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Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Guests Make Nearly 3,500 Marine Wildlife Sightings in 2023

Imagine gazing out from the deck of a ship, the vast expanse of the ocean stretching before you, and suddenly, a pod of dolphins breaks the surface, their playful antics delighting passengers and crew alike. This is just one of the many extraordinary experiences awaiting guests aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' ships, where nearly 3,500 marine animals were spotted in partnership with marine conservation charity ORCA in 2023.

Thanks to the Cruise Conservationist programme, a collaboration between Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and ORCA, passengers have the opportunity to participate in wildlife spotting activities while at sea. In 2023 alone, a total of 3,431 wildlife sightings were recorded, providing invaluable data for marine conservation efforts.

Among the most frequently spotted species were the common dolphin, with an impressive 1,409 sightings, and the majestic humpback whale, observed 84 times. Other notable sightings included harbour porpoises, orcas, grey seals, and the elusive Cuvier's beaked whale, known for its deep-sea diving abilities. Rare encounters with a blue whale, a bearded seal, and an ocean sunfish added an extra layer of excitement to these wildlife adventures.

James Moss, Itinerary Product Manager at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, expressed the company's appreciation for the natural world, stating, "Our guests are nature lovers, so spotting native wildlife while on board our smaller-sized ships is something that they truly cherish." Moss highlighted the role of ORCA representatives onboard many sailings, guiding guests in their wildlife observations and enhancing their appreciation of the marine environment.

The ORCA Cruise Conservationist programme goes beyond mere observation, serving as a vital monitoring project for whale and dolphin populations worldwide. Steve Jones, Director of Fundraising and Operations at ORCA, emphasised the importance of this collaboration, stating, "Understanding these animals better is the only way we can protect them for future generations."

As Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines continues its partnership with ORCA, guests can look forward to exciting wildlife encounters on upcoming cruises. Here are some voyages where passengers can join ORCA onboard:

Whales and Volcanic Landscapes of Iceland

Departure: 14th May 2024

Duration: 11 nights

Ship: Borealis

Itinerary: Southampton, UK – Reykjavik, Iceland – Ísafjörður, Iceland – Cruising by Hornbjarg, Iceland – Akureyri, Iceland – Cruising Eyjafjörður, Iceland – Cruising by Hrísey, Iceland – Cruising Grimsey, Iceland – Crossing the Icelandic Arctic Circle, Iceland – Cruising by Mykines, Faroe Islands – Tórshavn, Faroe Islands – Southampton, UK

Wildlife and Traditions of the Scottish Isles

Departure: 4th July 2024

Duration: 8 nights

Ship: Balmoral

Itinerary: Rosyth, Scotland – Lerwick, Scotland – Cruising by Sumburgh Head, Scotland – Kirkwall, Scotland – Cruising Pentland Firth, Scotland – Portree Isle of Skye, Scotland – Cruising by the Small Isles, Scotland – Cruising Loch Hourn, Scotland – Cruising by Dutchman’s Cap (Bac Mor), Scotland – Cruising by Fingal’s Cave, Scotland – Cruising by Iona, Scotland – Stornoway, Scotland – Cruise by Troup Head, Moray Firth, Scotland – Rosyth, Scotland

Volcanic Islands Of The Azores & Madeira

Departure: 31st July 2024

Duration: 14 nights

Ship: Borealis

Itinerary: Dover, UK – Praia da Vitoria, Portugal - Ponta Delgada, Portugal – Funchal, Madeira (overnight port) - Cruise by Cristo Rei & Abril 25 Bridge - Cruise by Mouth of River Tagus – Lisbon, Portugal – Leixões, Portugal – Dover, UK

In Search of the Northern Lights

Departure: 9th November 2024

Duration: 10 nights

Ship: Balmoral

Itinerary: Newcastle, UK – Alta, Norway (overnight port) – Tromsø, Norway – Narvik, Norway – Bodø, Norway – Newcastle, UK

Winter Warmth In The Canary Islands

Departure: 10th November 2024

Duration: 14 nights

Ship: Bolette

Itinerary: Liverpool, UK – Funchal, Madeira (overnight port)- Santa Cruz de la Palma - Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Puerto Del Rosario, Fuerteventura - Tangier, Morocco - Liverpool, UK

Embark on a voyage of discovery with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and ORCA, where every sighting contributes to the conservation of our precious marine life.