Skip to content

Cruise Ship Goes Dark for 10 Nights to Avoid Pirate Attack

Aug. 10, 2017
2 min read
Cruise Ship Goes Dark for 10 Nights to Avoid Pirate Attack
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Sign up for our daily newsletter

Of the many things that could go wrong on a luxury cruise, a potential pirate attack doesn't come to mind. But for the 1,900 passengers sailing from Sydney to Dubai aboard the Sea Princess, that impossibility seemed all too real as their ocean liner became a "ghost ship" for 10 nights.

The captain-mandated blackout — recounted on by passenger and writer Carolyne Jasinski — prohibited nighttime outdoor pool access, movies and deck parties, among other things, as the liner sailed through a section of the Indian Ocean.

"All around the ship, as the sun set, all curtains were drawn and all shutters closed," Jasinski wrote. "Bright lights, which normally signal the presence of the Sea Princess on the ocean, were dimmed or turned off altogether."

Jasinski wrote that after days of wild passenger speculation (travelers speculated about everything from vampires to terrorism) Captain Gennaro Arma addressed the ship.

"He apologized for alarming passengers. However, the threat, he said, was real and the ship must be prepared for a pirate attack,"Jasinski wrote.

According to her account, the passengers were also told that if pirates did approach the ship, which the captain noted could outrun their boats, the ship's crew would spray them with fire hoses or activate a sonic boom to deter them.

Thankfully, the precautionary measures were just that, and no pirates appeared on the voyage. The Points Guy reached out to Princess Cruises to learn more about the apparent incident, and while an email statement declined to discuss safety procedures, it did add some context to the somewhat odd events.

"In addition to our normal ongoing security training, additional piracy specific training is conducted prior to any of our vessels entering areas of concern," the statement read. "Any measures aboard Sea Princess were simply taken out of an abundance caution and not in response to a specific concern. The safety and security of our guests and crew is our number-one priority."