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Cruise itinerary

Sea Safari 2018 - Whale & dolphin watching with ORCA

This is the perfect introduction to whale watching anywhere in the World and all aboard our flagship cruise ferry Pont-Aven. The Bay of Biscay is home to over a quarter of all the whale, dolphin and porpoise species known to man. A typical trip should include sightings of Fin Whales - the second largest mammal on earth, and maybe Sperm Whales - made famous through the story of Moby Dick, rare beaked whales and possibly hundreds of dolphins racing into the bow. On board ship the friendly and experienced ORCA guides will help you spot all kinds of amazing marine life, with deck watches and wildlife presentations to help you locate, observe and identify these sometimes elusive marine animals.

Cruise in style

You'll sail aboard Brittany Ferries' flagship, Pont-Aven, enjoying a superb range of facilities and award-winning services. The ship itself boasts stunning features, including a superb pool and leisure area, a wrap around promenade for pleasant deck strolls, and a dramatic five deck high atrium with panoramic views from the lifts. You'll also of course find all of Brittany Ferries' standard of dining and facilities, with an a la carte restaurant, cocktail piano bar and 2-storey lounge bar and entertainment area.

Disability and reduced mobility passengers

Our ORCA guides will be outside on deck 10. There is no lift access to this deck so please bear this in mind if you have a disability or reduced mobility.

Day 1

Please meet your ORCA guides at the ORCA stand from 15:30hrs onwards. This will be situated in the International Portsmouth Ferry Terminal and next to the Brittany Ferries counter. If you have any questions about your trip then this will be your opportunity to discuss it with your guides. Once you have completed the formalities of getting your boarding passes and going through passport control you will board the superb Pont Aven. On this first evening you will have time to settle into your cabins and orientate yourself around the ship. Remember you are on holiday so enjoy the fine cuisine and entertainment this ship has to offer.

At 17:30hrs please meet the ORCA team on our exclusive whale watching platform outside on deck 10 (directly above the Pool Bar) as the ship departs for Spain. Here you will receive an introduction to the cruise followed by an evening wildlife talk with an optional deck watch until dusk. As we will be in shallow coastal waters during the first evening, cetaceans encounters are less likely, (although anything could happen at any time!) so it will be a chance for you to 'chill out' and enjoy the ambience of the ship.

Day 2

This is the main whale watching day and potentially the most exciting day of the trip! We would strongly advise maximising your time on our viewing deck until we reach the port of Santander in Spain, to ensure you have the opportunity to enjoy all of the encounters we hope to have. For the best part of the day we will be sailing through some of the richest waters for whales and dolphins in the world! The 'Bay of Biscay'. From 06:00hrs 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 21.15pm.

Day 3

On our final day on our return voyage 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 approximately 16.15hrs.

Coach excursion

For the coach transfer back to Portsmouth please find a member of the ORCA team who will direct you to the awaiting coach. The ORCA team guide will be waiting for you outside the terminal after you have passed through passport control.

Time ashore in Santander

Santander, the capital of Cantabria, is an elegant city stretched across a wide bay with many stunning beaches.

Surrounded by mountains and countryside, the streets wind up through the hilly landscape to afford fantastic views of the Cantabrian Sea, which supplies the city's restaurants with the fantastic seafood for which Cantabria is renowned.

How to book

Book online or call quoting

0330 159 7000

Discover Santander

Relaxing in Santander

Santander, the capital of Cantabria, is an elegant city stretched across a wide bay with many stunning beaches.

About ORCA

ORCA logo

ORCA works to identify and protect critical whale and dolphin habitats in UK and European waters. Together with governments, NGOs, research institutions, the shipping industry and others we help to create safer habitats for whales and dolphins.