Cruise Ship Struck By Virus As Over 100 Passengers Suffer Symptoms

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Cunard Line, the premium British cruise ship, has reported a virus outbreak on its smallest ship Queen Victoria, with over 100 guests affected by symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Queen Victoria cruise ship

The cruise ship is currently sailing on an epic 111-night journey from Hamburg to Sydney. The illness struck after the ship called at Fort Lauderdale port on 22nd January, with 120 out of the 1,824 passengers onboard affected – that’s 6.5% of all passengers on the ship.

15 crew members also reported as sick, out of the 967 that are currently onboard.

The cruise line had to report the illness to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, and it was the CDC that announced the outbreak publicly. An investigation is currently underway, and it has not yet been confirmed whether it is the Norovirus or something else.

The CDC has clarified that the 135 cases are totals for the cruise, and not a count of the number of people who were sick at any one time.

Norovirus is a ‘common’ illness on cruise ships – it doesn’t affect many cruises, but when there is a gastrointestinal illness on a ship it does tend to be Norovirus. Cruise lines are required to report significant outbreaks, and there were 13 in 2023.

Only one confirmed Norovirus case has been confirmed for 2024 so far, on Celebrity Constellation’s 12th January cruise. That saw 75 passengers and crew fall ill, out of a total of 3,004.

Cunard has activated its enhanced protocols for dealing with virus outbreaks, meaning there will be more cleaning of the public areas and guests will be pushed to spend more time washing their hands, especially upon entering public areas.

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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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