A pilot trip aboard Celebrity Millennium saw ORCA Cruise Conservationists monitoring cetaceans in Alaska
Alaska is renowned as one of the best places in the world see whales and dolphins, and in May two ORCA Cruise Conservationists flew out to deliver a brand new programme in partnership with Celebrity Cruises.
Joining the newly renovated Celebrity Millennium in Vancouver, the team sailed north to Seward at the northern edge of the Gulf of Alaska, visiting stunning ports throughout the incredibly rich coastal waters around Alaska.
After welcoming a new group of guests on board, the ship turned around and sailed southward revisiting all of the sensational destinations a second time.
Given the amazing wildlife on show it is no surprise that the numbers seen during the trip were superb. As well as smaller cetaceans such as Dall's porpoises, harbour porpoises and Pacific white-sided dolphins, the team were lucky enough to see a fantastic array of whale species. Deep water encounters with sperm whales, fin whales and sei whales were complimented by a huge number of humpback whale sightings and an ORCA first - a glimpse of a solitary grey whale.
Guests on board was also fortunate enough to enjoy an array of sightings with an icon of the seas and our namesake, the orca. Pods recorded included fish-eating residents and mammal-hunting transients, with many groups seen with calves and exhibiting fascinating behaviours.
Add to this sea lions, seals, sea otters, bears and almost 70 bird species and the team certainly had a trip to remember! All in all, 1051 animals were recorded during two weeks in Alaskan waters.
We're busy making plans to build on this incredible trip with our new friends at Celebrity Cruises, so watch this space for more announcements soon!