from 1,164€

Perfect 4.6rating (34)

Whale & Dolphin Conservation in Italy

1 - 1 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Perfect 4.6  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Moderate response rate


  • Work and study aboard a sailboat cruising the Mediterranean, exploring marine life, researching while attending onboard lectures from seasoned scientists
  • Hands-on experience monitoring and observing, acoustic analysis, and seamanship
  • Ideal for Marine Biologists and Animal Science, Environmental studies professionals, and students
  • Keywords: marine biology, environmental conservation, cetology research, field-courses

Especially suitable

Age 18+

About the program

We need nature committed volunteers to investigate the declining of the dolphin populations in the Italian Mediterranean Sea.

For those wishing to jumpstart or further a career in marine biology, or for more casual conservationists keen to enjoy Italy’s ‘dolce vita’ while contributing to ecological research, this one-week Marine Biology Course on the Italian island of Ischia is for you. You will specifically ...

About the program

For those wishing to jumpstart or further a career in marine biology, or for more casual conservationists keen to enjoy Italy’s ‘dolce vita’ while contributing to ecological research, this one-week Marine Biology Course on the Italian island of Ischia is for you. You will specifically investigate declining cetacean populations in the Italian Mediterranean with a local non-profit, living aboard a historical cutter ship of 18 m and contributing to ongoing academic research and conservation initiatives.

The waters off the Island of Ischia offer a unique opportunity to study cetaceans. Since 1991, seven different Mediterranean cetacean species have been recorded.

The presence of several species gives the project a unique occasion to study and compare the behavioral ecology of the animals. The project’s principal goal is to protect whales’ and dolphins’ habitats, corrupted and threatened by human activities.

Cetacean threats in the Mediterranean include prey depletion, contamination by xenobiotics, bycatch, marine traffic, and underwater noise caused by shipping, mineral prospecting (seismic), and military sonar.

Thanks to the amount of collected and published data, in 2017, the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force recognized the coastal waters of Ischia and Ventotene as Important Marine Mammals Area (IMMA), with common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, and fin whale as key species.
The Archipelagos Pontino and Campano were also identified as IMMA, with sperm whales as qualifying species.

The research is conducted in collaboration with: CIBRA, MPA “Regno di Nettuno”, MPA Isole di Ventotene e S. Stefano.

Any economic support for the project comes exclusively from participants in the summer courses, private sponsors, and foundations. Thanks to the participation of volunteers who choose to spend their holidays collaborating on the project, it has been possible to go on in our effort until today.

Typical day

Participants live onboard the research vessel Jean Gab which preferably navigates under sail. Your staying will primarily dedicate to the research activities, and all participants will participate in the fieldwork. Every day, except for the arrival and departure days, will be spent at sea, according ...

Typical day

Participants live onboard the research vessel Jean Gab which preferably navigates under sail. Your staying will primarily dedicate to the research activities, and all participants will participate in the fieldwork. Every day, except for the arrival and departure days, will be spent at sea, according to the project and weather conditions. Your duties onboard consist of helping researchers to monitor dolphins. Dolphin behavior is recorded together with geographic position, group size, group composition, group formation, surface activity patterns, and duration of surfacing intervals. Behavioral sampling is coupled with acoustic recordings of dolphin vocalizations to relate the sounds produced by the animals to different behavioral activities. Navigation data are collected to estimate the cetacean distribution and habitat use. You will also help record the presence of sea turtles, tuna, swordfish, fish schools, mantas, moonfish, and marine birds.

Get on board with this unique project and gain invaluable research, monitoring, and evaluation skills, while enjoying Italian wine and the clear waters of the Med.

Free-time activities

Free-time activities



Minimum Age: 18 years

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 (intermediate level)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

This placement is particularly suited for those looking to gain a career in marine biology or environmental conservation. You do not need any specific skills, although any you do have will be very beneficial. Reasonable physical fitness is required.

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Global Nomadic

  • accommodation
  • insurance
  • in-country support
  • orientation and project activities
Student discount and returning volunteer discounts available - enquire when applying.
The prices can vary between US$1100 and US$1300 depending upon when you go. Enquire the exact price depending on your dates via the Volunteer World platform.


You will live on board the cutter ship. You will be in a shared cabin with basic bathroom and kitchen facilities. Interested volunteers can learn the main riggings to sail such as steering, hoisting and striking the sails, and take confidence with sheets, halyard, compass and courses. You can also collaborate with the crew during the mooring.

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Airport Pickup at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport

An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.

