Updated: Luxury Yacht Still Held By Pirates

April 5, 2008
Luxury Cruise Yacht Victim of Pirate Attack

(April 5, 3:30 p.m.) -- The hijacked ship has landed in northern Somalia. The ship is still being watched by a French frigate, but the French government does not want to use force if it will endanger the lives of the crew members onboard. In previous cases of hijacking off Somalia, the pirates have demanded a ransom once the ship has reached port. There has been no communication from the pirates as of yet, but the French authorities are on alert.

(April 5, noon) -- Le Ponant, the French-owned 64-passenger sailing yacht that was hijacked yesterday by pirates, is still under their watch. The ship, which was sailing between Somalia and Yemen's Aden when it was seized, was carrying no passengers but 30 crew members are aboard.

According to a report from the Associated Press, France's military is hoping to avoid a violent showdown and is tracking the vessel's travels via a frigate that's in the area. As well, a French military airplane has flown over the ship and told government officials that all seemed calm, at least from above.

The ship was transitioning between the Seychelles, where it had completed a series of cruises, and Alexandria, where it was slated to begin its Mediterranean season. The next cruise is slated to depart on April 19.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief