The new British cruise company, Ambassador Cruise Line, has announced a partnership with the marine conservation charity ORCA which includes the first-ever anti-whaling campaign launched by a cruise line.
Ambassador, which will begin sailing in spring 2022, is also threatening to boycott future sailings to the Faroe Islands following the worldwide outrage after the slaughter of more than 1,400 dolphins.
Christian Verhournig, Ambassador’s Chief Executive, has written to the Faroese Prime Minister stating that if there are recurring incidents of the dolphin hunt, he will reconsider planned future sailings to the islands.
Ambassador, which was founded following the collapse of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, will also be monitoring the outcome of the Faroese government’s review of its commercial whaling policy and says it will cancel ports of call if marine hunting in the destination contradicts the cruise line’s pledge.
Mr Verhournig said:
“We at Ambassador feel incredibly passionate about supporting this cause. This joined up approach with ORCA demonstrates our committed action in addressing this issue of unnecessary dolphin hunts and commercial whaling and to encourage change.
“This approach has been developed taking expert advice from our new partner, ORCA who we are extremely proud to be working with, and from other global experts. We are particularly confident that this represents the best approach to maximise the impact and we hope our campaign will result in a measurable effect on the commercial whaling industry and that the incident that took place on 12 September 2021 will never happen again.”
Ambassador will be offering sailings on the newly-named 1,400-passenger ship Ambience, which was once destined to be the flagship of Tilbury-based line CMV before it went into administration. Ambassador, the first new British cruise line since CMV was founded in 2010, will also offer no-fly cruises from Tilbury and is primarily aimed at the over-50s market.
In 2022 and 2023 two ORCA ocean conservationists will join 11 cruises to countries including Iceland and Greenland. They will collect scientific data as well as delivering onboard wildlife experiences for passengers. Two of the sailings, in summer next year, will be multigenerational cruises and feature an education programme where children and families can learn about the marine environment and get involved with conservation projects.
ORCA will also have a dedicated hands-on enrichment area on Ambience with information on whales and dolphins, including models and information on the charity’s worldwide conservation work.
Steve Jones, Head of Partnerships at ORCA said:
“ORCA is incredibly excited to be involved in this partnership with Ambassador Cruise Line and are proud to be part of such an ambitious and impactful programme. The work we will be doing together will have a direct impact on protecting whales and dolphins, and after spending a lot of time with the team at Ambassador it’s clear that they care passionately about protecting the marine environment. This new partnership shows the positive impact that businesses can have, and we can’t wait to get started when Ambience sets sail in 2022.”
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photograph courtesy of Ambassador Cruise Line