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Whale and dolphin watching cruise 2016

Two night cruises from just £170 per person

ORCA logo

Brittany Ferries has once again teamed up with the wildlife experts at the conservation charity ORCA to bring you seven opportunities to take advantage of a guided whale and dolphin spotting cruise this summer.

This cruise includes:

  • Portsmouth - Santander - Plymouth Biscay Triangle cruise
  • 2 nights on board with en suite cabin accommodation
  • Expert whale watching and dolphin spotting advice
  • Wildlife presentations
  • Time ashore in the elegant port city of Santander
  • To begin and end your cruise in Portsmouth, an optional coach transfer is available from Plymouth to Portsmouth on Day 3 (£28 per person)

Our triangular cruises take you through the Bay of Biscay, a world hot spot for marine wildlife and birdlife, with 31 of the world's 85 whale and dolphin species having been recorded in the Bay. ORCA has been surveying the area for many years so you'll have the very best guides with you, making sure that you get the most out of your wildlife experience.

The mini-cruise leaves from Portsmouth crossing the Bay of Biscay to Santander in Northern Spain before returning to Plymouth on Brittany Ferries flagship the Pont-Aven. On the way you may see porpoises, dolphins, larger sperm or fin whales and other rarer species. Biscay is also home to an abundant seabird population so you're sure to have a memorable trip - we can never guarantee what you'll see, but you're sure to see something. Check out our blog and read just what you could be missing.

Cruise prices

3 or 4 persons sharing an inside cabin
(2 upper and 2 lower berths)
£170 per person
2 persons sharing an inside cabin
(1 upper and 1 lower berth)
£195 per person
Upgrades & supplements

Single occupancy of a standard inside cabin£25
2 persons sharing a larger inside cabin (2 lower berths)£20 per person
Outside cabin (port-hole). Larger cabins only£20 per cabin
For those wishing to start and end their cruise in Portsmouth, a coach transfer is available on arrival in Plymouth on the final day of your cruise (£28 per person fee, to be reserved with Brittany Ferries). Journey takes approximately four hours.

Nigel Marven confirmed for 20 - 22 September cruise (SOLD OUT)
Nigel Marven touching a grey whale

Nigel Marven, producer and presenter of wildlife films for television, as well as ORCA patron will be joining us on the 20-22 September cruise to support our whale watching team as a guest guide. Taking time out from filming a whole array of mammals, reptile, bird and insects, Nigel will be on board throughout the cruise bringing his passion and enthusiasm for cetaceans to the whole experience.

Chris Packham confirmed for 27 - 29 September cruise
Chris Packham – Brittany Ferries Environmental Ambassador

Chris Packham will be joining us on the 27-29 September cruise to support our whale watching team and is hoping to see some amazing marine wildlife.

As Environmental Ambassador for Brittany Ferries, Chris will be on hand throughout the cruise with binoculars in hand in anticipation of seeing some magnificent creatures from the deep.

Booking dates

Until 19 September 2016.

Travel dates 2016

  • 13 -15 September - CALL TO BOOK (limited availability)
  • 20 - 22 September - SOLD OUT (with special guest Nigel Marven)
  • 27 - 29 September - SOLD OUT (with special guest Chris Packham)

How to book

Book online or call our Reservations Team on 0330 159 7000 quoting Y16WWC.

If you require the coach transfer at the end of your cruise please call us once you have made your booking.

Cruise itinerary

Bottlenose Dolphin

This is the perfect introduction to whale watching. Typical trips include Fin Whale - the second largest whale on earth, Sperm Whale - made famous through the story of Moby Dick, and hundreds of dolphins racing in to the bow. On board your friendly guides will help you spot all kinds of amazing marine life, with deck watches, activities and wildlife presentations.

Alternatively, step inside and enjoy the kind of service and facilities normally only found on cruise ships, including leisure bar areas, stylish shopping malls, a wide choice of dining and superbly appointed en-suite cabin accommodation.

Day 1
After you have checked in at the Brittany Ferries desk at the Portsmouth terminal and obtained your boarding card you are then required to meet your guides at the 'ORCA' stand which will be situated next to the check-in desk. It is important that you do this before boarding the ship. The guides will be present from 15:00hrs. Once you have boarded and settled into your cabin you again join your guides at 17:30hrs on our exclusive whale watching platform outside on deck 10 (directly above the Pool Bar) as the ship departs for Spain. Introduction to the cruise and early evening wildlife watch follows.

Day 2
This is the big one! All day sailing through some of the richest waters for whales and dolphins in the world! From first light to 18:00hrs we will scour the deep ocean for giant whales, large groups of dolphins, tuna, sharks and seabirds. With luck we will be ending the day with a celebratory drink in the vast natural harbour of Santander, with time to enjoy the tapas bars or take a stroll along the beach before the return sailing at 21:30hrs.

Day 3
On our final day we sail through the rich, shallow waters of the Celtic Sea and Western Approaches in search of Minke Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Porpoises and Gannets before arriving in Plymouth at 16:30hrs. To begin and end your cruise in Portsmouth, reserve your optional coach transfer with your booking.

Offer subject to availability. Promotional terms and conditions apply.  Bookings cannot be made within 24 hours of travel.

How to book

Book online or call quoting Y16WWC

0330 159 7000

Ship guide

A couple enjoying a drink out on deck

Download our guide to Pont-Aven's on board services including deck plans.