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Grand Tour Mediterranean 2017: study of cetaceans and the wide Biodiversity


The Grand Tour Mediterranean is an exceptional expedition in 2017, the wooden sailboat Avocet of Ryme. The crew will conduct a crossing 6 months, from France to Greece, from April to September, to which the eco-volunteers can join during stopovers to 10 15 to day adventure.

These sailing expeditions aim to study marine biodiversity wide, in the Mediterranean Sea. The crew lists and notes the observations of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other animals living offshore. Shipments last a minimum of 10 days, sailing, and are supervised by an eco-guide and skipper. No special skills are required to participate.



Grand Tour Mediterranean 2017: a shipment of 6 months from April to September, to which the eco-volunteers can join during stopovers to or 10 15 days. A beautiful sailing program on the boat Avocet of Ryme from Hyères and going to Greece (via Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta ...). At sea the crew will conduct naturalistic observations, while in port or anchorage, he will discover the historical and natural beauties of the Mediterranean. A nice way to combine protection of animals and adventure aboard a sailboat!

The eco-volunteers are supervised by an eco-guide and a skipper. The eco-guides all have a higher level of education in ocean sciences and received training specific to the supervision of his expeditions. All crew involved in the collection of marine information: behavioral observations, counting and data entry. The study of cetaceans and biodiversity expeditions are organized in the Mediterranean Sea from 12 years 850 more eco-volunteers participated!

The Mediterranean Sea is rich in biodiversity, the study areas are all conducive to nice encounters with cetaceans, including bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales and fin, but also turtles, sea devils, sharks, fish ... The navigation program depends on weather conditions and scientific imperatives. Usually the boat is sailing from sunrise to sunset. One or more nights off are expected, the sailing ship will also stop a few nights near the coast, in coves.

Scientific program:

Scientific monitoring of animals living off the coast requires large financial and human resources (boat, crew, observers ..). Without the contribution of eco-volunteers nothing would be possible. Throughout these expeditions, information collected at sea are returned to databases and will be shared with the scientific community for free. The objective is to contribute to research on cetaceans, the wide fauna, and pelagic ecosystems of the Mediterranean. All data have been used in several studies and have contributed to highlight new strategies to better conservation of Mediterranean cetaceans.

logo CybelleMediterranee 16x9Data collected fully contribute to Cybelle Mediterranean program. This citizen science program by the association Cybelle Planet is dedicated to tracking animals living offshore: whales, turtles, rays and sharks, fish .... Cybelle Mediterranean brings together the observations of these species reported by volunteers boaters, but also by eco-volunteers participating in our expeditions at sea. Still with the aim to gather and share knowledge, Cybelle Mediterranean, administers and moderates the OBSenMER network on the area the Mediterranean sea and manages the common tools for gathering information sea: mobile app OBSenMER, collective database .... Cybelle Méditerranée also trains ecoguides for expert-level data collection.

You will find information about Published results and the Annual shipments.

Location / Habitat

From April to September, the boat carried a shipment of France (Var), to Greece. This journey will cross the Ligurian Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea (Sardinia and Sicily), sea of ​​Sicily, Malta, the Strait of Messina, the Adriatic and Ionian seas (Greece) and the Cretan Sea.

Stops are provided for crew change and refueling the boat, all-10 15 days in port with all the necessary amenities. This is an opportunity to explore the port cities such as Calvi, Porto Vecchio, Cagliari, Palermo, Milazzo, Valletta, Lefkas, Corfu, or Kalamata.

During each mission 10 or 15 days, depending on the program and the weather, the boat will stop in coves or local ports. Moments of discovery and adventure to enjoy!

The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed sea. It represents 0,8% of the surface of the world ocean and to 8 9% of marine biodiversity in the world (in 10 12 000 species). Thanks to its rich and unique biodiversity, is recognized among the hot spots of the most important biodiversity. The sailors are very diverse background, and give rise to specific enough water circulation patterns, favoring high concentrations of marine wildlife such as marine mammals and sea turtles that live or migrate through their waters.

navigation program

The Grand Tour Mediterranean will explore the two basins of the Mediterranean, West and East, and a whole range of different marine habitats. Ocean currents, the abundance of food, the sea temperature, the morphology of the coast, the topography of the seabed, and human activities interact and influence the choice of animals to their habitats. Some habitats are of particular and fundamental value in the life cycles of various species, as they are used either for reproduction, such as shelters for winter or for food because of the abundance.

