A deceased whale was found lodged on top of the bulbous bow on the cruise ship Grand Princess when the vessel arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska.
The operator of the cruise ship, Princess Cruises, confirmed the incident, adding that the Captain of Grand Princess notified the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Coast Guard in Ketchikan about the incident.
The company informed that it is unknown how or when this happened as the ship felt no impact. It is also unknown, at this time, whether the whale was alive or already deceased before becoming lodged on the bow.
No whales were sighted in close proximity to the ship by the bridge navigation team as it sailed towards Ketchikan overnight, Princess Cruises said.
The carcass has been removed and a tugboat has transported it to a location suitable for a necropsy. A team of marine mammal specialists from NOAA will determine the cause of death. NOAA officials said that it appears to be a juvenile humpback whale.
Grand Princess, with a capacity of 2,600 passengers and a crew of 1,150, is deployed on a 10-day round trip cruise that departed San Francisco on August 6. The ship departed Ketchikan on schedule.