Home » Cruise line apologizes for ‘distress’ after passengers witness brutal whale hunt slaughter

Cruise line apologizes for ‘distress’ after passengers witness brutal whale hunt slaughter

by Mahmmod Shar

Ambassador Cruise Line apologized to customers and underscored its commitment to conservation

By Peter Aitken

A whale hunt near the Faroe Islands left passengers on a luxury cruise in distress as they watched dozens of the creatures die. 

Ambassador Cruise Line apologized to customers following the July 9 hunt, when locals killed 78 pilot whales – members of the dolphin family. The company issued a statement via Twitter in which it condemned the hunt and apologized to all the passengers aboard the ship at the time. 

“We strongly object to this outdated practice, and have been working with our partner, ORCA, a charity dedicated to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and purposes in U.K. and European waters, to encourage change since 2021,” Ambassador wrote, stressing its commitment to sustainability as a “core” value. 

“We fully appreciate that witnessing this local event would have been distressing for the majority of guests onboard,” the company added. “Accordingly, we would like to sincerely apologize to them for any undue upset.” 

Ambassador CEO Christian Verhounig reiterated the company’s commitment to protecting whales and dolphins, and he highlighted efforts to “educate our guests and crew not to buy or eat any whale or dolphin meat” to avoid contributing to the continued commercial whaling industry around the world. 


dolphin hunt cruise
The Faroe Islands hunt, July 12, 2023. (The Captain Paul Watson Foundation)

The hunt, known as grindadráp, also called the “grind,” which translates to “whale slaughter,” happens regularly and throughout the year, according to Newsweek. Locals will herd the whale pods to certain locations with shallow water, where hunters wait to kill them using knives and hooks. 

A 2021 review of the hunt found that residents had killed 1,423 dolphins in just one hunt, and the Faroese government responded by placing a limit of 500 on that specific breed while not capping the overall number killed. 

An official at the time told the BBC that the incredible number was a “big mistake” that did not line up with the initial estimate of “only 200 dolphins” in the pod. 


Faroe Islands Denmark
Men check the corpses of the whales they killed, using hooks and knives. (The Captain Paul Watson Foundation)

Blue Planet Society, which has tracked the hunt and the total killings, said the July 9 hunt brings the total this year to 650, and they called on the European Union and U.K. to “take a stand against this unacceptable torture.” 


Faroe Islands cruise
Men drag a whale carcass out of the water during this week’s whale hunt. (The Captain Paul Watson Foundation)

The Faroese government insists on its website that the practice “is deemed sustainable,” requiring all hunters to carry a license and only hunt in designated areas. It notes that the total population in the region is around 778,000 and that only about 100,000 come near the Faroe Islands each year, of which they claim to kill only the smallest portion. 

“Whaling in the Faroe Islands has been regulated for centuries,” the government wrote. “The law explicitly states that the hunt is to be conducted in such a way as to cause as little suffering to the whales as possible.” 

The government stressed that the killing is not commercial, and anything caught is distributed for free to the local community where the hunt happens as part of a “traditional community-based sharing,” with whale meat and blubber “occasionally” available for sale in some supermarkets on the dockside. 

Fox News’ Peter Petroff contributed to this report.

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