21 April 2017

Have a Whale of a Time on the Way to Amsterdam

Did you know how much wildlife can be spotted from on board the passenger ferry in the North Sea?

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. We attended a recent event onboard to learn more about it, and you will be able to learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea too if you are sailing from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS King Seaways ferry, on a marine wildlife mini cruise. 

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


DFDS have worked with the ORCA wildlife charity now for 10 years and recently invited Michaela Strachan on board King Seaways to celebrate the start of their tenth year in partnership.

The wildlife charity ORCA promotes the conservation of the marine environment through education and research, providing a forum for the enjoyment of whales, dolphins, seabirds and other marine life. They partner with ships sailing regular routes right across the world in order to capture valuable data and observe the wildlife. Their partnership with DFDS enables them to monitor whale and dolphin populations in the North Sea

I was working as part of this ORCA celebration event for DFDS but knew how much My Boys would love the opportunity to hear from Michaela so I took them along too.

Michaela Strachan is a well-known known TV presenter. She has been presenting since 1986 on a variety of programmes from The Wide Awake Club, The Hitman And Her and The Really Wild Show which I used to watch when I was younger to Michaela’s Wild Challenge, Elephant Diaries to Countryfile to Springwatch and many many more. She started off presenting children’s programmes but these days is known as a wildlife presenter and has travelled all over the world filming animals and conservation projects, which is why she was invited to celebrate the work of DFDS with ORCA.

Michaela Strachan. From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


After arriving at the International Passenger Terminal at the Port of Tyne in North Shields, they boarded the ferry but didn't need their passports as the ship wouldn't be sailing for this event.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


As it was a special day event and not a sailing, on the ferry, the boys and other passengers were greeted with a packed lunch, with plenty of choice for vegetarians as well as meat-eaters plus fresh fruit and drinks. The packed lunch pleased the boys a lot. 



From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


There was then the opportunity to take in the views, play and look around the ship, which has just been refurbished before the event began.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


Michaela Strachan

Michaela, the TV presenter and wildlife expert, had flown in from South Africa where she now lives, to present and tell the audience of over 200 people about her wildlife experiences, especially those with whales and dolphins. 

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


She also took part in a brilliant April Fools video too. (If you look close enough you can see me making a cameo appearance.)

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


The Orca Wildlife Centre

Although Michaela is not usually onboard, the ORCA wildlife centre is, and this is a brilliant resource. You'll find it on Deck 9 where there are wildlife experts from ORCA on hand to answer any questions you may have, give spotting advice and also tell you about the wildlife during their presentations.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


Passengers can visit the centre, take part in activities, spot marine life and help to record their numbers with the help of experts. The centre has various displays informing people about the types of species that can be seen in the North Sea as well as activities for children, such as a harbour porpoise version of snakes and ladders and a porpoise created from rubbish found on beach cleans.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.
From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


During a crossing, passengers can head onto the deck to spot marine life with the wildlife experts. The most common sightings onboard include Harbour Porpoises, Minke Whales and White Beaked Dolphins. For the bird lovers, you may also see Gannet, Great Skua, Fulmar and Kittiwake.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


Since the partnership with ORCA began over 4,000 whales, dolphins and porpoise have been spotted. Last summer I spent a good few hours on the decks during the evening and early morning but it was rewarded by seeing a Dolphin and two Harbour Porpoises. I'm yet to see a whale though. Maybe next time.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.

There is a large map in the Wildlife Centre showing you where wildlife has been spotted too.

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.


Among the more unusual sightings was a humpback whale in 2013 and a superpod of more than 100 white-beaked dolphins in 2014.

The wildlife watching experience is free of charge with a crossing and is available onboard KING Seaways from April until September. It is a great way, really enjoyable and educational to spend some time during the journey across the sea.
It may be coming to the end of the Easter school holidays, but there are plenty more opportunities for short breaks and holidays during the rest of the year. 
The DFDS website has lots more information about Wildlife Watching onboard the Newcastle to Amsterdam Ferry.
What wildlife have you spotted in the Sea?
Deb x
* Some images supplied by DFDS.

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a wonderful cause! This sounds so amazing!

    Rachael xox
    http://gatsbyandglamour.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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