Dolphin Conservation & Research

founded in 2002
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Coordinator | Darja
Coordinator | Darja
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


HANDS ON EXPERIENCES from the boat and land - help in observation and collection of valuable dolphin data
Help in supervised dolphin photo ID analysis which is a crucial method for the dolphin population dynamics (abundance and distribution)
Raise awareness by supporting Vivamar's activities for the Dolphin Watching activities in the area which, at the moment, are not sustainable
Learn the first steps to marine conservation, about different species of Mediterranean megafauna and how they play a key role in the well-being of the entire marine ecosystem
Have fun in snorkeling, swimming, biking, getting to know like-wise people from all over the world and do great things for the Dolphins along!
Vivamar is an ambassador between dolphins and humans. We research and inspire conservation of the last resident bottlenose dolphins with helping volunteers. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Volunteering for Vivamar represents a fantastic opportunity for you to:

  • gain first hand insight into a day in the life of a bottlenose dolphin  and all the threats that they face;
  • learn about Biology, Ecology and Conservation of Marine Mammals. You can also gain deeper insight into their physiology, ethology… and you will have a scientific supervision while working with data.
  • meet and work with a competent and engaging team of like-minded people. You’ll most likely also learn about other cultures and languages!
  • raise awareness about the importance of the dolphins’ role in the Northern Adriatic Sea;
  • enjoy the Mediterranean sun and crystal blue water;
  • snorkel from the research boat directly into the blue, off the dreamy islands in the research area;

How you’ll help

With professional support, you will help fill in our dolphin data into the database from the previous observations. You will learn how to use photo identification methods to distinguish one dolphin from the another. 
We also love when volunteers are proficient with social media, so that they can take advantage of social media platforms and advocate our dolphin activities. Otherwise Vivamar team will teach you - so it'll be very handy for your everyday life, given that we all are surrounded by the social media... 
In some teams you will be helping to prepare and, depending on the dates, attend local awareness events which Vivamar organizes. These events are great opportunities to engage with the local public and raise awareness about bottlenose dolphins in the area and explain their importance for the entire marine ecosystem...
As a dolphin volunteer, you will experience what every one of our team members has–  inner growth. After spending time with the dolphins and Vivamar, you will be more enthusiastic and passionate  – either about your everyday life, your studies, or any other project concerns you.
Throw yourself in the deep end, push yourself, grow, learn, and gain confidence – all through your time helping us.

You will stand out. Talk about your dolphin volunteering experience on Facebook, post out-of-this-world sunsets & dolphin photos from the stunning Adriatic on Instagram and your friends will be inspired!

Typical day

It represents a mixture of leisure and interesting work, so it is like:

  • we have a simple Mediterranean breakfast 
  • this is followed with a briefing of the daily tasks;
  • in the morning we analyze data from the previous encounters: checking and entering all relevant obtained dolphins' data from a previous research into the catalogue and transcript the notes made during the observation (first steps into the research analysis);
  • on the days assigned to go out to the sea, we have one of the presentations by Vivamar and one of the interesting videos from the dolphin or marine mammal world;
  • afterwards, we make a simple lunch, which is generally self-service;
  • when going off to the boat, or to the observation of dolphins from different platforms, we depart in the afternoon and stay with dolphins as long as it goes, sometimes till 8.30 p.m.;
  • we return in an excellent, overwhelming and inspired mood
  • we have the evening meal, after dinner we talk, socialize, play games, do karaoke etc.

  • in July and August – we have special additional and important activity for the dolphins. We go out to the sea with the DWB (Dolphin Watching Boats). We will do all the activities according to the briefing at the beginning of volunteering. It is very important to raise awareness about the dolphins among the tourists and tell them simple facts about dolphin biology, why these dolphins are threatened and why it makes sense to protect them - to keep the marine ecosystem healthy.

  • SUNDAY is FREE for everybody! For Vivamar team and for the volunteers! How awesome is that? You can enjoy the sea activities, be in the nature, biking, hiking – explore the neighbourhood – maybe make an excursion?


Free-time activities

On one of the days within your stay an excursion will be organized to visit Istria from the natural point of view like described above.

