Whale & dolphin research in Ligurian Sea, Italy

Sign up for six days as a full crew member on a 21m Motorsailer boat (max group size 11) and study cetaceans living in the Pelagos Sanctuary.
Ligurian Sea Pelagos Sanctuary research focuses on: sperm whales, fin whales, Risso's dolphins, striped and bottlenose dolphins direct involvement in field activities lectures on cetaceans, marine biology and conservation sighting, computer, navigation and boat keeping shifts freetime to swim and relax
805To950 excluding flights
6 Days
Small group
Not Accepted
More info
10% discount for students (under 26) on some courses.
Price includes all meals on board for the duration of the course
Make enquiry

Description of Whale & dolphin research in Ligurian Sea, Italy

Price information

805To950 excluding flights
10% discount for students (under 26) on some courses.
Price includes all meals on board for the duration of the course
Make enquiry

Check dates

For departure dates contact us on 1-866-821-6866

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10 Reviews of Whale & dolphin research in Ligurian Sea, Italy

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 07 Jun 2022 by

Fantastic Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2020 by

A wonderful way of discovering and seeing more of the Mediterranean cetaceans - and other too rarely seen inhabitants (a mola mola, a blue shark, many more turtles than expected.) Sharing life on board with the research team is a great way of understanding research and conservation issues. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2016 by

Seeing dolphins for the first time....Living conditions are certainly not luxurious, but if willing to rough it a little and help out, it is a greatly enjoyable vacation Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Jul 2015 by

Saw species of Whales that I had not seen before! Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2013 by

It was definitely one of my best two trips ever. Loved the people in the group, the activities, the animals and the overall experience. I would definitely recommend it. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2013 by

Excellent - fun, friendly and highly knowledgeable team made it a very worthwhile experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Jun 2013 by

Excellent...Don't hesitate but keep in mind it is not a cruise but you are there to help. Fun but can be tiring. Worth it Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Aug 2012 by

The most memorable part were the great spottings of whales and dolphins - baby bottlenose dolphins...Excellent, certainly one of the best experiences I have had on an organised tour. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2012 by

Just being on the ocean seeing so many marine animals created memories which will last forever. So many sightings of whales and dolphins and even multiple sightings of "solitary" sperm whales!...Fantastic. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Jul 2012 by

The most memorable part of the vacation was when I saw the playful dolphins in the middle of the Ligurian sea...My research/ vacation was great. I would give it 9 out of 10. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


In 1990 Tethys Research Institute was the first to propose the creation of a Marine Reserve in the Corso-Ligurian basin, based on original data collected in the field. After a decade of lobbying by us and others, the Governments of Italy, France and Monaco signed a joint Declaration for the creation of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Cetaceans. This has been a major conservation success in the region. The agreement, finally ratified in 2003, represents an important step towards the final goal of ensuring protection to whales and dolphins living in the area.

The aim of the our research project is to provide a scientific basis for the management of Pelagos. Intensive research conducted by the project is highlighting the conservation needs of several cetacean species and has been raising remarkable awareness. Since 1992, almost 4,000 volunteers participated in the research cruises. Living on board and co-operating to different aspects of the research creates a bond between researchers and volunteers, leading to a stronger commitment to environmental conservation.

Participants are informed about marine ecosystem damage caused by human activities and provided with sets of solutions ranging from personal changes of behaviour (e.g. responsible consumption of seafood) to collaboration with NGOs active in environmental protection. Ways to address the main threats facing cetaceans and the marine environment are discussed in the context of informal 'round tables'. The participation in this projects is - in itself - a way of supporting the work of a group committed to the conservation of marine biodiversity.

How this company makes a difference: We are a non-profit research organization partner to ACCOBAMS, the UNEP's Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area. We aim to protect the Mediterranean biodiversity by promoting the adoption of a precautionary approach for the management of natural resources.

Photo credits: Federico Bendinoni, Sabina Airoldi/Tethys Research Institute


Public awareness and conservation activities, coupled with education and capacity building, find their strength in our 30+ years of experience studying cetaceans in several Mediterranean countries. Our work seeks to prevent the decline of marine species and to encourage a sustainable use of the marine environment, particularly where habitat degradation makes it necessary.

We have contributed over 500 scientific publications that substantially increase present understanding of Mediterranean cetaceans. Over the past two decades we have trained and involved in our research activities thousands of people from around the world. We participated in countless management and conservation meetings, and organized a number of actions to raise local and regional awareness on the need to protect whales, dolphins, and the ecosystem that supports them.

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