Dolphin & Whale Research in Italy

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Program Description

Volunteers with this program will assist in researching bottlenose and striped dolphins, pilot whales, Risso’s dolphins, sperm whales, and the magnificent large fin whale. Cetacean Volunteer Researchers are invited to join this project from May to September for one or more weeks.

We welcome all students, families, groups, and individuals who are interested in research.

This project began in 1990 and has investigated the behavior and ecology of cetaceans that live in the Cetacean Sanctuary. This is a specially protected marine area that extends between France and Italy.

The Project
Volunteers will assist scientists in field activities through collecting data on cetaceans and assisting researchers with the initial analysis of acoustic recordings and digital photos. Volunteers will learn the basics of how to sail.

Volunteers will work side-by-side with researchers and be trained during informative lectures. Volunteers will contribute to analysis and collection of data by helping to analyze digital photos of cetaceans and recording behavior and number of animals during certain periods.


Volunteers will stay on a 21m sailing boat that is comfortable and can house 16 individuals. There are five cabins with two four-bed domiciles and two single beds that share a single bathroom. Finally there is a cabin for six individuals who will stay in two single beds and two double beds. The four-bed cabins and cabin for six each feature a private bathroom with hot water and a shower. Volunteers will cook with staff members in a rotation. We can accommodate those with specific diets.

We are proud of our tasty Italian meals for our marine volunteers. During periods of harsh sea conditions or unfortunate weather, this boat will remain in a sheltered bay or harbor. Volunteers can visit surrounding areas, attend lectures by the staff or assist with computer work and data analysis during these periods.


Ability to swim

Volunteer Types

Marine conservation

What`s Included

Food and beverages (breakfast, lunch and dinner, except for alcoholic and soft drinks) for the duration of the cruise

- Accommodation on board
- Mooring expenses in Sanremo harbour
- Electricity, water heating and cooking costs
- Fuel for boat and dinghy
- Lectures and training by researchers
- Scientific supervision
- Certificate of involvement in the Cetacean Sanctuary Research
- Personal insurance for the duration of the course, issued by the Research Institute
- Research contribution

Program Locations

Portosole, Italy

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Program Details

WorkingAbroad Projects
  • Italy: Portosole
Throughout the year
Program Duration:
1-2 weeks
American, Asian, Australian, Canadian, European, Kiwi, South African, Worldwide
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