Published on : Thursday, February 2, 2017
Passengers on the Sun Princess cruise, which was on a 12-day round trip from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea, have fallen violently ill with gastro. The outbreak of the norovirus spread very quickly across the ship during the second half of the trip.
Around 90 people on board were affected by the illness.
The illness is highly contagious and can last up to three days with fairly debilitating symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhoea.
“One was a whole family of kids and a lot of others too,” one passenger said.
Passengers boarding the ship on Thursday were notified of the problem via email and informed there would be a prolonged disinfection of the ship resulting in delays.
However, the cruise operator said the ship would still depart Brisbane as planned later on Thursday night.
“Some cases of gastrointestinal illness caused by norovirus, were reported in the closing days of Sun Princess’s just completed 12-day round trip cruise from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea destinations,” the cruise liner said in a statement to the media.
Although only a small number of the 2000 guests on board were affected by the ‘stomach bug’, it was unusual for it to appear near the end of a cruise.
As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, the ship and terminal were thoroughly cleansed during today’s turnaround. The ship was already on heightened alert because norovirus has been active in the general community in Australia in recent months.
Norovirus is a common self-limiting illness which usually lasts for one to three days.
Sun Princess will depart Brisbane as planned on a 14-day New Zealand cruise and embarking guests were advised of a short delay.