Ambassador Cruise Line Partners With Marine Conservation Charity ORCA

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Ambassador Cruise Line has announced a new partnership with marine conservation charity, ORCA, which includes the launch of the "Anti-Whaling campaign.”

According to a press release, Ambassador’s CEO Christian Verhounig has formally written to the Faroese Prime Minister, Bárður á Steig Nielsen, stating that if there are recurring incidents of the dolphin hunt that took place in September 2021, he will reconsider the cruise line’s position and planned three future sailings to the Islands.

Ambassador said that it will also be monitoring the outcome of the review planned to be undertaken by the Faroes Government with respect to their Commercial Whaling policy and will reserve the right to cancel such ports of call if it is deemed that activity in the destination contradicts the cruise line’s pledge.

“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,” Verhounig said.

“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 maximize 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 Sept. 12, 2021, will never happen again,” he added.

According to Verhounig, tourism is “one of the key drivers of commercial whaling.”

“(C)onsuming whale meat poses a significant human health risk. In all of our communications to our cruise guests we will advise them to avoid consuming this product in destinations that they visit. We have also taken the decision not to include any excursions to Oceanariums or experiences that involve captive marine mammals,” he said.

Should activities that force Ambassador to reconsider its sailings and change its itineraries take place, Verhounig is confident that the cruise line's guests will understand and support those decisions.

According to the press release, this pledge will include ORCA placing two Ocean Conservationists onboard the Ambience in 2022 and 2023, on 11 sailings, which is a large proportion of Ambassador’s voyages, totaling over 200 days. These Ocean Conservationists will visit countries such as Iceland, Greenland and sail the Iberian coast, Black Sea and the Irish Sea.

During their voyages, they will collect important scientific data in key areas, as well as deliver an enhanced onboard experience for all guests.

Two of the 11 cruises will be Ambassador’s multi-generational cruises in summer 2022 where ORCA will be providing a multi-generational focused education program, working with families to teach them about the marine environment and involving them in some conservation projects on the ship.

ORCA will also have a permanent presence on the Ambience with a dedicated enrichment area which will include a range of fun and exciting activities about whales and dolphins, including:

  • Educational material focused on whales and dolphins, including the ORCA OceanWatchers app so guests can try their hand at being an Ocean Conservationist
  • Models of whales, dolphins and porpoises, and replica whale and dolphin bones
  • Information about ORCA’s conservation programs and how they are working to protect whales and dolphins around the world

“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 program. 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,” said ORCA’s Head of Partnerships Steve Jones.

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