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– ORCA Cruise Conservationists to join select voyages for wildlife observation, guided shoreside adventures and more –

 Crystal has announced a new partnership with ORCA, a leading conservation organisation dedicated to the protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans). ORCA is placing wildlife experts onboard Crystal Symphony to train Crystal’s bridge crew in the protocol for collecting scientific data about the animals’ behaviour as well as best conservation practices. While onboard for the training, ORCA’s Cruise Conservationists will also lead Crystal guests through Q&A sessions, wildlife “deck watches”, interactive data collection and guided excursions ashore.

Following the training, Crystal will continue to support ORCA’s research and preservation efforts, passing along data collected on its global itineraries to the organisation’s expert team as part of the ORCA OceanWatch programme.

“We are honoured to join ORCA in its admirable work to monitor and protect the animals and the oceans we sail. The passion of the expert Cruise Conservationists on their team is truly contagious and will certainly enlighten and inspire our guests,” said John Stoll, Crystal’s vice president of land programmes and the “You Care, We Care” Crystal Voluntourism Adventures programme. “Crystal guests are inquisitive travellers who want to experience the world, rather than just see it, and understanding the wildlife and environments of destinations is key to that purpose.”

ORCA’s experts are set to sail aboard two 2019 Crystal Symphony sailings through Alaska between Anchorage and Vancouver, training the bridge crews and leading guest activities and lectures. During the voyages – sailing 20th and 27th August – the ship will visit Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway (as well as Sitka on the 20th August voyage), and will cruise through the Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier – areas known to be rich in remarkable sea life. Onboard will be Lucy Babey, ORCA’s Head of Science and Conservation and John Young, an expert in birding and natural history and award-winning wildlife photographer.

According to Sally Hamilton, Director of ORCA, “People who live and work at sea are the most passionate about protecting it, and having Crystal take part in ORCA OceanWatch this year is a fantastic opportunity to get their crew directly involved in protecting whales and dolphins. Having the chance to showcase these incredible animals to guests aboard Crystal Symphony is an added bonus that will allow us to spread our marine conservation programme to a whole new audience.”

Crystal will look to further expand the ORCA OceanWatch programme to the rest of its ocean-going fleet. Crystal’s own onboard “Crystal Clean” programme has long encompassed a variety of environmentally friendly initiatives that meet, and often exceed, protocol set forth by the International Convention for the Safety and Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Marine Pollution Convention (MARPOL) and the International Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The line invites guests and crew to participate in complimentary excursions ashore that assist in the communities its voyages call through its “You Care, We Care” Crystal Voluntourism Adventures.


The Crystal Symphony voyages featuring ORCA wildlife experts are open for booking, with cruise only fares starting from £2,012 per person based on the 27th August sailing. For more information and reservations call Crystal on 020 7399 7601 or visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk