Whales and Dolphins Pop up at Portsmouth International Port

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If you're travelling with us from Portsmouth in February you'll have the chance to see marine wildlife before you even step on board!

From the 11th February Portsmouth International Port is celebrating its role as 'gateway to whale watching adventures'.

It's not often children get the chance to put their head in the mouth of a shark, but that's just one exciting adventure they can have at the port's Marine Wildlife Festival.

It won't be a real shark, of course, but one of 13 life sized inflatable models of whales, sharks and dolphins that will be on display in the terminal building. The biggest is 42 feet long, that's 13 metres of whale that you can stand next to. Four will be hanging from the ceiling.

Classes from schools all around Portsmouth are already booked to come and take part in a 'Whale Workshop'. Experts from marine wildlife charity ORCA will be taking lessons, with students learning all about the whales, dolphins, porpoises, sharks, seals and turtles that can be found on a Ferry crossing from Portsmouth International Port. Customers and locals can also come and visit at any time during the four day long exhibition.

Whale watching is becoming a popular holiday pastime, with people paying thousands for trips around the world. Yet few realise they can see a huge variety of whales and other species when sailing from Portsmouth to Spain as part of a holiday or other trip. This is because the ferries travel through the Bay of Biscay, which is a whale and dolphin hotspot thanks to the variety of depth ranging from 200 - 4,999 metres deep and the abundance of food that suits many different species. This includes the deep diving Sperm Whale and Cuvier's Beaked Whale, making it a perfect spot for customers to go looking for these magnificent creatures.

On display will be life-size models of a 13m long female Sperm Whale, 8m Minke Whale,  8m Basking Shark, 6m Pilot Whale, 6m Orca Whale, 3m Orca Whale Calf, 3m, Risso's Dolphin, 3m Bottlenose Dolphin, 2m Common Dolphin, 2m Striped Dolphin, 1.5m Harbour Porpoise, 2m Grey Seal male, female & calf, and a 2m Leatherback Turtle.

Also in attendance will be Pip, Portsmouth International Port's cuddly whale who will be making an appearance for photos with young children and families off on half term holidays.

I hope that we can look forward to seeing you there too!

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