Hop aboard a one-week cetacean research adventure in Italy and enjoy the stunning beauty of the Ligurian Sea while you support the study and conservation of seven cetacean species in the Mediterranean. Each expedition starts on Monday and spans until Sunday, on a weekly basis.
Please contact us directly to make a booking for this activity in 2020!
The Ligurian Sea has one of the highest concentrations of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean. Established in 1990, the Cetacean Sanctuary Research (CSR) is a long-term project focusing on the ecology and conservation of the cetacean species living in the Pelagos Sanctuary in the Ligurian Sea, including fin whales, sperm whales, striped dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, long-finned pilot whales, Risso’s dolphins and Cuvier’s beaked whale.
On board our research vessel "Pelagos", every day is spent at sea, as long as the weather conditions allow it (as dolphins and whales are usually sighted when the sea is calm). All participants are involved in various research activities, from sighting shifts during the day to night watches - should weather and sea conditions allow to spend the night in the open sea. You will support researchers with the collection of scientific data, including geographic location of sightings, dive durations, behaviour, group size and composition. In some cases, faecal and prey samples are also collected in order to obtain information on dietary habits of fin whales and sperm whales. During the day, when not on a shift, there is time to relax, to stop for a swim break or to learn basic navigation skills from our skipper.
Our research vessel is a 21m motorsailer with two masts which was built in 1990. The deck is covered with teak wood and is particularly comfortable. Below deck, accommodation is entirely finished with teak. The comfortable dining room has leather seating, a music player, a computer with a large monitor, a bar and a fridge as well as air conditioning (for use in the harbour or when necessary). The galley is small but comfortable and equipped with three refrigerators. The kitchen is equipped with three fridges and is located in a separate cabin. There are five cabins hosting up to 16 people - up to eleven participants, four researchers and the skipper - each of them with its own private bathroom:
- 2 four-bed cabins (one occupied by the research team).
- 1 very large and comfortable cabin for 6 people (2 double and 2 single beds).
- 1 small cabin at the bow with two single beds (occupied by the skipper and one researcher).