Cruising has many advantages over other types of holiday, but it’s the sense of luxurious adventure that’s top of the list. The ability to kick back and relax on your ship, with the promise of a new experience just around the corner. Seasoned cruisers know just how beautiful a trip on the high seas can be, but there are some things you can’t spot unless you’re really looking out for them.

With so much of the world open to you on a cruise, it’s no surprise that they can offer the opportunity to see some pretty extraordinary wildlife. If you keep your eyes peeled you’ll encounter some rare and wonderful creatures which will make for the perfect memories, photographs and stories from your exclusive cruise holiday. Here is a list of some of the best wildlife that you could see on your next cruise.

Flying fish

Flying fish can be found darting in and out of the surfaces of oceans all over the world. From the Pacific to the Indian, and particularly in the Caribbean Sea area of the Atlantic, these little gliding wonders are difficult to catch but if you’re quick with the camera they make for pretty amazing snaps. Plus, there are over 40 species, so you and your friends can try to identify which you’ve seen.

Manta rays

Climb aboard a cruise around North America and Hawaii for a chance to see the manta rays roaming the area’s ocean. Kona is particularly popular for people wishing to see them. If you’re taking an excursion onto land and fancy getting even closer to these magnificent creatures, then grab some scuba gear and go swimming.

Sea lions and seals

Cute and cuddly – if a bit damp – sea lions and seals are the cats and dogs of the Baltic and Polar regions. Also found in Canada and Northern California, getting up close and personal with these delightful fellows is easy for cruisers. Sea lions generally live between 20 and 30 years, and there are lots of gathering sites to see the animals their natural habitats – so you’ve got plenty of time.

Bald eagles

Sitka Spruce trees, which are predominantly found in Alaska, make up almost 80% of the nesting locations for Bald eagles. These noble and iconic creatures are rarely spotted, but if you’re cruising this year then you have a huge advantage over other people. Bald eagles generally nest near large bodies of water with a high population of fish, so your cruise ship could be the ideal vantage point.

Sea otters

These darling animals have become celebrities on the internet in recent years. Their chilled out nature, adorable faces and tendency to float around on their backs has made them the stars of many photographs online and even a meme or two. It is thought that around 73,000 sea otters live in Alaska, which makes it the top place to spot them. Better hope your cruise ship isn’t too loud though, as they can be shy.


Massive, magnificent and magical, these wise and wordly creature roam the ocean slowly, just waiting for you to catch a glimpse. Cruisers in Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and the Caribbean are most likely to meet whales, and they could come in all shapes and sizes. Orcas, humpback, minke, beluga and blue whales are the predominant species in these areas, so keep your eyes fixed on the briny deep for all five.


Found in the impressive jungle-lined 77 kilometres that make up the Panama Canal, the appearance of an American crocodile can be one of the most exciting wildlife experiences to be found on a cruise. There’s nothing to fear of course, as you’ll be on deck. From your safe-zone you can have a proper look, a privilege very few will have in their lifetime.


Undoubtedly the strangest one on this list, the enormous sunfish is as long as it is wide, and is unlike any other fish in the sea. Although these weird creatures are mostly found deep below the surface, it is common for them to emerge to the surface to soak in the sunshine. Scientists think that this serves to give them energy for their next trip back down. There’s no need to travel far and wide to see these wacky chaps, as they’ve been spotted off the coast of the UK.


It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for – the humble dolphin. One of the most intelligent creatures in the world, as well as one of the most graceful, humans have always felt a strange affinity with these animals. When you come to face-to-face with them on your cruise you’ll understand why. They have a very kind personality, and seem to understand us on a deeper level than other species do.

You can make friends with them by booking a cruise around New Zealand today.

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