January of this year was the launch of the first official Star Trek: The Cruise which is a floating Star Trek convention that sails around the Caribbean on a cruise ship. Star Trek’s William Shatner was the headliner for the cruise this year. For 2018 there are two more cruises planned, with George Takei as the top billing.
The Star Trek cruises are held on board the Norwegian Jade which follows week-long itinerary that begins and ends in Miami with stops in Honduras, Belize and Mexico. The stop in Costa Maya in Mexico includes a celebrity-hosted “Swim with the Dolphins” excursion option.
And it is this excursion option that has William Shatner concerned. In a letter penned to of Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO Frank J. Del Rio, William Shatner urges the company to stop offering this dolphin swim with their cruises. Here is the letter in full (via PETA):
Dear Mr. Del Rio,
I’m so happy that Star Trek fans have the opportunity to climb aboard Norwegian Jade’s Star Trek: The Cruise and experience their own interstellar voyage of sorts. However, so long as your company offers “swim with dolphins” experiences, what should be a futuristic voyage will be set back light years.
Never before has public opinion leaned so strongly against marine mammal captivity, presumably across all galaxies. Dolphins are highly intelligent, socially complex animals who travel great distances in the wild, often in large family pods. In captivity, they’re confined to pitiful, barren makeshift lagoons, often after being captured from the wild and torn away from their families in violent ways or after being bred into captivity for profit. There’s no justification for condemning animals to a lifetime of suffering in the name of entertainment.
Aboard the USS Enterprise, it was Captain Kirk’s duty “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations” in order to advance and diversify our own. The exploitation of any species for profit and entertainment would have violated the Prime Directive. I’m urging you to go where compassionate companies—such as TripAdvisor, MasterCard, and more—have gone before by removing “swim with dolphins” encounters from the Star Trek: The Cruise voyage, as well as from all other cruises offered through Norwegian Jade. Surely, Star Trek fans would appreciate the decision to allow dolphins to remain in the wild—and prosper.
Cruise considering request
TrekMovie has reached to Entertainment Cruise Productions who operate Star Trek: The Cruise and owner Michael Lazaroff responded via email saying they are considering the request:
We just received the notice as well, so we are working through its meaning and impact as well.
The event called out, “Swimming with the Dolphins” is a very common excursion offered by cruise lines all over the Caribbean. Our role in Star Trek: The Cruise is that of the producer of the cruise programming, meaning the shows, events, etc. Further, we charter the entire ship so we do have some latitude with respect to which excursions the cruise line will offer our guests. We may request that the cruise line remove “Swimming with the Dolphins” from the choices for our upcoming sailings. Whether we have the right to do so is unclear.
Again, I have never heard of any abuse or endangerment to the dolphins by this program, so we have never faced this decision before. As we learn more, we will decide accordingly.
Star Trek: The Cruise II in 2018 will have two sailings, on January 5th and January 11th of 2018. For more information visit startrekthecruise.com.