The navigation program will cross the maritime areas known for their richness in fauna. Some areas are more studied than others (Pelagos Sanctuary), and it still lacks a lot of information on the offshore marine fauna of the eastern Mediterranean.

The coasts of Corsica and Sardinia provide stunning wild landscapes (cliffs and landscapes of Corsica, Lavezzi Islands, Costa Smeralda, the Maddalena Archipelago ...). The navigation program will allow you to discover the wonders in April and September, ideal times, away from the usual summer crowds.

Le Pelagos Sanctuary for Marine Mammals, Northeast of the Mediterranean. This area is very productive and rich in plankton, is much frequented by marine mammals. Its characteristics have led to the creation of a protected area. The marine sanctuary is an agreement signed in 1999 between Italy, France and Monaco. The protection zone of almost 90000 km² goes the Giens peninsula, south of Tuscany and northern Sardinia. The entire west coast of Corsica is part of the sanctuary. In this perimeter meet regularly to 2 3 000 25 000 whales and dolphins.

Southeast of Pelagos Sanctuary, the Tyrrhenian Sea is known for its rich biodiversity. The northern Tyrrhenian side has been widely studied, the southern part up to Sicily is less known, but it seems that many species of cetaceans and other animals live there. In addition, the waters of Sicily and Malta are a center of passage (especially in spring and autumn) for cetaceans traveling between the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean.

In northern Greece, in June, the boat will sail up Adriatic Sea, From Corfu. This Mediterranean region, despite its shallow depths, provides a favorable habitat for marine life. It is regularly frequented by several species of cetaceans like fin whales, the sperm whale, and dolphins; the monk seal is also reported but very occasionally, and several beaches are known nesting sites of sea turtles.

La Ionian seaMediterranean is the central region, the greatest depths are found there with pits - 5000 meters! This area is still too little explored, but several species are known to find a preferred habitat, especially during the summer. Along the Greek coastline, several nesting sites of sea turtles are identified, and the last Mediterranean monk seals can still be seen occasionally. Depending on the weather, the boat will go down to Crete.

This journey of 6 months will explore the broad and the coast of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta and Greece. Each step you will discover historical sites and a rich cultural, archaeological, artistic and dazzling. The discovery of the coast, islands and Mediterranean islands, real jewels of biodiversity, is the more beautiful it takes place from the sea.


The most commonly encountered species:

Grand Dauphin (Tursiops truncatus): The most familiar of cetaceans in the Mediterranean. These dolphins live in small groups of 2 15 to individuals in coastal waters. Species listed as 'vulnerable' in the Mediterranean on the red list of the IUCN. Mediterranean population is estimated to 10 000 individuals.

Tursiops truncatus, copyright Cybelle Planète

whale Common (Baleanoptera physalus): The second largest animal in the world (after the blue whale). They usually live in small groups, on the high seas in areas rich in plankton. Their distribution varies with the seasons, west and center of the Mediterranean Sea. Species listed as 'vulnerable' in the Mediterranean on the red list of the IUCN. Mediterranean population is estimated to 5 000 individuals.

Balaenoptera physalus, copyright Cybelle Planète

pilot whale (globicephala melas): Most friendly cetaceans, they live in groups of more than 10 50 individuals. This whale is present mainly in the Western Mediterranean. Knowledge is insufficient to estimate the state of the population in the Mediterranean Sea.

Globicephala melas, copyright Cybelle Planète

Risso (Grampus griseus): Widespread species that normally lives in deep waters, in small groups. The Risso's dolphin is widespread in the Mediterranean. Knowledge is insufficient to estimate the state of the population in the Mediterranean Sea.

