Published on Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cruise ship Boudicca hit by virus

Cruise ship Boudicca has been hit by another sickness outbreak affecting 170 of the passengers on board.

The highly contagious virus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, led to passengers being quarantined during the 13-night trip to the Canary Islands.

On Sunday the Fred Olsen-owned ship, carrying around 828 passengers and 348 crew, was greeted by NHS staff and ambulance crews when it docked in Greenock, Scotland.

It underwent an intensive fumigation before leaving for a 21-night cruise to the Adriatic with Croatia 90 minutes later than scheduled.

One passenger told the Daily Mirror: "We started calling the ship HMS Holby City.

"Half the facilities were shut down and we were even told not to swap quiz sheets to stop the bug spreading."

The Boudicca has been hit by viruses before with sickness outbreaks in 2010.

A spokeswoman for Fred Olsen said the latest bug was a viral infection which caused mild gastroenteritis symptoms.

The spokeswoman said: "During this cruise, the highest number of guests needing to be kept in isolation at any one time was 35, out of a total number of people on board of 1,176.

"The total number of cases reported during the 13-night cruise was 170.

"At Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, the health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew on board remains our priority at all times, and we believe that our systems for preventing the spread of illness on board our ships are amongst the best within the industry.

"Fred Olsen Cruise Lines' ships meet, at all times, the highest safety, hygiene and health standards, and comply fully with the strict requirements and inspections of their Flag State and relevant authorities."


By Diane Evans

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