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Sea Princess passengers spent 10 nights in darkness for fear of pirate attack

[Times files]
[Times files]
Published Aug. 11, 2017

A dream cruise around the world turned into a nightmare for the 1,900 passengers who were aboard during a 10-day blackout.

Why? A possible pirate attack.

Tourists shelled out thousands of dollars to take the 104-day around-the-world vacation on the Sea Princess, which departed from Sydney, Australia. But the captain ordered a blackout for 10 days from dusk till dawn as the ship traveled across the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Suez Canal.

Passengers were told they had to close their curtains and turn off any bright lights. and would go without the standard nighttime entertainment due to the fear of being attacked by Somali pirates, the Telegraph reported.

Carolyne Jasinski, a passenger on the ship, wrote an essay describing the ordeal on the "ghost ship."

She wrote that cruise activities and events were paused when the sun began to set.

"No deck parties, no movies under the stars, no late-night outdoor bar hopping or pool dipping," Jasinski wrote.

A spokesperson told the Telegraph the ship was not facing a specific threat from pirates but the actions were taken as a cautionary measure.

"Any measures aboard Sea Princess were simply taken out of an abundance of caution and not in response to a specific threat and are common to international shipping sailing in the region," the spokesperson said.

The issue of piracy continues to be a threat around certain parts of the world.

In April 2017, the United Nations released a statement urging ships to be cautious and alert when traveling off the Somalian coast, where pirate activity remains high.