AIDA Cruises will divert their ships AIDAdiva and AIDAvita to Kirkwall in the Scottish Orkney Islands.
Director for Environment and Community and Chief Sustainability Officer for AIDA, Dr. Monika Griefahn, stated to Sea Shepherd:
“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.”
Hapag-Lloyd will also cancel all future calls to the island. Karl J. Pojer, Hapag-Lloyd’s chief executive, explained:
“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.”
Meanwhile, Negar Etminan, Head of Corporate Communications for Hapag-Lloyd, stated:
“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.”
The Faroe Islands Pilot Whaling Act requires all persons to report sightings of whales to the district administrator. Anyone who does not immediately report a sighting is in breach of the law.
CEO of Sea Shepherd Global, Captain Alex Cornelissen, said:
“While our crewmembers have been found guilty of defending pilot whales, the fight against the continued slaughter of cetaceans in the Faroe Islands is rapidly gaining momentum. I congratulate AIDA and Hapag-Lloyd for standing-up against this cruel and unnecessary slaughter, and for sending a clear message to Denmark and the Faroe Islands that the world will no longer tolerate this bloody ‘tradition’.”
Many cruise lines such as Crystal Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Cruise & Maritime Voyages, still regularly visit the Faroe Islands.