Focus on piracy's impact on cruising continues: The U.N. Security Council has passed a U.S.-sponsored resolution allowing countries currently working with Somalia to combat piracy in the area to attack pirates on land and from Somali airspace. Although pirates typically attack cargo ships traveling through the Gulf of Aden, a handful of cruise ships have been fired upon -- including a recent attack on Oceania Cruises' Nautica.
The resolution calls on nations not only to take action against piracy by "by deploying naval vessels and
military aircraft and through seizure and disposition of boats, vessels, arms and other related equipment," but also to make agreements with countries in the area willing to take custody of and prosecute pirates, so those captured don't have to be let go. The resolution also encourages cooperation and shared communications between the various forces combating piracy off the Somali Coast.
In addition, the resolution "urges States in collaboration with the shipping and insurance industries,
and the IMO [International Maritime Organization] to continue to develop avoidance, evasion, and defensive best practices and advisories to take when under attack or when sailing in waters off the coast of Somalia."
In this vein, Germany's Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung recently strongly discouraged cruise operators from sailing through pirate-infested waters. Two German-based operators, Hapag-Lloyd and Plantours & Partner, had already changed their itineraries prior to the minister's warning. Moreover, a spokesman from Peter Deilmann Cruises tells Cruise Critic that the line has cancelled a scheduled call in the Yemeni port of Aden (on the Gulf of Aden, of course), citing safety concerns.
That said, several lines (including Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises and Azamara Cruises) still have plans to transit the Gulf of Aden.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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More Pirate News: U.N. Passes Resolution, Peter Deilmann Cancels Call
December 24, 2008