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Luxury Travel

Why the Cruise Industry Is Booming in the Middle East

It’s less risky a business than you’d think—and the easiest way to connect the region’s most exciting destinations and sights.

Just last month, off the coast of Somalia—where pirates occasionally hijack cargo ships —passengers on the fancy, all-inclusive Seabourn Encore were enjoying martinis and opera around the pool when out of the darkness arrived a small motorboat. The crowd rushed to the side rail for a view.

Onto the cruise ship climbed several burly security guards with cases of "conventional weapons," which would provide, as the captain explained, an added layer of protection for a potentially tricky passage.