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Italy Dolphin Monitoring & Sailing

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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How To Apply

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Find out more about Italy

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Frontier Connect Projects

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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!
Beach Emergency Hotel Meals Marine Coastal Snorkelling On-Board Family
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


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.

QUITE SIMPLY, FANTASTIC!  | 13 ago. 2018
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 ...

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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...

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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...

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I felt right at home on the first evening  | 3 jun. 2018
I had a fantastic week living on the gorgeous Jean Gab boat. I only went for one week as it was m...

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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...

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Sleep on deck underneath the stars!  | 29 abr. 2018
Taking part in the dolphin monitoring project in Ischia was a wonderful experience.  It was ...

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A Great Experience to see Dolphins & Whales  | 1 abr. 2018
A great experience to see the Dolphins and Whales in their natural habitat and to witness the gre...

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It was a gift that I was able to see this beautiful creature  | 31 oct. 2017
Working on the Italy Dolphin Project was one of the most memorable times of my life. With the inf...

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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) € 745

1 week (mid season) € 795

1 week (high season) € 845

Registration fee € 245


Project runs from May to September.

2018 start dates:

21st May - Low Season

28th May - Low Season

4th June - Low Season

11th June - Mid Season

18th June - Mid Season

25th June - Mid Season

2nd July - High Season

9th July - High Season

16th July - High Season

23rd July - High Season

30th July - High Season

6th August - High Season

13th August - High Season

20th August - High Season

21st August - Mid Season

3rd September - Mid Season

10th 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 are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.