Food & Beverages

Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in Rome. We assist you to find cheap flights to Italy. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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 Italy provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE


If you are intending to volunteer in Italy you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Italy. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

Start Dates: Placements are available throughout the summer months, between June and October.

You will be given easy to follow instructions to get from Rome (Fiumicino) international airport to the island, where you will be met by project staff and taken to the ship.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

1 week 1,164€
Average fees 1,164€/week

Program fees

1,164€ per week 1 - 1 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal



1 - 1 weeks


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

Your final payment will be agreed with Global Nomadic during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Meet your organization

Global Nomadic

Perfect 4.6 rating (34 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2009

Verified by Volunteer World

  Moderate response rate

Coordinated by


About the project

We believe real change can happen when people find life-enhancing opportunities.

Meet your organization

Who we are

Global Nomadic empowers positive change by connecting people with projects

Global Nomadic was founded in 2008 with one clear goal – to empower change by connecting people. We believe real change can only come about when people are able to find the right opportunities with the right organisations. Over the past years, we have grown to offer high-quality international internships in a wide range of professional fields, but our aim is still the same; connecting people with projects.

We provide aspiring young professionals with exactly what is needed to set them apart in the very competitive world we live in. We exist to help you further your career through educational international work experience placements, but also to help NGOs around the world carry out their community-building work, by connecting them with you. By working with local NGOs, charities, and communities you will gain excellent experience and valuable skills, aiding you to further your ambitions – whilst making a difference where it’s needed most.

This world is not a perfect place – and we don’t claim to be able to fix it. But what we can do is provide a bridge between you and the people who can. Our mission is to work towards a better and more stable world by connecting people with projects. We believe we work better together than apart. We believe travel and exposure to other cultures, beliefs and ways of life are the best ways to achieve this. We believe you can travel the world and travel your career.

What we do

We provide access to vetted, worthwhile international internships in a wide range of professional fields.

We work in a range of different fields from veterinary medicine and environmental conservation to journalism, public health, business development and education – matching you with reputable, worthwhile organisations around the world. Unlike many other volunteer organisations, we have personally visited and vetted our project partners, to ensure you a safe and worthwhile international experience.

We also choose to only work with partners whose projects contribute to their local community in a sustainable manner. We do not support, nor advocate orphanage tourism or irresponsible wildlife conservation projects. Our aim is to help our project partners focus on their core work by offering an easy way to find committed interns and volunteers to support their daily activities.

Our volunteers

Global Nomadic is a trusted community meeting space connecting people with NGO projects around the world.

We also offer helping you to source and organise the best flights, insurance, visas and all the many other things you will need before you reach your project destinations, including country guides, packing lists and much more! We want to make sure that you have the volunteering time of your life.

Global Nomadic personally visits all volunteer sites to ensure a quality experience for volunteers. You will receive support before, during and after your placement.

34 reviews · rating4.6

Beatriz Nicolau rating5

2023 at Whale & Dolphin Conservation in Italy

I had the privilege of participating in this program which I can only describe as the best experience of my life. Angelo, the driving force behind this initiative, is an incredible individual dedicated to making the world a better place. My week on board was nothing short of amazing, offering me a ...
I have for many years now harboured a desire to go whale and/ or dolphin watching. So earlier this year in April-May 2015, I knew I had to do it. It was an opportunity I would not likely get again and a dream come true. As it happens I enjoyed the whole experience immensely and it was a dream ...
Dominic Aeschlimann rating4.8

2024 at Construction & Renovation of Community Facilities

I have been two weeks in the project to help in diffrent stuff like painting and prepairing bricks. I enjoyed it a lot and the locals were so happy when they saw it. The stuff is lovley and the other voulenteers too. i would do it immediately ...
Solange Lodomez rating4.2

2023 at Lemur Conservation Experience

I fell in love with these wonderful little animals 🥰 I didn't know that I was going to work at LemuriaLand and it has been a great surprise. The staff there is wonderful. Work begins at 7am, not 8am. Volunteer center is located in the town of Hell-Ville, unfortunately. Staff at the center ...
Hannah Lühr rating4.4

2023 at Teaching Placement in Local Schools

I did the Programme for 4 weeks, starting with the introduction week. The introduction week, was an absolute blast, exploring different aspects and sights of Balinese culture. After that, the teaching Programme started, which was at least as good. The kids were very welcoming and even though ...
Joyce Anderson rating4.8

2019 at Working at a Local Food Shop

My experience in the food shop is one that I will remember. It was arguably the most tiring thing I’ve ever done. Even if the job was just for half a day, I found it very tiring and labor intensive. I was assigned to food prep and cleaning. It was a tiring job. Despite this, I found myself ...


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