German cruise lines cancel Faroe visits over whale hunt concerns

Two German cruise lines have stopped visiting the Faroe Islands in protest over an annual pilot whale hunt.

Staff at Hapag-Lloyd and AIDA said they are now looking to visit alternative destinations and have urged the islanders to halt the practice.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) said it is not just pilot whales that end up being killed in the hunt for their meat, but also various dolphin species.

The whales are rounded up at sea and then driven to the shore where they are killed by the islands’ inhabitants

Director for environment and community and chief sustainability officer for AIDA, Dr. Monika Griefahn, told the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society: “In the interest of our crew and our guests as well as for reasons for species protection, AIDA Cruises has decided to stop making port calls to the Faroe Islands until further notice.”

Karl Pojer, Hapag-Lloyd’s chief executive, added: “Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is committed to treating flora, fauna, and the marine ecosystem as well as all its creatures with respect.

“We protect what fascinates us – it is therefore high in the interests of the company that whaling on the Faroe Islands is stopped.”

His sentiments were echoed by his head of corporate communications Negar Etminan who added: “We have already reduced the amount of port calls to the Faroe Islands. There is only one port of call scheduled for the Faroe Islands next year.

“We will refrain from further port of calls to the Faroe Islands for now and are currently checking possible alternatives for the scheduled itinerary next year.”