During Sun Princess’ voyage from Keelung in Taiwan to Dubai, the crew sounded the ship’s general emergency alarms and asked passengers to take shelter in the interior corridors of the ship.
The captain announced that the ship was under attack by pirates and passengers were asked to assemble in the hallways as Sun Princess cruised in the Indian Ocean mid-way between the coast of India and the Arabian Gulf, according to posts on social media.
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It was part of a training exercise that passengers had been advised of earlier in the day and is a routine emergency drill undertaken by cruise ships sailing in the northern Indian Ocean.
The training drill will have been held in preparation for Sun Princess’ voyage from Dubai to the Suez Canal, during which she will come close to the pirate-prone waters off Somalia.
Sun Princess arrived in Dubai on Monday. She’ll stay overnight and leave the city Tuesday for the Mediterranean as part of a 99-day World Cruise that has been booked exclusively by Japanese cruise tourists.
The ship has been chartered for the World Cruise by Japan’s largest travel company, JTB. She’ll call at more than 30 ports, will transit the Suez and Panama canals, and stay overnight in Dubai and New York. She’ll even sail a full northbound Alaska segment.
While the Dubai to Suez route along the coast of Oman, Yemen and through the Red Sea is becoming evermore popular with cruise ships, the threat of piracy does remain.
Queen Mary 2 is protected by a unit of Royal Marines when she does the voyage, and Royal Caribbean has been known to implement a number of security measures for its brand news ships being sent to China via Dubai, while Princess Cruises is known for its stringent security measures.
Last year, while Sea Princess was sailing her 104-day World Cruise from Sydney, the captain implemented a ten-day dusk-to-dawn lockdown of the ship during her passage through the Indian Ocean.
Deck parties, outdoor bars and movies were all cancelled, and curtains and shutters were drawn at night. The ships lights were also dimmed to avoid attracting attention, according to The Independent.
Categories: Middle East Cruise News