The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released a statement in the wake of growing speculation about the potential for terrorist attacks on cruise ships.

“While we cannot disclose specifics of cruise ship security protocols, cruise lines take passenger safety very seriously,” the statement said. “Security staff are well-trained and experienced; some are former law enforcement officers. Port and onshore facilities, infrastructure, and passenger security and services in destinations are strictly scrutinised.”

CLIA also highlighted the fact that cruise lines can alter itineraries to avoid potential danger zones. A number of lines have done this recently, cancelling calls in Turkey and North Africa following terrorist attacks.

The statement comes after Royal Navy officer, vice admiral Clive Johnstone told the Telegraph that there was a “horrible opportunity” that a cruise or container ship could be targeted by Islamic State militants. “We know they have had ambitions to go off shore, we know they would like to have a maritime arm, just as al Qaeda had a maritime arm,” he said.