Armed guards board Viking Mars cruise ship passing Aden Gulf

   November 10, 2022 ,   Accidents

Passengers on Viking Mars received a letter from the Captain advising them about precautionary measures taken against pirate attacks as the vessel sailed through the Gulf of Aden.

After ending its European season, Viking OCEAN's ship Viking Mars is currently on a 35-night itinerary themed “Voyage Of Marco Polo” (from Piraeus-Athens Greece to Laem Chabang-Bangkok Thailand) carrying 1332 passengers and crew.

Some of the security measures, taken out of an abundance of caution/not in response to a specific threat, were placing razor wire to the guardrails around deck 2, and boarding of armed guards while the vessel was sailing the notorious due to the Somali pirates waterway.

The letter sent to the Viking Mars guests reads:

“As we sail south you will see some changes around the ship as we prepare for our transit through the Gulf of Aden. This region has long been known for piratical activity and although this has been declining for some years now, we will be taking some precautions to ensure your safety.

To prevent borders, we will be fixing razor wire to the guardrails around deck 2. Do please take care when walking on the open deck to avoid injuring yourself. We will also be carrying armed guards for a number of days which has proven to be an extremely effective deterrent. There are other measures in place, but I trust you understand that in the interest of security, we do not divulge all measures we are taking.” 

The security protocol is based on the recommendations of relevant national authorities. It is standard security practice for all ships in certain regions.

Viking Mars cruise ship

Cruise ships feature higher standards of anti-piracy measures than the ones followed by merchant ships. All security measures aren't disclosed. They depend upon particular company policies/their risk assessment. In addition to the ongoing security training, piracy training is conducted before any liner enters areas of concern.