A unique sailing experience that satisfies the desire for wind, sun, sea and freedom, combined with the opportunity to take part in a real WWF research and conservation project.
“Le Vele del Panda“(Panda’s Sails) is a project developed in 2018 by WWF Italy focused on the protection and preservation of marine fauna and which integrates the research and monitoring of cetaceans in the Pelagos Sanctuary with the trips organised by WWF Travel, the tour operator founded in 2017 precisely to create ecotourism proposals linked to environmental protection and preservation issues. The basic idea is to collect data on the presence and behaviour of cetaceans in the Pelagos Sanctuary and the Mediterranean, fundamental data for their protection, involving skippers and tourists who sail in these seas during the summer season.
WWF Italy, WWF Travel and Sailsquare together for the “Le Vele del Panda” project to carry out research cruises in Mediterranean sea
“After a “test” season in 2020, in which we made several weeks of holidays with a single boat, we realised that it would be necessary to find a leading partner in nautical tourism, to create a larger fleet of Research Cruises in order to let as many people as possible live these wonderful experiences. And so we immediately thought of Sailsquare, which we knew was the largest and most established platform dedicated to booking sailing holidays and experiences,” comments Gianluca Mancini, director of WWF Travel.
The partnership is therefore born in a year of recovery, in which sailing holidays seem to be one of the favourite choices of Italians for their summer holidays.
“We are really proud to increase our offer with the proposals organised by WWF Travel, first of all for the sharing of values such as the attention to the environment and the promulgation of a responsible tourism and in tune with the ecosystem that surrounds us,” says Francesca Ellisse, communication manager and head of the project “Le Vele del Panda” in Sailsquare. “Sailing holidays are in themselves ecological experiences that not only allow us to have a minimal impact in terms of pollution, but also to fully appreciate the connection with unspoilt nature, making travellers more sensitive in understanding how important it is to behave responsibly towards the Planet that hosts us.”
By going on board a WWF Research Cruise, not only can you experience the magic of spotting dolphins and whales, but you will also find yourself immersed in the knowledge of these animals, their behaviour and habits. What’s more, on board a WWF Research Cruise you can do something concrete for the planet.
“We have always thought of travellers as a real species to be saved from mass tourism, from the banality of destinations, from mass-produced fun, and on this we felt really in tune with the holiday model proposed by Sailsquare”, adds Mancini.
The WWF Travel Research Cruises, which can be booked on Sailsquare, are suitable for everyone, families with children, couples, groups of friends but also people travelling alone who want to combine the magic of a Research Cruise with the desire to meet new people on board. It is not necessary to have sailing experience, as there will be an experienced skipper on board all cruises, who in addition to taking the boat will be very happy to pass on his passion for sailing to the passengers, teaching the basics, to make the experience even richer.
Moreover, the “Le Vele del Panda” project does not stop at the organisation of Research Cruises only: the WWF, in fact, aims at setting up a real network of “sea observers” who, while carrying out their experiences on the boat, can give a small but fundamental contribution to the collection of data on cetaceans.
“Sailsquare’s contribution to this objective has been essential, as it has involved its entire skipper community (more than 3,000 contacts), inviting them to use the “iNaturalist” platform whenever a dolphin or whale is sighted, so that their presence and movements can be tracked,” comments Laura Pintore, naturalist and cetacean expert for WWF Italy. “This practice is fundamental for the protection and preservation of marine wildlife”.