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Italy Dolphin Monitoring & Sailing

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Italy Dolphin Monitoring & Sailing

Help to track and monitor the dolphin populations in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy – home of pizza, Milano style and Italian dolce vita.

Prices from $1,295

Italy lies at the cultural heart of Western civilisation, home of everything from the Eternal City and Roman engineering, to the Renaissance masters and the best pizzas in the world, yet there is always more to see. A journey into Italy is to be embraced by the ambience of well over 2000 years of history. It is a country of great variety, whether you visit the rolling hills of Tuscany, the picturesque mountainous lakes around Como, the scintillating cities of the South or the powerhouses of the North, all characterised by the quintessential Italian dolce vita. Italy is the ever stylish, ever romantic, classical hub of the Western Mediterranean and few nations know better how to enjoy the good life. Therefore to sail the wine dark seas of Italy is to enjoy not only the landscape but the lifestyle.

Check out our Italy Dolphin Monitoring Volunteer Interview video




  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Under 18's must be accompanied by an adult
  • This is a Frontier Connect project!


Location Ischia, Italy
Activities Dolphin watching
Underwater camera monitoring
Behavioural data collection
Photographic identification
Accommodation On board an historical boat


Before you go Comprehensive pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Accommodation
Local orientation & project training
In-country emergency support
24 hour international HQ backup


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


Weather permitting you will sail out every weekday and help researchers in studying dolphin behaviour. This includes recording geographic position, assessing group size, composition and formation, observing the surface activity patterns and surfacing intervals. This sampling is complimented with acoustic recording of dolphin vocalisations to relate sounds produced to dolphin behaviour. All participants are given an important role and are required to help in data collection. No previous experience is required. At the beginning of the week volunteers will be trained to undertake specific tasks including dolphin watching, underwater camera monitoring, behavioural data collection and photographic identification.


From Naples' Capodichino airport you will take the airport bus to Beverello, the principal harbour in Naples. From the harbour there are many ferry connections to the island of Ischia. You can take a hydrofoil for Casamicciola or Ischia Porto (travel time approximately 45 minutes, ticket cost around 12 Euro) or a ferry (travel time approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, ticket cost around 7 Euro). Arriving in Ischia Porto you will either be met by a friendly Frontier representative if there are a few of you arriving, if not you can reach the project site by local bus (travel time approximately 15 minutes, ticket cost around 1 Euro).


You will be staying on board an historical boat, built in 1930 in Marseilles and designed by Andrè Mauric. The entire boat is made from wood: the hull is built from oak, the deck is in teak and below deck is made from both mahogany and oak. The boat has room for five people (mixed sex accommodation in berth) and on the bow the 'sailor's cabin' has a further two places. There is an outside shower onboard, powered by sun, although you will also be able to go ashore to shower at the local port.


A great aspect of this amazing project is that it is self-catered. This is a fun element of travelling away from home as it gives you that added freedom and is a good opportunity to bond with fellow volunteers.


Watch Eloise talk about her trip to Italy, where she took part in the Italy Dolphin Monitoring & Sailing project. She discusses the work done by the scientists on the boat as well as her thoughts on Italy and her time spent taking a career break.

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

It was a gift that I was able to see this beautiful creature  | 19 Nov 2019
Working on the Italy Dolphin Project was one of the most memorable times of my life. With the inf...

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A Great Experience to see Dolphins & Whales  | 19 Nov 2019
A great experience to see the Dolphins and Whales in their natural habitat and to witness the gre...

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Pods of 50 bottlenose dolphins  | 18 Nov 2019
After having finished my first year at work, I thought that I wanted a break, but not a conventio...

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I would say that if you wish to take part in this project you should realise that you may not see...

Read more

Sleep on deck underneath the stars!  | 14 Nov 2019
Taking part in the dolphin monitoring project in Ischia was a wonderful experience.  It was ...

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Quite simply, fantastic. The people on board the boat were all so passionate about what they were...

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The overall trip was amazing.  | 25 Jul 2018
The overall trip was amazing, I even cried when I got off my flight back in England because ...

Read more

Helpful crew, plenty sighted  | 11 Jul 2018
The week was great. First day on the boat was hard because of the waves, but everybody was really...

Read more

Mediterranean Bliss!  | 4 Jul 2018
  I've had an absolutely amazing time!!! Probably the best time ever! Angelo the Cap...

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La dolce vita!  | 17 Jun 2018
When deciding on what I wanted to do on my inter-rail trip around Italy I stumbled across the Dol...

Read more


Both on and off the project there is a huge amount available and a lot to gain from this rewarding experience. On the island of Ischia alone one can visit ancient sites from Roman and Greek colonial remains to Aragon Castle, reach the impressive summit of Monte Epomeo through the wooded footpaths or take an excursion to the neighbouring islands of Capri and Procida. The island is volcanic in origin and is the site of a number of thermal springs, ideal for relaxing after a day's sailing. More simply one can swim and sunbathe on the local beaches and share in the local social life. Essentially the work atmosphere is informal and relaxed and you will be offered a wide range of activities and options.

Furthermore you will be introduced to a diverse range of useful skills and knowledge. Alongside important research techniques and methods including photography, cetacean (whale and dolphin) behaviour study indicators, use of specific software (e.g. Logger, Rainbow Click and Whistle Detector) and research instruments (e.g. hydrophones, underwater cameras, binoculars and echo sounders), there may also be the chance to acquire sailing skills and get a good introduction to map reading and navigation.


1 week (low season) $1,045

2 weeks (low season) $2,295

3 weeks (low season) $3,595

1 week (mid season) $1,095

2 weeks (mid season) $2,495

3 weeks (mid season) $3,845

1 week (high season) $1,195

2 weeks (high season) $2,645

3 weeks (high season) $4,095

Registration fee $295


Project runs from May to September.

2020 start dates:

18th May - 24th May- Low Season

25th May - 31st May - Low Season

1st June - 7th June - Mid Season

8th June - 14th June - Mid Season

15th June - 21st June - Mid Season

22nd June -  28th June - Mid Season

29th June - 5th July - Mid Season

6th July - 12th July - Mid Season

13th July - 19th July - Mid Season

20th July - 26th July - High Season

27th July - 2nd August - High Season

3rd August - 9th August - High Season

10th August - 16th August - High Season

17th August - 23rd August - Mid Season

24th August - 30th August - Mid Season

31st August - 6th September - Mid Season

7th September - 13th September - Mid Season

14th September - 20th September - Low Season

21st September - 27th September - Low Season 



Minimum 1 week, maximum 3 weeks


Before you go

  • Comprehensive pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Accommodation
  • Local orientation & project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24 hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Naples Capodichino Apt (NAP)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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