More than 100 passengers ill on Cunard cruise ship after sickness outbreak

More than 100 passengers ill on Cunard cruise ship after sickness outbreak

More than 100 passengers on a cruise holiday gave fallen ill after an outbreak of sickness on a Cunard ship.

Of the 1,824 on board Queen Victoria, 116 have suffered some form of gastrointestinal illness, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – around 6 per cent all passengers.

Fifteen crew members have also been sick, with the main symptoms reported as diarrhoea and vomiting.

Queen Victoria, which has been in service since 2007, is currently sailing a 107-night world voyage, and departed from Southampton on 11 January. It is due to return to the UK port at the end of April.

The current leg of the voyage is a 16-night cruise between Florida’s Port Everglades and San Francisco, California. The sailing departed on 22 January, and some passengers disembarking on 7 February.

The CDC reported that issues began on 22 January, and that currently no cause is known. The Vessel Sanitation Program is “remotely monitoring the situation”.

In response to the outbreak, the crew increased cleaning and disinfection procedures – according to the ship’s outbreak prevention and response plan – and isolated the ill passengers and crew.

A spokesperson for the cruise line told The Independent: “Cunard confirmed that a small number of guests had reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness on board Queen Victoria.

“They immediately activated their enhanced health and safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of all guests and crew on board.”

The incident comes just weeks after almost 100 passengers on a Celebrity Cruises ship, Celebrity Constellation, contracted norovirus after it departed from Florida on 3 January.

The health agency recorded 14 incidents of gastrointestinal illness in 2023 that breached its threshold for public notification, and it states that although people “often associate cruise ships with acute gastrointestinal illnesses”, such as norovirus, outbreaks are “relatively infrequent” on the vessels.