cruises ORCA teams will be on in 2021.