Passengers ordered below deck onboard Spirit of Adventure while cruising in the Indian Ocean.

Terrified passengers were ordered below deck onboard Spirit of Adventure when pirates appeared to be pursuing the ship as it was crossing the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Zanzibar over the weekend.

According to reports from several UK news outlets, passengers were enjoying a black-tie dinner onboard Spirit of Adventure, which is operated by Saga, when a speedboat was spotted pursuing the ship two miles away and the crew barricaded the guests into a lounge room.

Susie Brown, 73, from Wilts, England, said, “They told us to sit on the floor and the doors were barricaded. We were told they had spotted pirates two miles behind us. We were told to keep our heads down in case they shot us through the windows. Then we were told they were up beside us.”

A quick thinking captain moved the ship up to full speed to outpace the pirates and local authorities were alerted before dinner was resumed.

A Saga spokeman was quoted on UK website The Telegraph as saying, “The Spirit of Adventure was followed by a suspect vessel for about an hour this evening. After guests were moved down to the middle of the ship the captain sped up to full speed and the vessel went away. We think it was scouting out the ship… There are well-rehearsed procedures that are put in place for this sort of incident.”

Does the risk of pirate attacks deter  you from cruising in the Indian Ocean?