Norovirus escalates on the luxury cruise ship Boudicca
22nd May 2012
The cruise liner Boudicca, which some passengers have given the moniker ‘HMS Holby City’, finally arrived into port yesterday after 170 passengers had been suffering from the highly contagious winter condition, the norovirus, which leads to vomiting and diarrhoea for its sufferers. The ship was on a 13-night trip to the Canary Islands when it is thought that a viral infection sparked the huge outbreak of norovirus, which ultimately resulted in those infected being quarantined during the ill-fated voyage. In total there were 828 passengers on board, together with 348 crew members. The ship was met by NHS staff and ambulance teams yesterday when it arrived at Greenock port in Scotland. After an extensive fumigation process and inspections from a health team, the ship set sail for a 21-night ‘Adriatic with Croatia’ cruise at 6pm last night, 90minutes later than scheduled. Some people had forked out an incredible £2,000 for the luxury holiday and clearly the chaotic scenes on board the ship had left some passengers unhappy. One passenger had this to say, “There were two nurses wandering around visiting people. Half of the facilities were shut down and we were told not to swap quiz sheets to stop it spreading. We were offered £150 off our next cruise but we don’t know anyone who accepted.” This is not the first time Boudicca has been hit with illness. In April 2010 a scheduled journey to the Mediterranean was halted after a similar outbreak of infection had spread, resulting in the ship being sent back to port in Liverpool. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, who own the ship, released a statement defending themselves against any possible backlash. A spokesperson for Fred Olsen commented, "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.” The spokesperson further added, “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.”