Little White and Little Grey, two rescued Beluga whales currently living in China, have had their arrival set date for their journey to a new sanctuary home in Iceland.

See also: Wildlife and Animals in Iceland

Now twelve years old, both whales were caught in the wild at a young age before being made to perform in Shanghai’s Changfeng Ocean World zoo. Over the last decade, there have been growing calls to end live whale and dolphin shows given the inadequate and cruel living conditions of captivity.

Much of the world’s media has drawn attention to the plight of the whales, and public interest in their 6000 mile journey from China to Iceland’s Westman Islands only heightens as their departure date draws nearer.

See also: Belugas prepare for journey from China to Iceland’s Whale Sanctuary

A team of logistics experts have devised the whales’ route over land, air and sea, with an expected duration time of 30 hours. In preparation, Little Grey and Little White are undergoing specialist training in order to acclimatise to the conditions such a journey will entail.

The project is being overseen by SeaLife Trust, a British charity dedicated to the conservation of our oceans. It is hoped that the new whale sanctuary at Klettsvikk Bay will inspire other such sites across the world and bring an end to using whales and dolphins as performance animals.

The two belugas will be arriving to the Westman Islands on April 16th this year.

Have you ever visited the Westman Islands, found just off of Iceland’s picturesque South Coast? Are you planning on visiting Little White and Little Grey during your trip to Iceland? Make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below.