Grampus griseus, copyright Cybelle Planète

Sperm whale (Physter macrocephalus) Species mainly present at the continental slopes or they can dive for over an hour in search of food. Sperm whales are distributed across Mediterranean. Despite the absence of reliable estimates of the size of its population, it is believed that the total number of sperm whales in the Mediterranean does not exceed a few hundred individuals. Species listed as 'vulnerable' in the Mediterranean on the red list of the IUCN.

Physeter macrocephalus, copyright Cybelle Planète

Dolphin Blue and White (Stenella coerueoalba): Very common species throughout the Mediterranean, the blue and white dolphin trip often in large groups and prefers open waters beyond the continental shelf because of their rich food. You can also find near the coast, where the water is relatively deep. Species listed as 'vulnerable' in the Mediterranean by the IUCN Red List.

Stenella coerueoalba, copyright Cybelle Planète

Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) Species historically very common in the Mediterranean, the population decreased by more than 40 50% in recent years. The common dolphin is very abundant in the Strait of Sicily to the Ionian Sea. Species classified as "Endangered" in the Mediterranean on the red list of the IUCN. Knowledge is insufficient to estimate the state of the population in the Mediterranean Sea.

Delphinus delphis, Cybelle copyright Planet

Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus): At 18ème century these animals were observed throughout the Mediterranean, now this species is relegated to some Turkish and Greek islands. the population is estimated at less than 600 individuals. Species listed as "In Danger of Extinction Review" in the Mediterranean by the IUCN Red List.

Monachus monachus

Three species of sea turtles are found in the Mediterranean. The Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) Is considered as a kind of way. The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) Et the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) Lay in the Mediterranean, mainly localized sites of Greece in the far east of the Mediterranean. These two species are classified as "Endangered" in the Mediterranean by the IUCN Red List.

turtle, copyright Cybelle Planète

Le Sea DevilOr Mantis Mediterranean (Mobula mobular), Is present only in the Mediterranean (endemic). Species classified as "Endangered" in the Mediterranean by the IUCN Red List.

Mobula mobular, copyright Cybelle Planète

Finally, you will have the opportunity to observe many other species: shark, swordfish, tunas, Pisces moon, many bird species (puffins, Oceanides ...), and numerous macro-plankton species ( jellyfish).

Involvement ecovolunteer

As qu'écovolontaire you 4 roles for scientific work under the direction of eco-guide:

  • Visual observations: Behavioral monitoring cetacean groups, counting animals met, monitoring of maritime traffic ....
  • Taking notes (GPS location, weather, animal data ...)
  • computer input of data collected: Using OBSenMER application level EXPERT.

Constant monitoring is provided on the deck, so as to obtain the most accurate information possible. In the day, and depending on demand, the eco-guide will give explanations about cetology and the marine environment.

The ecoguide is responsible for photo-identification of cetaceans: primarily Risso's dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and black Pilot Whale, Sperm Whale and Common. Photographs of eco-volunteers are welcome and will contribute to the development of photo-identification catalog.

The ecovolunteers fully participate in the life on board observations and data collection, using maneuvers the boat and bar shifts, meal preparation ...

The sailing time will be mainly devoted to the collection of information on the wide wildlife. Outside these times, you can swim in the sea or at anchor in the coves and islands (with the agreement of the crew).

quarters of 3 people are planned throughout the week for observations, preparing meals and washing dishes.

In order to get a realistic idea of ​​your everyday life on board, consult logbooks missions from previous years.


The project accepts interns. Applications will be accepted on a case by case, depending on availability and the candidate's profile. Mission costs are the same for eco-volunteers and trainees.

Internship applications must be made to Cybelle PlanèteWe will help you in your efforts.

Requirements and constraints

To participate in this mission you must have:

  • good visual,
  • the ability to work in teams,
  • a good ability to concentrate for several hours,
  • friendly behavior vis-à-vis nature and environment,
  • the ability to live in community, be tolerant and positive,
  • able to swim at least 50 meters.

Before you register:

  • It is important to take detailed documentation for download (see right of this text).
  • You will need to return the medical fitness form (attached to the detailed documentation) completed and signed by you and your doctor.
  • You will also need to send us an email regulatory information about you (list provided after registration).

