Cruise Ship Outruns Pirates Off Somalia

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  11.05.05 | 8:16 PM ET

The cruise industry has been taking great pains to offer more action-oriented trips lately, but not even the wave pools that Royal Caribbean has planned for its ships could top the action on a cruise off Somalia today [Saturday]. Pirates carrying machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades attacked a Seabourn Cruise Line luxury ship carrying 140 passengers. According to CNN, the cruise liner managed to outrun the pirates, which were in two small boats. “There’s some minor damage done to the ship, ” one passenger told a CNN radio affiliate. “There’s no water right now, for instance, in some places, and I believe one of the grenades actually went off in one of the cabins, but everyone on board is fine.”

Cruise line officials say they’ll consider whether to continue running cruises in the region. That doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Not even Robert Young Pelton, who’s bullish on traveling to Afghanistan these days, recommends trips to Somalia at the moment. There, he wrote recently, “You’ll be a guppy among sharks.” Or in this luxury cruise liner’s case, we might add, a Mr. Howell among Blackbeards.

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