Yesterday, residents in the Faroe Islands brutally slaughtered a pod of 30-50 pilot whales in the Danish island’s annual gruesome, grindadráp (grind). 

The Sea Shepherd organization, which is barred by Denmark from the Faroe Islands, wrote yesterday "the ordeal began this morning when locals spotted a pod of between 100-150 pilot whales passing by Svínoy. Several boats then drove the pod of whales approximately 11 kilometers to Hvannasund, where the whales were forced to beach, and slaughtered by locals. Faroese media outlets have confirmed between 30-50 pilot whales have been killed."

Admittedly, I was oblivious to this cruelty until last year when a reader of this blog asked me about Faroe Islands Whale Slaughter what I thought of cruise lines sailing to these islands. I said in a prior article:

"This weekend I read up on what I now feel comfortable calling the evil, murderous Faroe Islands. I am absolutely disgusted by what I read and by the horrific images I saw.

Around 1,000 pilot whales are killed each year in the Faroe Islands. But these are not far out at sea murders by huge Japanese ships away from civilization. These are well attended sporting events where the whales are chased into a harbor and killed by the locals with knives while their family members cheer them on. The locals call it the "Grindadráp Grind." I call it the killing of defenseless mammals for fun by sick sociopaths. Here’s what one person described:

The whales ‘are dragged to the shallow water, where participants in the kill then wade in the sea to around waist height. There they are slaughtered with traditional knives whose blades are usually 16 to 19 cm (6.3 to 7.5 in) long. Usually two deep cuts are made on either side of the animal’s neck, just behind the blow hole, causing the head to drop forward; a third cut is then made through the middle of the neck down to the carotid arteries and spinal cord, which are severed. After a period of violent thrashing the animal is paralyzed and loses consciousness, dying of blood loss in most cases. With this the sea turns bright red with blood.’

Think this is horrific? The images are far, far worse. 

. . . Pilot whales are highly intelligent. They sense fear when they and their pods are under such a vicious attack. Mother whales are gutted and their baby whales ripped out. The violence is Faroe Islands Whale Slaughterunconscionable. So is cruising there on a family vacation."

Most cruise lines still sail to the Faroe Islands and contribute to the economy there, notwithstanding this senseless brutality.

Azamara cruises there. Princess still advertises cruises to the Faroes.

HAL’s Zuiderdam and Prinsendam will cruise there this year in July and next year as well. Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Voyager calls on the Faroe Islands port of Thorshavn this month as well as Oceania Cruises’ Nautica.  Cruise and Maritime Voyages’s Marco Polo, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Wind and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca will bring passengers to the Faroes in August. NCL’s Norwegian Star and Viking’s Viking Star will stop there this September and the Viking Sky and Viking Sea will stop next year. TUI’s Mein Shiff 4, owned by parents companies Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. & TUI AG, will call there in two weeks. Windstar and Saga Cruises ships will include the Faroes on their itineraries next year. There are dozens of other cruise ships that will call on the port of Torshavn in the Faroes this summer. 

Disgusted by the carnage?  Make a promise to yourself not to cruise or travel there. Call your travel agent and complain. Tell your favorite cruise lines to stop supporting the Faroe Islands. 

July 8 2016 Update: Due to the efforts of the Wal- und Delfinschutz-Forum (WDSF), a number of cruise lines stopped calling on the Faroe Islands: AIDA, HapagLloyd, Costa Crociere and TransOcean. Readers can review copies of e-mails between the WDSF and these cruise lines leading to these cruise lines eliminating the Faroes from their itineraries.

Sea Shepherd mentions the success of the campaign last year: International Outcry Against Pilot Whale Slaughter Continues as Major German Cruise Liner Companies Cancel Faroe Islands Stops.

Read how Captain Paul Watson’s Sea Shepherd organization is campaigning to end the antiquated tradition of brutally slaughtering thousands of pilot whales

Take a moment and sign the petition to stop the slaughter here.


