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Fred. Olsen records over 4,000 wildlife sightings, unveils more sailings with ORCA

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A map showing marine wildlife sightings from on board Fred. Olsen ships in 2022, with data collected owing to its partnership with ORCA
Passengers aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet made more than 4,400 wildlife sightings with the help of ORCA last year, as the line again launches more than a dozen cruises in partnership with the marine wildlife charity for 2023.

The animals were detected and recorded as part of ORCA’s Cruise Conservationist programme - a whale and dolphin monitoring project which uses the data collected during cruises to identify and monitor whale and dolphin populations around the world.

The common dolphin was seen most often, 296 times, and the total number of dolphins sighted amounted to 1,996. Also detected were humpback whales, orca, a blue whale and the elusive Cuvier’s beaked whale, which can dive to depths of nearly 3,000m holding the record for the deepest and longest dive of any mammal. 

Supporting conservation efforts for future generations

‘These sightings show the absolutely phenomenal range of habitats that our ocean conservationists can study on Fred. Olsen itineraries, monitoring areas that it would be otherwise impossible to reach,’ explained Steve Jones, director of fundraising & operations, ORCA. 

‘The data we've collected in 2022 will help give us important insights into the lives of these whales, dolphins and porpoises, and we can understand better than ever the protections they need to safeguard them for future generations.’ 

A unique opportunity 

James Moss, journey experience coordinator, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, described encountering native wildlife as ‘truly special,’ noting, ‘we have a really unique opportunity, as a cruise line, to be able to offer guests the chance to have this experience directly from the deck as they sail between destinations.’ 

He said the line was looking forward to another year working with the charity, stating, ‘It has been a real privilege to work with ORCA this year, with their team of Ocean Conservationists helping our guests not only to spot marine mammals, but to learn more about the wildlife they spot and to play a part in capturing important data, too.’ 

2023 ORCA sailings with Fred. Olsen

ORCA’s cruise conservationists will join a further 16 sailings this year. Highlights of these include:

Iceland

Bolette’s 10-night ‘Uncrowded Iceland’ roundtrip voyage from Newcastle leaves March 27. It includes: Reykjavík, Iceland (overnight stay); cruising Eyjafjörður, Iceland; Akureyri, Iceland (overnight stay); Seyðisfjörður, Iceland; Tórshavn, Faroe Islands. Prices start from £1,299 per person.

British Isles 

Bolette again sails rountrip from Newcastle as it embarks on a seven-night ‘Scenic Isles and Lochs of Scotland’ cruise leaving May 13. Prices start at £1,099 per person and the itinerary consists of: cruising by Duncansby Sea Stacks, Scotland; cruising by Old Man of Hoy, Orkney Island, Scotland; cruising by Marwick Head, Orkney Islands, Scotland; Stornoway, Scotland (anchor port); Loch Broom, Scotland; Portree Isle of Skye, Scotland (anchor port); Cruising Loch Torridon, Scotland; Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland; Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland (anchor port). 

Norway

Sailing roundtrip from Rosyth in Edinburgh, Scotland starting July 19 is Balmoral, as it embarks on a 15-night ‘Rugged and Remote Spitsbergen with the Midnight Sun’ voyage. Prices start from £2,199 per person. It comprises: Åndalsnes, Norway; cruise Nærøysundet, Norway; cruising Torghatten, Norway; cruising Seven Sister Mountain Range, Norway; cruising Trollfjord, Norway; cruise Tjeldsundet Strait, Norway; cruising by Djevelen Tanngard, Norway; Tromsø, Norway; Honningsvåg, Norway; cruise North Cape, Norway; cruise by Bear Island, Norway; Pyramiden, Norway; cruise by Nordenskiöldbreen, Norway; cruising Tempelfjorden, Norway; Longyearbyen, Norway; Sortland, Vesterålen, Norway; cruising by Black Glacier, Norway; cruising Nordfjorden, Meloy, Norway; Kristiansund, Norway. 

Canaries, Azores, Madeira 

Priced from £1,999 per person, the 15-night ‘Volcanic Islands of the Canaries, Azores and Madeira’ cruise sets sail October 14. The roundtrip from Southampton encompasses: Praia Da Vitoria, Portugal; Ponta Delgada, Portugal; Santa Cruz De La Palma, Spain;  Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Spain; San Sebastian, Spain; Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.

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