Language (s) used (s)

French or English

Conditions for minors

Minors are accepted from 16 years accompanied by a parent. However this means that they will participate in different tasks in the same way as the rest of the crew, irrespective of their accompanying parent. The crew members are not educators, and no special treatment will be made at participating youth, life on board is collective and constraints are the same for all. We therefore ask them to show maturity and motivation to accept to live in an adult crew and to be considered as such.

Any request for participation from a person under 18 years must be accompanied by a cover letter from him, written in French.

For participants minors, parents must provide a disclaimer to Cybelle Planet.


All assignments begin and end at the port, the place of embarkation and disembarkation of ecovolunteers is set according to the navigation program. The appointment to place the port in the morning of the first day, the boat if it is docked or Annex if the boat is at anchor. Once all the preparations (Fuelling racing, storage and organization ...), the skipper and the eco-guide will present the life and safety instructions as well as the scientific program. The departure, if weather conditions permit, held the same afternoon or the next morning.

The end of the mission held 10 or 15 days later, in the late morning after cleaning the boat.

People participating in two consecutive sessions: One or two days "off" are planned between the two sessions. The eco-volunteers will sleep on board, however.

General navigation : Coastal, high seas and nights off if necessary. Possible stops in coves along the coast. One or more nights at sea are likely. Depending on the purpose of the day and weather conditions, navigation plans are not expected before the night.

The project can not be held responsible for meteorological hazards :

The last day of your mission as your date of participation the boat will land at the planned port. However, although this is highly unlikely, extreme weather conditions may prevent the vessel to reach the right port. In all cases no refunds will not be required by eco-volunteers.

Sessions "offshore":

Two sessions of the Grand Tour Mediterranean contain an "offshore" Crossing: from 27 / 05 / 2017 10 to / 06 / 2017, and 07 / 08 / 2017 21 to / 08 / 2017. These are reserved for eco-volunteers who have had an experience of life on a sailboat (several days) and having a good physical condition. Be aware that the yacht will sail off for several days, involving nights sleep shifts and days, increased fatigue, and the need to help the skipper.

Pause time and visits :

If time does not go out to sea, or if the crew wants to rest on a stopover, several solutions will be considered: anchor in a creek or a port where the crew can arrange tours, walks ... It is important to understand that visits of "tourism" are not the main objective of this mission and that every time the boat must be validated by the skipper and the eco-guide and answer to a collective demand the crew.

For more information on the course of the week and the observations you can consult logbooks missions from previous years.


You are hosted on a boat that has all the equipment necessary for navigation in safe conditions. On board, two double cabins, one cabin sleeping 4, and a crew bunk. A bathroom with toilet. Accommodation on board the sailboat imposes certain constraints: the use of water is restricted by sea, and you have to share your cabin with one or another ecovolunteer (preferably the same gender as you). Comfort is therefore limited and the important promiscuity.

Life on board is friendly and warm, food preparation, dishwashing and cleaning are alternately shift of 3 people, and meals take place in the cockpit, or in the square. Everyone is required to help with household chores such as shopping, cooking, cleaning ...

The fueling races are conducted on the first day or during a stopover. On a sailboat storage conditions are limited, especially for costs, and it is not possible to make a special menu for each passenger. Vegetarians, however, are welcome.

copyright Cybelle Planète

The boat

Ryme of Avocet is a unique sailboat (type Mustang 45) in epoxy wood, built by the famous shipyards Mustang yachts of the Isle of Wight in England. Sailboat character and very pleasant, of Avocet Ryme is powerful with a distinctive silhouette that allows him to go upwind very easily.

Fully equipped with solar panels and wind, the boat has a large energy independence.

Read more about the boat

this avocet


Depending on the navigation program, the number of eco-volunteers is limited 6 or 7 per session.

Dates and mission expenses

2017 mission costs and dates

In 2017 10 we offer missions or 15 days. This period is considered ideal to make the most of his experience, given the vagaries of weather and acclimatization time on board ...

However for those who can not liberate more than a week, we maintain shipments 7 days in July and August in the Pelagos Sanctuary.

special : Donation amount "mission" and dates

Dates Ceaces GT 2016 share promo

* Offshore session, reserved for eco-volunteers who have had a life experience sailing and having a good physical condition.

