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DFDS Seaways Launches 2014 Marine Wildlife Mini Cruise Season with ORCA

Marine wildlife mini cruises launch on Newcastle-Amsterdam route. Fares start from only £48 per person, based on four sharing

Award-winning ferry operator, DFDS Seaways, together with marine conservation charity, ORCA, has today launched its sixth annual wildlife-spotting season.

As part of the wildlife-spotting season, marine wildlife mini cruises are available for passengers onboard cruise ferry KING Seaways to enjoy. The exciting and educational two-night mini cruises combine relaxing cruise-style travel from Newcastle to Amsterdam with guided deck watches and the chance to learn more about the wildlife inhabiting the North Sea from trained ORCA wildlife officers who work onboard the cruise ferries during the summer season.

The wildlife officers organise a host of interactive and educational activities for people of all ages, including children. They also host ‘Wine and Whales’ seminars for adult passengers keen to learn about conservation and the variety of mammals and other animals found in the North Sea.

In 2013, a record number and variety of wildlife species were spotted on DFDS Seaways’ ferry route between Newcastle and Amsterdam, with 699 animals recorded between 1 April and 5 September 2013, including Minke Whales, Grey Seals, White Beaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. Through its partnership with DFDS Seaways, ORCA has been able to record marine life activity in the North Sea using dedicated Marine Mammal surveys as well as promote ocean conservation to passengers via the wildlife officer programme.

DFDS Seaways also supports ORCA’s Your Seas project, which is designed to help encourage local communities to make a positive impact on the marine environment by inspiring a new generation to take an active part in conservation. As part of this outreach programme, a community engagement officer visit schools based in the North East to help educate young people about the North Sea and its inhabitants.

Max Foster, passenger director at DFDS Seaways, comments, “We have enjoyed a fantastic and special relationship with ORCA over the past six years, which has not only enabled the ORCA team to conduct more ship based surveys, but which has also brought a great deal of pleasure and insight into the marine wildlife in our seas to our passengers and crew. We are delighted to be able to announce the opening of our 2014 marine wildlife observation season, which runs from now until September.”

Sara Frost, ORCA wildlife officer, comments, “The data we collect through the wildlife officer programme is incredibly important in helping us to monitor the presence of whales and dolphins in the North Sea. 2013 was an exciting year for our North Sea wildlife officers, with so many more sightings than in previous years, which provided some truly amazing wildlife moments for passengers. During 2014, we’re looking forward to welcoming yet more passengers onto our wildlife mini cruises to enjoy the experience”

Passengers keen to spot wildlife in the North Sea with DFDS Seaways, can book now for this year’s summer season. DFDS Seaways runs wildlife mini cruise packages, from £48 per person based on four people sharing, including two nights’ accommodation onboard the luxury cruise ferry and coach transfers to and from Amsterdam city centre.

In addition to wildlife deck-watches and ‘Wine and Whale’ seminars, passengers can indulge in delicious food from one of the three onboard restaurants, before heading to one of the bars to enjoy live entertainment, or take in a movie in the cinema. Passengers can then unwind in the comfort of their own en-suite cabin and enjoy a restful night’s sleep before waking up feeling refreshed and ready to explore the delights of Amsterdam.

For further information about DFDS Seaways and ORCA or to book a wildlife mini cruise visit www.dfds.co.uk or call 0871 574 7235.

For people interested to learn more about ORCA’s wildlife officer programme, Your Seas project and how to get involved in the North Sea monitoring project, visit www.orcaweb.org.uk .

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For media enquiries contact:

Chelsey Palmer or Caroline Walker on 01732 779087 / dfdspr@westgatecomms.com


Notes to Editors

About DFDS Seaways

DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships. In 2012, DFDS Seaways transported five million passengers across the 11 passenger routes.

DFDS Seaways prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.

In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Harwich to Esbjerg, Newcastle to Amsterdam, Newhaven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Le Havre.

DFDS Seaways has been named the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last three years (2011, 2012 and 2013), as well as ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ at the prestigious 2012 and 2013 World Travel Awards. It was also the only recommended ferry operator nominated by Which? Travel (2011).

DFDS Seaways operates up to 44 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes and two daily services on the Portsmouth to Le Havre crossing. It also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam and up to four crossings a week between Harwich and Esbjerg in Denmark. In addition, the DFDS Seaways network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries. For further information about DFDS Seaways, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit www.dfds.co.uk.

About ORCA

ORCA is one of Europe’s leading whale & dolphin conservation charities. ORCA was formed in 2000, providing opportunities for people to actively contribute to marine conservation for 12 years.

ORCA is committed to the study of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) conducting surveys throughout the year on ferry routes covering the Bay of Biscay, the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the English Channel.

For more information, visit www.orcaweb.org.uk .