Wildlife on Deck with Orca and DFDS

June 18, 2019

Taking a crossing with DFDS presents the perfect opportunity to take in the natural world around you. Seeking out the marine wildlife that calls the shores and waves surrounding the UK home is a great way to make the most of your journey with us. Whether you’re crossing between Newcastle and Amsterdam or following our Newhaven to Dieppe route, there’s plenty to see out over the waves.
Our partnership with ORCA

We’ve been working with the wildlife charity ORCA for over 10 years, bringing onboard as much interesting info as we can about the lovely animals that can be spotted by those with a keen eye.

On our Newcastle to Amsterdam route and Newhaven to Dieppe crossing, you’ll find fantastic info packs which have been put together to help you spot these animals flourishing in their natural habitats, giving you background on what makes them so unique. If you pop up on deck, there are specific spots which are recommended by ORCA so that you’re in the perfect place to see as much wildlife as possible. Here are just a few of the amazing aquatic animals you might see when you make your next crossing with DFDS…


Harbour porpoise

Keeping close to coastal areas of land for shelter, harbour porpoises are one of the smallest marine mammals out there. Any occasional whale watcher has probably spotted this species of porpoise before as their fins regularly pop up near shorelines across Europe. Although they are typically quite shy animals and avoid busy areas, they make a distinctive “chuff” sound when they breach the water to breathe which can be quite loud!


Minke Whale

Of all the rorqual whales, the minke whale is the smallest. The rorqual refers to the folds of skin found under the whale’s lower jaw, allowing its mouth to expand to take in vast quantities of water when feeding. When these whales breach for air or lunge for food, you might be able to spot little white armbands around their pectoral fins and a sickle shaped dorsal fin.


White beaked dolphin

These powerful, swift swimmers are possibly the most sociable of the bunch, actively surging around in the wake of passing ships, often spotted in groups of around 20. Despite their name, white beaked dolphins don’t always have white beaks – a bit confusing! The most distinctive markings they carry are the white and pale grey patches long their sides and another that covers the area between the dorsal fin and tail stock which looks a little bit like a saddle patch.


For those looking to get even closer to the creatures that can be found crossing the ocean, we offer a Marine Wildlife Mini Cruise which takes you across the North Sea in style. After boarding in Newcastle, you can make the most of our onboard ORCA Wildlife Lounge with fantastic North Sea views as well as presentations on the local wildlife and an extra special talk on The Wonder of Whales.

On our Newhaven to Dieppe route, get involved with our deck watches and find more information to educate yourself on the wildlife surrounding you on your trip.


You can book our Marine Wildlife Mini Cruise or a crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe online, grab your binoculars (or borrow some of ours!) and enjoy the journey.

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