A speed boat carrying men thought to be pirates drew alongside the Spirit of Adventure on Wednesday as the British ship was cruising from Madagascar to Zanzibar, according to the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper.
The ship was able to outrun the pirates, reported the Telegraph, but not before passengers were ordered below deck with their heads bowed, in case the pirates fired their guns. Passengers were having dinner when they were told to move.
The ship has 350 passengers aboard. All are Saga Holidays customers (the ship is operated by Saga’s sister company).
A Saga spokesman said the suspect vessel was probably scouting the ship.
"Usually pirates are not interested in passenger ships but in cargo ones which have a higher value," he said. "There are well-rehearsed procedures that are put in place for this sort of incident."
The Spirit of Adventure’s cruise finishes on Jan. 17 in Mombasa, Kenya.