Alaska, Featured

Dead whale discovered on cruise ship bow

A dead whale was discovered on the bulbous bow of the Holland America cruise ship Zaandam early this morning. Initially identified as a juvenile humpback whale, it is now tentatively identified as a fin whale.

As with the August 19, 2006 incident when the Celebrity cruise ship Summit arrived in port with a dead humpback whale, this whale will be removed and a necropsy will be done to determine if the collision killed the whale or if the whale was already dead when it was caught.

Humpback and fin whales are a protected, endangered species. A vessel that is not pursuing or harassing whales, and that reports any accident, as in this case, is not likely to receive any citations.

The Zaandam is a 61,396-ton ship, 777 feet long and 106 feet wide, with a passenger capacity of 1440 passengers. It recently visited Glacier Bay before crossing the Gulf and entering Resurrection Bay to dock in Seward.

Update on removal of whale to follow.

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Carol Griswold

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