Our ship, the Nautica, had been attacked by pirates a few years back. If it happened again, the crew – and we passengers – would be ready.
And no one on the ship’s tour from Egypt’s Safaga port city to Luxor, fought over the two front ‘view’ seats in the bus. We’d been advised they were for the armed guards that would be traveling with us.
We also willingly submitted our hand bags for screening by Israeli security officers as we left the ship in Haifa, our entry point to that country. Usually bags are screened when you re-enter the ship – not the place you visit. But that is life in Israel these days.
|Oceania Nautical anchored at Phuket, Thailand|
Prior to booking our passage, we – and our nearly 500 fellow passengers – knew the routing of our Oceania Nautica ship from Bangkok, Thailand to Istanbul, Turkey would take us to parts of the world where ‘unrest’ can occur and accelerate on a moment’s notice.
Once on board we all seemed to share the same approach to the trip: what better – and safer – way to get to and through these areas than on a cruise ship that had a security plan in place?
|One day at sea in the HTA - We had a country fair|
Think about it. How often in life will you get to participate in a pirate protection drill?
|Pirate drill had us sitting on the floor in the hallway|
Why sit on the floor?
Because in the event of an attack the ship might need to take quick evasive action and quick turns could knock people over. They didn’t want guests falling on the floor and hurting themselves.
Why an interior hallway?
You remember I said our ship had once been attacked by pirates. Apparently the guests – adults-who-know-better-guests – couldn’t resist snapping the ‘selfie’ and other photos from their cabin decks or windows. The temptation to capture the action was too great to stay out of harm’s way.
I am using two photos, taken during our very safe, calm days at sea to illustrate this point: both were taken during Happy Hour in the ship’s lounge – on the left, the setting sun was a magnet drawing shutter bugs to the windows on a regular basis. The photo to the right was taken as word of a whale sighting filtered through the crowd – it was as if the window had sucked people from their chairs (with camera and phones in hand). Had it been a pirate ship sighting,. . . well, you get the picture (pun intended).
|Shutter bugs aboard the ship|
|Pirates to the left and war to the right during this segment of our cruise|
|Pirate watch and protection|
|We weren't the only ones taking safety seriously|
|That is Yemen in the background - this is the closest we came to that war-torn country|
We had wondered how close we’d get to Yemen and Somalia when we passed through the 20-mile wide opening that separated the two as we entered the Red Sea. It was actually so wide it was difficult to get photos of the land. The most danger we had was from the high noon sun, which in less than an hour of being on deck burned us both.
There was no security need to eliminate any ports of call in Egypt, Jordan or Israel; places so interesting and deserving of more time for exploration than we had allotted for them. We’d love to return for more land-based explorations. We’ll tell you more about them in upcoming posts.
As always, your time with us is appreciated! If you are enjoying the blog we hope you'll share it with your FB friends. Happy travels to you and yours until we see you back here ~
Linking up this week:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening
Mersad's Through My Lens
Photo Friday - Pierced Wonderings