November 8, 2005
Seabourn Spirit Outruns Pirates!
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Seabourn Spirit, which was well-documented just about everywhere this weekend for sustaining -- and surviving -- an attack by pirates off the coast of Somalia, arrived in the Seychelles today to disembark passengers.
Those folks, on a 16-night cruise from Alexandria, Egypt, had planned on a voyage that ended in Mombasa, Kenya. After the attack, however, the ship changed course and headed to the Seychelles.
Disembarking passengers were flown, via charter aircraft arranged by Seabourn, to the original port originally intended to end the cruise. Conversely, passengers headed to the ship were flown from Mombasa to the Seychelles.
The 17-night November 8 cruise, which has already departed the Seychelles, will remain true to the original itinerary beyond the elimination of Mombasa as a port of call. It features various stops in the Seychelles; calls in the Maldives, Cochin, India and Penang; and a whopping 11 days at sea before finishing up in Singapore.
Regarding any alteration of itineraries in the future to avoid the Somali coast, a Seabourn spokesman says that "we have a long time to decide what to do about routes ... it's not our focus right now."
Seabourn is one of a handful of cruise lines to offer itineraries that incorporate visits to Kenya and other parts of Africa. At this point, a Princess Cruises' spokeswoman tells Cruise Critic that "we do have itineraries in the Indian Ocean area and, given recent events, we will again be reviewing all our operations procedures and the specific itineraries of those ships to determine whether any changes are necessary." A Holland America spokeswoman reports that no changes are in the offing there.