A New Season at ORCA!

April 29, 2016

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All of the team at ORCA are delighted to return for another season of marine wildlife watching and educational talks onboard the DFDS route between Newcastle and Amsterdam. Regular readers of our All Aboard blog will remember our ORCA End of Season blog in September of last year, where we rounded up the sightings of that season, if you missed it then you can find it here.

In case you’re not familiar with ORCA, let me explain what exactly it is that they do…

ORCA is a dolphin and whale charity, and looks out for all of the wildlife that you can find in the North Sea. They seek to educate and inform young children and their parents about the importance of looking after the oceans around them, through educational and entertaining sessions in schools and community centres as well as from the ORCA wildlife Centre onboard our ship King Seaways.

The ORCA Centre

The ORCA Centre onboard King Seaways was recently redeveloped and refurbished, meaning that it’s better than ever!

Here you’ll find exciting educational material including toys, games and models as well as colourful posters of species that you can spot in the North Sea and more. Our onboard Wildlife Officers will teach children all about the wildlife in our oceans, and how important it is to look after the sea around us.

Deck Watches

So far this season the seas have been either very rough or very calm, which has made sightings a little bit difficult, but the visitors onboard have still had a great time getting creative in the ORCA centre instead, creating posters, murals and more!

If you happen to attend a deck watch with ORCA, don’t forget to add your image to our #SelfiesAtSea campaign. Bonus points if you can get one with a whale! Check out our gallery below for more information.

Marine Wildlife Mini Cruise

Our mini cruise to Amsterdam is our most popular break, and if you’re an animal lover then what better way to enjoy a short break away than with our Marine Wildlife Mini Cruise? Join ORCA for educational talks and presentations, a sunrise and sunset deck watch, children’s activities and more.

Sound good? For a full breakdown of the trip, and to find out the dates of sailings, head to our website.

Debris the Harbour Porpoise

On Saturday 5 March, ORCA and a team of volunteers held a beach clean at Whitburn and Seaburn beach. In total they collected 30 bags of rubbish from the beach in under an hour, weighing 450kg!

The rubbish collected included items such as dummies, food wrappers, fishing gear and cigarettes. It’s probably not surprising in that case to hear that Northumbrian Water claim that over 250 tonnes of pollution is cleaned out of the North Sea annually.

Once ORCA had collected the rubbish, volunteer and artist Izzy Moreau crafted it into a model representing one of the most commonly spotted species in the North Sea, the Harbour Porpoise.

Debris was created to highlight the fact that by 2050 there will be more rubbish in the seas than fish. In total it took more than 400 man hours to create her, having been crafted entirely out of plastic collected from the sea.

What’s more, if you’d like to see Debris the Harbour Porpoise for yourself, she’s on display in the ORCA Centre onboard.

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