The 290-meters long Princess Cruises-owned ship entered into Ketchikan port with the carcass of the marine mammal stuck on her submerged bulbous bow. The bulbous bow is a device made to avoid wave-making.

The company's spokesman Brian O'Connor said the company was surprised and saddened to discover the whale and that it is unknown how or when this happened, as the vessel felt no impact.

“It is also unknown, at this time, whether the whale was alive or already deceased before becoming lodged on the bow”, he added.

In addition, he informed that the cruise line has a "comprehensive whale avoidance program", with relevant guidelines and speed reduction to avoid them.

According to local media, the mammal is reported as six metres- long and indicated as juvenile.

The incident is currently investigated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"At this time, NOAA Fisheries is coordinating to have the whale carcass towed to a nearby location suitable for a necropsy to determine the cause of death", said NOAA in an official statement.