NB: the 04 / 09 session at 13 / 09 is switched to the low season rate.

5% discount for groups from 2 people.

Eco-Solidarity leave :

The eco-solidarity leave allows employees to go on a mission during their leave with financial support from their employer. more

cetaceans dates GT 2016 CES

* Offshore session, reserved for eco-volunteers who have had a life experience sailing and having a good physical condition.


NB: the 04 / 09 session at 13 / 09 is switched to the low season rate. 


tax deduction For individuals, participation entitles you to a tax deduction of 66%. Thus for a donation of € 1100 this project will actually cost you only € 374.

For businesses, employees participation entitles you to a tax deduction of 60%. Thus for a donation of € 1265 this project will actually cost you only € 506.


Mission costs include:

  • coaching on the boat and the skipper
  • logistics (sailboat, marina seats, fuel, ...)
  • the operating costs of the association
  • the food

Mission costs do not include:

  • Travel A / R to the port of Hyères,
  • possible overloads caused by a sudden change of route (weather)
  • membership in the Association of € 50 (required).
  • travel insurance (optional).

Travel Information

The meeting place is the first day 10h the port. You must reach the port on your own. The crew phone number will be communicated in advance and you can call them the same day to know the exact location of the appointment.

The crew will not offer accommodation on board before or after your mission. You will need to provide your accommodation.

The last day of participation the mission ends in late morning.

Ports of embarkation and disembarkation ecovolunteers are detailed in the "Dates and Prices" in this document.

to note : While all efforts are made to meet the planned route, it may happen that the boat can not reach the port of arrival (unfavorable weather conditions). It is foreseeable that in 2 3 days in advance, and we ask participants to provide train tickets, ferry or plane refundable. In no event Cybelle Planète not reimburse the additional costs caused by a change of route due to the weather.

Travel arrangements

You need to organize your trip by yourself to the project: transport, visas, vaccinations if necessary ....

You will find on our website information concerning visas.

Cybelle Planet can arrange for you to book your airline ticketsThis service is optional.

Conditions of participation

The general conditions of participation in eco-volunteering mission Cybelle Planète are available online and downloadable. We urge you to consult.

Commitment ecovolunteer

Before you commit as qu'écovolontaire you will need to have read and accepted the commitment ecovolunteer To view online or to download.

Annual fee

Cybelle Planète is a French association 1901 law, eco-volunteering stays are for day to members of their members annual fee of € 50. This membership gives you automatic access to insurance (including liability, repatriation, medical expenses).

Learn more about memberships


In addition to the insurance included in your membership, we recommend that you also take out cancellation insurance, loss or damage of luggage, delayed flights ... Cybelle Planète offer you insurance in your pre-registration (optional). Learn about insurance

ethical commitments Cybelle Planète

Cybelle Planet is a non-profit organization. Profits are totally dedicated to the functioning of the association to achieve its goals! Historically, we choose sharing, equity and solidarity for all our actions.

Our engagements

Ethics Cybelle Planète

Tax deduction

Participation in one of our eco-volunteering mission is for our members "support" paying to Cybelle Planet Donate "mission" in addition to their commitment on the ground. Every donation made to Cybelle Planète qualifies for a tax deduction (for companies or persons subject to corporation tax or income tax in France).

Learn more about the tax deduction

Medical fitness form

Your registration can not be validated unless we have received your medical fitness form completed and signed by you and your attending physician.

In order to avoid possible difficulties, we ask you to describe to us, as honestly as possible, your physical and emotional state.
Regardless of the medical situation, all projects are designed to accept as many participants as possible. For this reason, they remain attentive and are very understanding of the various health problems a candidate may have. All solutions are considered to enable the candidate to participate in the project, regardless of his or her state of health, and to the extent possible.
The consequences of misleading and / or omitted medical declarations can be very restrictive for the entire team involved in the mission, and in some cases dangerous (missions on the high seas, in very isolated sites, etc.). So, Any false declaration, omission or false information may be sanctioned by the immediate and definitive exclusion of the participant At its own expense and upon the exclusive and unilateral decision of the project.

Download the form for a francophone mission

Download the form for an English speaking mission

Testimonials for this mission ecovolunteers