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Couple Instructs Expert Travel Lawyers to Investigate Illness On Board Fred Olsen’s Balmoral Cruise Ship

Couple Instructs Expert Travel Lawyers to Investigate Illness On Board Fred Olsen’s Balmoral Cruise Ship


A couple who suffered gastric illness during a cruise on board the Fred Olsen operated Balmoral cruise ship have said that they are concerned that a further illness outbreak has been reported on board the vessel.


Anthony Jones, 76, and his wife Julia, 65, from Southampton, began a 13-night cruise on the Balmoral on 3 April, travelling around the Canary Islands and Madeira.


Ten days into the cruise they both began suffering with diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pains, headaches and lethargy. They were both examined by medical staff and confined to their cabin. They were told by medical staff on the ship that they had contracted norovirus.


Anthony and Julia have now instructed expert travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the illness they suffered on board the ship. They both continued to suffer with symptoms upon their return to the UK and Julia was forced to take time off work from her hairdressing business. Sadly they both continue to suffer with symptoms to this date.


Their illnesses on board the ship occurred just two weeks before the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that 252 of the 919 passengers on board the vessel fell ill during a cruise around America and Canada, which set sail on 16 April 2016.


A handful of passengers who travelled on the Balmoral cruise which set sail on 16 April and docked on 20 May in Southampton have also contacted Irwin Mitchell to investigate the conditions on board the Fred Olsen operated ship.


Irwin Mitchell is already representing over a dozen passengers, many of whom suffered from illness, following cruises on this vessel between May 2015 and July 2015.


It is reported that in 2010, over 310 people on board the ship had claimed to be suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting when the ship docked in Los Angeles. Further, in 2009 it is reported that an outbreak of norovirus hit more than 100 people on board the ship when it was travelling on a cruise around Scotland.


Jennifer Mullins, a specialist International Personal Injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who represents Anthony and Julia, said:


Expert Opinion
“Having heard first-hand accounts of the illness Julia and Anthony suffered in April 2016 and the problems repeatedly suffered by passengers in May and July 2015, we are shocked to hear further reports of illness emerge on board the Balmoral this month.

“Clearly a significant number of passengers and crew members have fallen ill in this latest norovirus outbreak and we hope that this latest outbreak will lead to action being taken to ensure that the ship is free from norovirus ahead of its next voyage. We hope that Fred Olsen will take all appropriate measures to help prevent another outbreak from occurring.

“In addition to this, we would urge Fred Olsen to commence a full investigation into the outbreak if they have not already done so, to identify where improvements can be made to heighten hygiene standards and safety on future voyages.

“Norovirus is contagious and can leave victims suffering with significant symptoms which can have a huge impact on their day-to-day lives. The last thing passengers should be considering when booking a cruise is whether they could fall ill.

“Our investigations into the cause of the illnesses on the Balmoral in April 2016 are underway, however we remain very keen to hear from anyone else affected who may be able to provide further information regarding the outbreak of illness, and the circumstances giving rise to it.”
Jennifer Mullins, Solicitor


Anthony has said: “We paid a lot of money for this holiday and we were left very disappointed after suffering such terrible symptoms whilst on the Balmoral. We had been looking forward to the cruise for a very long time and it was ruined by the illness we suffered.


“We took the holiday to relax, have fun and spend some time together, but we were left confined to our cabin with terrible symptoms, which was not the experience we were expecting. So far Fred Olsen has taken no responsibility for the illness we suffered. The ordeal we have been through has caused us to lose faith in cruise companies and we are fearful of the same thing happening to us if we were to take another cruise.


“We feel that the ship should never have sailed if Fred Olsen knew that there was a risk of passengers falling ill. Given the number of illness outbreaks on the ship in recent years, it seems they knew very well the risk they were exposing us to.”


“I am shocked to hear that passengers on the subsequent Balmoral cruise around America and Canada experienced the same symptoms that we suffered on our cruise in April. This is extremely concerning and it’s clear to me that things on the Balmoral need to be investigated to protect future passengers.”

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