Whale Found Dead on Princess Cruise Ship Bow in Alaska

Aug 11, 2017

Princess Cruises vessel sailing through Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage hit a whale that was lodged on the bow. The dead whale was removed after the cruise ship docked in Ketchikan on Wednesday morning, and towed to a nearby beach for Necropsy.

A statement released by Princess Cruises said that the cruise ship involved was Grand Princess. Officials at Princess Cruises say the company has whale-avoidance programs which require changing course and speed as required.

“It is unknown how or when this happened as the ship felt no impact. It is also unknown, at this time, whether the whale was alive or already deceased before becoming lodged on the bow. No whales were sighted in close proximity to the ship, by the bridge navigation team, as it sailed towards Ketchikan overnight.” Says the cruise line.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spokesperson Allyson Rogers said that investigators haven’t yet determined if the whale was killed by a ship strike or was dead at the time of the strike.

In a statement released by NOAA said “Office of Law Enforcement is investigating the death of a humpback whale that was brought into the port of Ketchikan, Alaska this morning. At this time, NOAA Fisheries is coordinating to have the whale carcass towed to a nearby location suitable for a necropsy to determine the cause of death. As this is an open and ongoing investigation, we are not able to provide any additional information at this time.”

Last year dead Fin whale was discovered on the bow of the Holland America cruise ship MS Zaandam when the vessel docked in Seward, Alaska. 

In 2015 Dead Fin whale has washed up in Burrard Inlet in Vancouver. Canadian authorities who inspected the whale said it was struck by the cruise ship Seven Seas Navigator when returning from Alaska.