Lindblad Expeditions becomes first ‘Whale Aware’ cruise line

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The World Cetacean Alliance is excited to announce a new partnership with cruise line Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic to protect whales from collisions at sea (also known as ship strikes).

Lindblad Expeditions will be the first cruise company to train their bridge crew fleet-wide using our ‘Becoming ‘Whale Aware’’ online course, which is designed to support commercial vessel operators to reduce the risk of ship strikes.

A growing threat

Last year, whale-lovers in the US and beyond were devastated when a popular humpback whale known as Fran was killed by a ship strike off the coast of California.

Sadly, Fran’s fate is a common one. Ship strikes are one of the leading causes of death for large whales and are even driving some species, like the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, to extinction.

With marine traffic around the world increasing, the danger of ship strikes is also on the rise. Research by Friend of the Sea estimates that 20,000 whales are killed in accidental collisions with cargo, cruise and fishing vessels each year.

A humpback whale in Australia known as ‘Bladerunner’, who survived a vessel strike with deep scars caused by the boat propeller. Photo by Peta Beeman (CC0 1.0).

Becoming ‘Whale Aware’

In 2020, we launched the world’s first online training course to protect whales from ship strikes, based on the most up-to-date scientific information and with support from Noble Caledonia Charitable Trust.

By becoming the first ‘Whale Aware’ trained cruise line, Lindblad Expedition’s crew will be able to assess and reduce the risk of accidental collisions at sea, helping to protect species such as humpback, minke and killer whales while cruising in Alaska and Antarctica.

Harry Eckman, CEO of the WCA, said:

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. They’re a company that shares our passion for the ocean and, more than just talking about the importance of protecting whales, Lindblad Exepditions have put words into action and are training their bridge crew to help minimise marine collisions. We hope that the committed example they have set will be replicated by other cruise and shipping fleets around the world.”

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