The tourist board of the Faroe Islands blocked me from accessing its Twitter page "Visit Faroe Islands" (@VisitFaroe) a couple of years ago after I pointed out that the cruise industry still sails its ships there despite the cruel tradition of slaughtering hundreds of pilot whales a year. I’m still blocked today by the Faroes tourism people and the sadistic and bloodthirsty practice still continues. Cruise lines still take their largely clueless guests to the Faroes and promote tours ashore.
The Faroes tourism website features a large photo (below) of a cruise ship and encourages visitors to visit by cruise or ferry.
I say don’t @VisitFaroe . . .
Beware, the images below (after the cruise ship), taken by the Sea Shepard volunteers, are gruesome.
As I explained in Cruise Line Support Mass Murder of Whales in Faroe Islands, the local residents of the Faroe Islands massacre around 1,000 pilot whales a year. But these are not far-out-at-sea murders by huge Japanese ships away from civilization. These are well attended sporting events where the residents of the Faroes chase pods of the whales in motorized boats into a harbor and the locals hack at the whales with knives while their family members cheer them on. The whales suffer fear as they are separated from their families and die an agonizing death. The locals call it the "Grindadráp" or the "Grind."’ I call it the killing of families 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."
Mother whales are gutted and their baby whales ripped out.
Yesterday Fox News covered the horrific slaughter, showing images (video below), taken by Sea Sheperd volunteers, of the gruesome killing of these highly social mammals. It was the first time, to my knowledge, that a major U.S. television network focused on the gruesome slaughter. Many other newspapers in Europe are also carrying the disturbing images, like the Independent, Daily Mail, and the Metro.
All of the major cruise lines still cruise to ports in the Faroes and profit by selling sell shore excursions to their guests. The local tour operators receive substantial income from the cruise line passengers.
The Bad Guys:
NCL promotes excursions to Torshavn, described as the "colorful capital city" of the Faroe Islands featuring es a "panoply of Nordic landscapes, with fjords, straits, deep green valleys, and a wonderful harbor dotted with colorful boats." But no mention, of course, of the horrific whale slaughters.
Princess Cruises encourages it guests to buy tours to the Faroes with its "rough-hewn coastlines, towering sea cliffs, emerald-green valleys, and quaint grass-roofed villages," saying that the "air is some of the cleanest in the world and the abundant sea birds chatter from every cliff and cove." But the cruise line obviously doesn’t mention that the quaint "red-haired, freckle-faced Faroese people" murder hundreds of whales a year.
Oceania Cruises joins parent company NCL in selling cruises to the Faroe Islands, characterizing the port of Torshavn as a "picturesque fishing town."
Cunard makes money by convincing its guests to buy outings to the "colourfully painted wooden houses of the old town (of Torshavn) with turfed roofs." The captain of the Queen Victoria is a native of the Faroe Islands and there was great fanfare when he sailed the Cunard cruise liner into the port of Klaksvik in the Faroes.
Other cruise lines which are on the Bloody-Faroes-Wall-of-Shame: Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Viking Ocean Cruises, Seabourn, Windstar, Silversea, Royal Caribbean owned TUI Cruises, Noble Caledonia, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Polar Cruises, and Smyril Line.
The Good Guys:
A few cruise lines have discontinued supporting cruises to the deadly Faroes Islands in protest of the annual slaughter of pilot whales, namely two German lines, Hapag-Lloyd and AIDA. Disney Cruises also decided not to cruise to the Faroes after it learned of the ground swell of opposition to such a barbaric practice. So kudos to Hapag-Lloyd, AIDA and Disney which all decided to end their business relationship with the Faroes.
The public awareness of the barbaric, grisly practice is due to the tireless hard work of volunteers at the Sea Shepard organization.
The residents of the Faroes defend their deadly practice of killing whales by pointing to their "heritage and tradition" of eating whale meat. (Read: Faroe Islands ‘cherish’ their bloody whale-hunting tradition).
But the Faroe Islands has a high standard of living today, and the whale meat is high in toxins and dangerous to eat anyway.
Cruelty for a long time is hardly a tradition.
Most cruise passengers seem not to be aware of this cruelty. The violence inflicted on these sentient mammals is cruel and unconscionable. I say don’t patronize cruises to this group of bloody islands or support cruise lines which do.
Follow Sea Shepherd Global – Operation Bloody Fjords Eyewitness Account.
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Photo credit: Top – Faroe Islands Tourism; others – Sea Shepherd Global; video – Sea Shepherd Global via FOX News.
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