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Sickness Bug Plagues Cruise Ship

Illness Onboard Boudicca Cruise Ship


Hundreds of passengers on a luxury cruise ship have been struck down with norovirus after three different cruises suffered outbreaks in three weeks.

The ship's owners, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said the 28,000-ton Boudicca has been deep-cleaned twice to eradicate the sickness-inducing bug, but 519 people still caught the virus during December holidays.

Problems started during a 12-day Canary Island cruise, when 180 of the ship's 800 passengers fell victim to the bug before the Boudicca returned to Portsmouth on December 18.

Before setting off on a four-day trip to Amsterdam later that day, owners said the ship was deep cleaned and virus-free, yet about 50 of the 827 travellers began showing symptoms.

On December 22 it returned again to Portsmouth, underwent another deep cleaning, and set off on a third cruise to Madeira with 795 passengers abroad.

The firm was forced to bring the Boudicca back a day early after 289 more people were diagnosed with norovirus, and have said the ship will spend three days being intensively cleaned.

Packages cost around £10,155 for a 14-night Christmas cruise to Madeira and the Canaries staying in the ship's most expensive suite.

Passengers will be refunded for cutting the cruise short, along with £100 each for the inconvenience, but a company spokesman said compensation would not be offered for days lost to sickness.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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