Photo Credit: (top) and Sea Shepherd (bottom)


  • Julia McConoughey-Shiels

    I am horrified by the barbarity and cruelty of this whale hunt – it is to my mind, mass murder. I will never have anything to do with any cruise company that goes there or supports this in any way. I suspect that many other people will do likewise so I would recommend that you avoid the Faroes and Denmark until they reconsider this practice.

  • Maryrose Markham

    Supporting the Faroe Isanders is supporting this heartless slaughter. No civilised country could perform the horrific acts seen here. I ask you to reconsider including these Islands as a tourist destination . I ,my friends and family would not consider going on one of your cruises until you stop supporting these people.

  • Jan Meinecke

    Stop even offer trips to there…they do for 1000 years already? So that means they are proud to let every body know that they are so what behind every other…
    If i see any company, that sells stuff from them, i will call every person i know to boycott them…
    There must be a legal way to stop them and their supporters…
    This world is just borrowed…not our property…

  • Rebecca Lanier

    How may we begin the dialog of banning such a gruesome act. It’s so difficult to believe that a whole community takes pride in the slaughter of sentient beings. I will make these dead whales voice heard and tell visitors to Europe to boycott Denmark and these islands. #VisitFaroe Let these cruise lines understand that the death of beings is not what tourists wish to see. It’s morally wrong.

  • Sheila Hill

    Please stop taking cruise ships to the Faroe Islands until the needless barbaric slaughter of whales continues.

  • Séverine

    Cruel, inutile!!
    Que Vous ont fait ces Dauphins??
    Je rage d’impuissance…

  • B. Manderscheid

    Don’t cruise. Don’t visit Denmark who protects them or the Farose who kill the whales. Cruise somehwere else or not at all. One year of no business might get their attention. So….

  • Mary Krettler

    Why your cruise line would be associated with such barbaric practices is astonishing… will never have my support.







  • John Howard

    My wife and I book at least one cruise holiday every year. We will NEVER go to the Faroes, Denmark, who support this barbaric action, or cruise on any line that visits these islands. Until they permanently stop!

  • Tina Shurtleff

    Boycott all cruise lines going to this barbaric place full of ignorant evil people. Also ban these people from coming into other countries. Would not want them anywhere around me.

  • Machel Burgering

    Supporting the Faroe Islands is supporting the slaughter of these beautiful whales. Horrific!!!

  • Carol Smith

    The only way to make these people see that times have changed is through their hip pocket. If the Faroese were still traditionally hunting the whales one at a time with row boats I could live with it. But to slaughter a whole pod indiscriminately severely affectes the eco system.
    Your passengers surley love to see the whales in their natural habitat. Help to make sure that this can continue.

  • Nontakorn


  • Terry Reynard

    I spread the word to my peers and it works! Three coup,Es declined cruising near these beautiful yet barbaric island and people. We are the citizens with the finances to go cruising, spread the word to those in their 50’s and 60’s…….stay away, take action as such behaviour is a disgrace.

  • Allan Horner

    In the Faroes, they eat the meat and blubber from the whales. In Mexico and Spain, they torture bulls in the bull rings. In Japan, they eat live animals like eels. In some African countries, they cut the horns off rhinos and the tusks off elephants. In the United States, they kill black bears to get their gall bladders. In China, they kill sharks for their fins. Snakes and spiders are killed everywhere. You have a choice, you can hide with your head buried in the sand, or you can learn about other cultures, whether you approve of them or not.

  • catherine lataste

    Stop organizing cruises to the Faroe Islands and encourage the brutal killing of those innocent animals. We are in 2016!! in a supposedly developed continent…

  • Nataliia Smirova


  • Susanne Kramer-Druzycka

    I will NEVER go to the Faroes, Denmark, who support this barbaric action, or cruise on any line that visits these islands. Until they permanently stop! Stop organizing cruises and encourage the brutal killing of those innocent animals, our beautiful whales!

  • Charlie

    Please stop supporting the savagery of the Faroe Islands.