Did a Holland America Cruise Ship Come to Close to Humpback Whales in Alaska?

According to KTOO Public Media, “federal regulators are investigating video footage that appears to show a Holland America Line cruise ship narrowly missing a pod of humpback whales while on its way to Juneau Monday.”

The vessel in question was the Holland America Eurodam.

The video footage was shot by a man named Brent Kidd Palmer and was originally posted to Facebook. In the video, a voice narrates that the cruise ship was contacted twice to warn about the whales surfacing in the area.

Per the same article, the voice says, “There he goes steaming right over the top of where they just surfaced. Hasn’t even bothered to slow down yet.”

Under federal law, vessels must not approach within 100 yards of a humpback whale or place the vessel in the path of oncoming whales. It also says not to disrupt normal behavior or prior activity of the whales. Read more here at the NOAA Fisheries website.

A spokesperson for the NOAA Fisheries did confirm the agency was investigating the incident. The near miss occurred around 6:40am near Kingsmill Point in Juneau.

The Alaksa humpback whale approach regulation has been in effect since 2011.