Fred Olsen passengers report 4,400 wildlife sightings

PASSENGERS aboard Fred Olsen cruise ships recorded 4,400 wildlife sightings last year.

The most frequent species spotted was – appropriately – the common dolphin, which was sighted 296 times, reaching 1,996 individual dolphins.

Other creatures reported during cruises included humpback whales, orca, a blue whale, and even the deepest-diving animal, the elusive Cuvier’s beaked whale, which can dive to depths of nearly 3,000 metres.

The company teamed up with Orca, a marine charity, to run a “cruise sonservationist programme”.

James Moss, journey experience co-ordinator at Fred Olsen, said: “Spotting native wildlife is something that makes a holiday truly special, and 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.

“It has been a real privilege to work with Orca this year, with [its] 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.”

Steve Jones, director of fundraising and operations at Orca, added: “These sightings show the absolutely phenomenal range of habitats that our ocean conservationists can study aboard Fred Olsen itineraries, monitoring areas that it would be otherwise impossible to reach.

“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.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.

Plus, get your skates on so you don’t miss Andy Dobson’s article about flapper skates in the February issue of Scottish Field magazine.