Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is to change the itinerary of Balmoral’s world cruise in 2010 due security concerns over pirate attacks.

The 106-night cruise, which is scheduled to sail from Dover on January 5 2010, will no longer sail through the Gulf of Aden.

Balmoral was due to visit ports in the Indian Ocean en route to Dubai, Oman and Egypt before passing through the Suez Canal and returning to the UK via the Mediterranean. The new itinerary will instead cross the Indian Ocean from Fremantle in Australia and return to the UK via South Africa and the west coast of Africa.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines director of planning Matt Grimes, said: “We are very aware of our responsibility regarding the safety and well-being of passengers and staff on our ships, so we have taken this step in light of the continuing piracy attacks in the area around the Gulf and ever further out from Somalia.”

MSC Cruises chief executive Pierfrancesco Vago earlier this week said he now considers the area “unsafe” and will not be sailing MSC ships near the area following an attack on the MSC Melody on Saturday.