On other free hours you can go swimming, snorkeling, biking, hiking, sight-seeing, wine tasting - and other interesting and joyful activities.

If you tend to extend your stay over the team dates there are plenty of very attractive possibilities: from sports (diving, amazing biking, trekking, fishing, tennis, caving, golf and of course numerous of attractive beaches with the crystal clean sea. The team will be happy to help you out.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Education Requirements
Marine Mammals, Marine Ecology, Conservation, Marine Biology at Students or Bachelor and higher level
Required Documents
CV and booking form sent by Vivamar
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You must be able to swim; you should be familiar with the windows software, You should have some interest in nautical science, marine life as such, be positive thinking, enthusiastic, full of ideas and a team-player!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 09:30 - 16:30

What's Included

Services by VIVAMAR

What is included in your fee (11 days)?

  • Accommodation,
  • Wi-Fi in the research base,
  • Scientific support and motivation for the studies of marine biology (first hand by the project manager),
  • Professional lectures about dolphins and accompanied marine lectures and videos,
  • Free snorkel mask for your usage during your stay,
  • Free bike availability for the numerous cycling trails nearby,
  • Boat fuel,
  • Transfer from the research base to the boat,
  • Pick up transfer at the arrival from Umag to the research base,
  • There is no pick up& drop off at the airport - you will get exact info about this once you get the contact with the project leads directly);
  • Food (only for one dinner, when we go to the local tavern, you pay the food yourself and Vivamar pays the drinks!)
  • Participation certificate,
  • Excursion to the beautiful surrounding,
  • Daily tourist tax, basic insurance on the boat.


Accommodation: You will stay in an apartment for volunteers with two shared rooms available (with 1-3 volunteers per room). Each room is equipped with bunk beds. There is also an air conditioner with cooling and heating capabilities in the apartment along with a western-style bathroom. The apartment’s entrance extends to a spacious terrace overlooking the surrounding area, which is a great place to hang out. In addition, there is a common room with a TV and computers to your availability and enjoyment.

Beddings: you need to bring your own beddings with you. If you bring a sleeping bag you still need to bring your own sheet. In case you don’t have anything an additional charge of 10EUR will incur.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Breakfast: Cereals, toast/bread, jams/spreads, tea and coffee are available for breakfast and each team member can help themselves in the kitchen.

  • If special things are desired like: nuts, juices, soft drinks, soya milk, etc. you are welcome to buy it yourself or Vivamar can buy it with the copayment.

Lunches are prepared with the help of the assigned volunteers and after the predefined menu. Lunch generally comprises cooked simple Mediterranean menu.

Dinners are usually not hot meals and are either self prepared or prepared together, followed with washing up responsibilities shared between volunteers.

Meals are mostly vegetarian, for both health and value reasons, and typical dishes include Mediterranean food, pasta, risotto, roasted veggies etc.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Pula Airport (PUY) in Pula. We assist you to find cheap flights to Croatia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Croatia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Croatia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Croatia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Please be invited into the year 2023 research of Dolphins! Your help is of vital importance to conserve and protect dolphins in the area.
The dates will follow about the New Year 2023!


  • 1st TEAM      27st APR - 7th MAY 
  • 2nd  TEAM    25th MAY - 4th JUN - FULL
  • 3rd TEAM      8th JUN - 18th JUN- -FULL
  • 4th TEAM      22nd JUN - 2nd JUL  - FULL
  • 5th TEAM      20th JUL - 30th JUL  
  • 6th TEAM      3rd AUG - 13th AUG  - FULL
  • 7th TEAM      17th AUG - 27th AUG  - FULL
  • 8th TEAM      7th SEP - 17th SEP  - FULL
  • 9th TEAM      5th OCT - 15th OCT  - FULL
  • 10th TEAM    19th OCT - 29th OCT  - FULL
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 2 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
11 days (min. stay)
2 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$913 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. VIVAMAR will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with VIVAMAR during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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All program fees are charged directly by VIVAMAR.

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Dolphin Conservation & Research

Vivamar is an ambassador between dolphins and humans. We research and inspire conservation of the last resident bottlenose dolphins with helping volunteers.


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