Captain Kirk William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the 1960 classic science fiction television series Star Trek, reportedly recently urged Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) to stop offering "swim with dolphins" excursions on its upcoming Star Trek themed cruise.

According to the Hollywood Reporter (THR), Mr. Shatner is hosting the "Star Trek: The Cruise" voyage aboard the Norwegian Jade this coming January. He and the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), asked NCL to end the swim-with-the-dolphins outings supported by the cruise line. He wrote a letter to NCL’s CEO Frank Del Rio, saying: 

"Aboard the USS Enterprise, it was Captain Kirk’s duty ‘to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations’ in order to advance and diversify our own. The exploitation of any species for profit and entertainment would have violated the Prime Directive. 

THR writes: "Shatner argued he’s ‘happy’ his fans can sail on the themed-Norwegian Jade voyage, but insisted condemning captive animals to a ‘lifetime of suffering’ for entertainment cannot be justified. Surely, Star Trek fans would appreciate the decision to allow dolphins to remain in the wild — and prosper." 

NCL, of course, could not be reached for comment, according to the article.

NCL was last in the news for its exploitation of rare macaws in its development in Belize at Harvest Caye. The cruise line reportedly obtained numerous birds (toucans and other macaws) and animals and reptiles from the Belize government from the wild and/or rescue and rehabilitation centers for NCL Frank Del Rio display in cages for the benefit of cruise visitors. 

The prospect of CEO Del Rio responding to the commander of starship Enterprise? Between slim and none, in my opinion. Del Rio, who collected over $30,000,000 as CEO for NCL in 2015 alone, has a well deserved reputation for looking for every possible way to put money in the cruise line’s coffers. 

NCL is just one of many cruise lines which sell exploitative swim-with-the-dolphins excursions to its guests.

Del Rio is probably the least likely cruise executive "to boldly go where no other cruise CEO has gone before."

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Credits: Captain Kirk – Star; Frank Del Rio – Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Storify.

  • Owen

    You bet!!.NCL will ignore shatners request……….

  • Bill

    Shatner isnt on the cruise. George Takai is hosting it according to the official website. So I doubt that they will listen to what he has to say.

  • Jim Jones

    You say that DelRio “has a well deserved reputation for looking for every possible way to put money in the cruise line’s coffers”. Isn’t this the job of the CEO? Isn’t that what the shareholders pay him to do?

  • Concerned cruiser

    You bet he will. Del Rio is only concerned about $$$, $$$, $$$ and not such educational animals like “Flipper” the TV dolphin who greatly increased my knowledge and the like for the Dolphin or “Jeff’s Collie,” the series that became so popular it was renamed “Lassie” in the 50’s or the 60’s. While I’m not a serious “Trekkie,” I liked the “Star Trek” series and believe in the honesty of William Shatner. It’s no wonder that a cruise line company like NCL can be so mismanaged both in the interior offices ashore as well as afloat as they are and still continue to rake in the money by nickel and diming their passengers every turn they can get. I wasted two full days with them [from just after an 08:00 arrival until sailing time of 16:00] trying to board the Norwegian Breakaway for preliminary pictures in reference to an anniversary celebration with over 60 people for an “on board 7 day surprise cruise” after the fares were fully paid. The true publicity as stated herein is certainly bad publicity for a major cruise line such as this is. Their policy for charging for a very “Human Necessity” such as water and the automatic gratuity is absurd to say the least. NCL and all the cruise lines of today really need to stop this wild and absurd practice. When I sailed under the proud “Stars and Stripes” on the S.S. United States, tips were earned if good service was rendered during a “Trans–Atlantic” crossing. Now a $30,000,000 COO’s take home pay wants even more and more “American Dollars” and seeks now to exploit the “Cuban” market. He should be ashamed of himself, but trust me, he’s not! Does he or his NCL company ever pay the proper American taxes that they rake in from every American passenger that they rake in in the form of “Port Taxes”? I think not! In reality, most goes back into the company’s treasury. Yet we passengers pay fleet wide these unnecessary fees. Does NCL reimburse the U.S. Coast Guard for all the medevacs that they do for the on board passengers or crew when needed?