Ocean Conservationists

Our Ocean Conservationists can be found working in the UK’s waters, the wider North East Atlantic and increasingly around the world. That’s because ORCA’s expertise is now being called on internationally, and the Ocean Conservationist programme has expanded to meet demand. These highly-trained specialists now deliver an increasing variety of marine wildlife experiences and activities on board cruise ships around the world - everywhere from the Arctic to the Antarctic and the Pacific to the Mediterranean. These passionate and dedicated individuals work to showcase the incredible diversity of wildlife that can be spotted from the decks of cruise ships, helping guests on board learn more about the marine environment.

ORCA not only has the opportunity to inspire people from all walks of life, but also collect vital scientific data that is actively being used to help protect whales and dolphins in our oceans.

Our Ocean Conservation programmes closer to home are a key part of ORCA's education and outreach work, and we deliver these in the North Sea, Hebrides, English Channel and Bay of Biscay each year. Working in close partnership with our long-standing friends at Brittany Ferries, DFDS, and Caledonian MacBrayne, ORCA’s Ocean Conservationists spend several months working at sea on their vessels, meeting tens of thousands of passengers while carrying out deck watches.

Ocean Conservationists educate and inspire passengers about the marine wildlife around them during their voyage by showing them the wonders of the ocean.

Our partners


Brittany Ferries

Caledonian Macbrayne


Fred .Olsen

Hurtigruten Expeditions

P&O Cruises


2023 cruises

ORCA teams help to enhance and enrich your cruise experience, by conducting deck watches for whales and dolphins from the open decks, and by delivering a series of informative lectures. We look forward to seeing you on board!

Click on the button below to find out the cruises ORCA teams will be on in 2023 and 2024.

Ocean Conservationist Training Course

ORCA Ocean Conservationists are talented, inspiring individuals who work on ferries and cruise ships, delivering exciting wildlife experiences and learning opportunities for guests and passengers. Travelling around the world, they deliver innovative education programmes teaching people from all backgrounds about the marine environment whilst at the same time collecting important scientific data about some of the richest habitats in the ocean.

ORCA runs an intensive programme that covers a variety of fundamental skills, at the end of which participants will be able to join ORCA's Ocean Conservationist programme. Topics include:

  • Introducing ORCA, our history and exploring our high-impact marine conservation work

  • Discussing conservation issues facing the ocean and threats to whales and dolphins

  • Learning science communication skills, covering strategies and techniques for communicating complex scientific concepts to a variety of different audiences

  • Exploring ORCA’s different cruise and ferry programmes globally and understanding the array of activities delivered at-sea, including how to deliver exceptional wildlife experiences

  • Understanding life on a ship, including expectations, etiquette and key procedures for working at sea