ORCA ferry survey applications for September-November 2024 now open


The Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, DFDS, Isles of Scilly Travel and NorthLink Ferries survey applications are now open for the surveys taking place in September, October and November 2024.

Dear all,

The 2024 ORCA ferry survey applications with our longstanding partners Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, DFDS, Isles of Scilly Travel and NorthLink Ferries and are now open for surveys taking place in September, October and November.

This will be the final application process for ORCA ferry surveys in 2024.

The survey routes available for application are:

Brittany Ferries

  • Poole – Cherbourg

  • Portsmouth – Caen

  • Plymouth – Roscoff

  • Plymouth – Santander (Bay of Biscay)

Caledonian MacBrayne

  • Mallaig – Lochboisdale

  • Oban – Castlebay

  • Oban – Coll – Tiree – Colonsay

  • Uig – Lochmaddy – Tarbert

  • Ullapool – Stornoway


  • Dover – Calais

  • Newcastle – Amsterdam

  • Newhaven – Dieppe

Isles of Scilly Travel

  • Penzance – St Mary’s (Isles of Scilly)

NorthLink Ferries

  • Aberdeen – Lerwick (Shetland)

This year we have staggered our ferry survey applications throughout the year, this has enabled more flexibility and opportunities for all our dedicated volunteers to take an active role in our ferry-based surveys.

Full details of the surveys, how to apply and what is required of ORCA volunteers on board can be found on the Applying for Surveys page on the Surveyor Network.

Please note applications will close at midnight on Monday 1st July and we will keep you all informed of the progress of the survey teams via the Surveyor Network News page.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, unfortunately, we are unable to individually email all unsuccessful applicants for each survey, but we will keep everyone updated on the progress of survey allocations via the Surveyor Network News page each month.

Important Passport Information

Please note that all surveyors taking part in surveys to European countries must have at least 6 months validity left on their passport on the date of departure.

Ardrossan-Campbeltown Surveys

As a result of vessel deployments, the Ardrossan-Campbeltown service has been cancelled for this year's summer period. ORCA surveys will therefore not be carried out on this route for the remainder of the survey season.

Marine Mammal Surveyor Form

All surveyors must have completed a Marine Mammal Surveyor Form which can be found here, for applications to be considered. Please note this form needs to be completed every year, and when any details change. There are a number of surveyors who have applied for surveys this year but have not been allocated places as we have not received a completed Marine Mammal Surveyor Form.

ORCA Polo Shirts

If you have not yet purchased your ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor polo shirt, you can do this directly from the Shirtworks website. You will not be permitted access to the bridge without wearing your ORCA polo shirt. For information on how to purchase your ORCA polo shirt please visit the Applying for Surveys page of the Surveyor Network.

June, July and August survey applications update

All survey places have now been allocated for surveys taking place in June, July and August.

For surveys in September, October and November we will be prioritising Marine Mammal Surveyors who have not taken part in a survey yet this year.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to receiving your ferry survey applications.