Seabourn diverts cruise ship from Indian Ocean because of pirates

Oct 12, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

Pirates operating in the area around Somalia have succeeded in chasing away another cruise line from operating in ‘their’ waters. American cruise operator Seabourn announced last week that it has cancelled a series of voyages in the Indian Ocean directly as a result of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and in waters adjacent to the Seychelles.

The voyages involved the vessel SEABOURN LEGEND which was due to cruise in the Indian Ocean during the southern summer of 2010 and 2011. Instead the ship will reposition to the Caribbean for the northern winter after her summer and autumn season in the Mediterranean.

Seabourn Legend is the latest cruise line to avoid the region due to piracy. MSC has already re-routed MSC SINFONIA to sail down the Atlantic coast en route to a 2009/2010 summer season in South Africa, and will return to Italy that way in April 2010. This follows the attack made on the MSC MELODY on her positioning voyage from South Africa back to Genoa in April this year.

German operator Hapag-Lloyd has also chosen to avoid the Gulf of Aden as has Fred. Olsen with its BALMORAL World Cruise in early 2010. Balmoral will instead sail round the Cape of Good Hope, which is good news for South African ports that will now be visited instead.

Several other cruise lines have however continued sending their ships through the Gulf of den after taking special precautions.

Seabourn CEO Pamela Conover said she had personally visited Kenya’s game parks and the islands of Seychelles, Madagascar and Zanzibar and was saddened at having to cancel these cruises. “We look forward to a time when the sea routes are controlled enough for us to cruise there for a season," she said.

The cancellation affects 12 planned cruises in the Indian Ocean region.

In November 2005 another Seabourn cruise ship, SEABOURN SPIRIT was struck by an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade fired by a Somali pirate. The ship famously used sonic weaponry and water cannons to fight off the attackers.



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