It's not the kind of view they'd paid for.
Luxury cruise ship passengers were exposed to a grisly sight after docking at the Faroe Islands capital of Tórshavn over the weekend.
Specifically, locals were in the process of butchering 78 long-finned pilot whales — a type of dolphin — in the adjacent bay, tinting the surrounding waters with blood, Yahoo News reports.
It was such a traumatizing view that the cruise ship operator Ambassador Cruise Line issued an apology on Monday, writing that "we strongly object to this outdated practice."
"Ambassador can confirm that the arrival of Ambition in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands today coincided with the culmination of a hunt of 40+pilot whales in the port area," the company wrote. "We were incredibly disappointed that this hunt occurred at the time that our ship was in port."
The yearly practice of hunting and slaughtering pilot whales, dubbed grindadráp, dates back hundreds of years in the autonomous Danish territory, a group of 18 volcanic islands between Iceland and Norway. The tradition involves hunters forming a circle of boats around the helpless animals and driving them into a shallow bay. Once beached, they are slaughtered by men armed with knives.
More than 500 dolphins have been killed since hunting resumed in May, Agence France-Presse reported in mid-June.
The practice has drawn plenty of criticism, with activist and conservationist groups opposing the slaughter. Volunteer pressure group Blue Planet Society called the most recent hunt "another sickening massacre of pilot whales."
Locals, however, have historically defended the hunt.
"We are very proud of this practice and we will continue as long as we decide," Faroese whale expert Bjarni Mikkelsen told Yahoo News in May.
Other netizens had a straightforward solution to save future cruise ship passengers from watching the slaughtering of pilot whales.
"It's simple," one user wrote, responding to Ambassador's apology. "Exclude Faroe Islands from your route completely. Just don't support their economy in any way until they stop. You have this power. Use it."
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