Passengers have left an Italian-flagged cruise ship, the Vistamar, while it sails through the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden with a reduced crew, the German owners said Friday. The Vistamar is the second ship after the Bahamas-registered Columbus, owned by the Hapag-Lloyd company of Germany, to offload tour passengers in Yemen while it runs the pirate gauntlet.
Vistamar's owner, Plantours & Partner of Bremen, said about 200 passengers would spend three days making a land visit to Yemen.
The German government has rejected calls from the cruise industry for convoy protection through the Gulf, arguing that the boats do not fly the German flag. Plantours requested protection because it flies a European Union flag and carries German passengers.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Another cruise ship line flies passengers around Gulf of Aden pirate threat, as set out her: