Developing

Cruise Ship Passengers Catch Sickness Bug

Dozens of passengers on board a luxury 12-night cruise have fallen ill with a sickness and diarrhoea bug.

Around 130 people contracted a gastroenteritis-type illness on the Fred Olsen-operated Black Watch which sailed from Fife to Scandinavia and the Russian city of St Petersburg.

The cruise started on September 8 with 778 passengers, and 29 people were still ill when it returned to Rosyth on Friday.

Specialist cleaners and health inspectors have been on board to check and clean the ship.

A spokeswoman for Fred Olsen said: "Representatives from the local health authorities and Rosyth Port Health have been on board the ship this morning and have confirmed that they are satisfied with the containment and preventative measures being undertaken by the ship.

"It is frustrating that even with the extra preventative and containment measures that were put in place, a number of guests on board suffered from this illness which is common in hospitals, schools, hotels, cruise ships and other areas where people are in close proximity.

"Symptoms of the illness include a sudden onset of vomiting and or diarrhoea.

"Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

"The sickness usually abates within one or two days and there are no long-term effects.

"The health, safety and well-being of all our guests is paramount 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 said passengers were due to set off on the Black Watch for an Iberian cruise on Friday night and have been informed of the situation.