2021 Saga cruise applications open

Categories // Surveyor Network News

2021 Saga cruise applications open

Information on how to apply for the 2021 Saga cruises & an update on the ferry surveys & OceanWatchers app

Dear All,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

With momentum growing in the travel industry, vaccination programmes underway and the easing of lockdown, I would like to provide you with an update on our surveying plans for 2021.

Saga Cruises

I am pleased to announce that Saga have once again offered ORCA Survey Team places on board their cruise ships for the 2021 season. These trips are on the Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, with the first cruise departing on June 27th.

Saga cruises cater predominantly for individuals aged 50 years and over, however ORCA has special dispensation so our survey teams can include people from 21 years of age and above. Teams of four from ORCA have been invited on board Saga’s ships since 2007 and since then we have built up a reputation for enhancing the enjoyment of guests' trips and their understanding of marine wildlife through delivering presentations, running deck-watches whilst surveying and generally being on hand to talk about any wildlife seen on the trips. Many passengers book on specific cruises if they know an ORCA team is going to be on board.

Of course these cruises will be slightly different this year, with social distancing practices on board, face coverings to be worn in all indoor areas and the need for all guests and ORCA volunteers to be vaccinated against Covid-19, to name but a few. Details of Saga’s return to service safety measures and vaccination policy can be found in the links below:

Full details of the cruises, how to apply, COVID-19 specific information and what is required of ORCA volunteers on board can be found on the Applying for Surveys page on the Surveyor Network. Please note applications will close at midnight on Tuesday 18th May 2021.

Ferry Surveys

We are liaising regularly with all of our ferry partners to navigate a safe return of our vital cetacean surveys. Currently we do not know when we will be able to resume our ferry surveys, but please know we are working very hard behind the scenes to ensure everything is ready to go for when this moment comes, and when it does you will all be the first to know.

OceanWatchers App

Many of you joined our OceanWatchers training courses earlier in the year and it was so lovely to see everyone again.

The ORCA OceanWatchers programme will enable citizen scientists to collect effort-based data on incredible whales, dolphins and porpoises no matter the platform they are on (on land or at sea), or the people they are with. Data will be collected via a flexible, easy-to-use system – a brand new, bespoke surveying app and I am pleased to announce that the app will be ready for use later this month as planned!

All those who participated in the training will receive an email when the app is available for download and we will also announce this on the Surveyor Network News.

As always, thank you for your incredible support and loyalty. You are the backbone of ORCA, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue our vital education, science and policy work without you.

With best wishes,


Lucy Babey
Head of Science and Conservation 
Deputy Director