Fred Olsen Confirms Norovirus Outbreak on Balmoral

By ,   May 3, 2016 ,   Accidents

A norovirus outbreak has been confirmed onboard mv Balmoral, affecting passengers on the 34-night "Old England to New England" cruise, which left Southampton, UK on April 16.

An investigation by U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Vessel Sanitation Program revealed that 163 out of 921 passengers onboard (more than 17% of passengers) reported falling ill, with 6 out of 518 crew members also falling ill.

On April 30 and May 1, two environmental health officers from Vessel Sanitation Program boarded Balmoral in Baltimore to carry out health assessments. The Fred Olsen's ship was then cleared by the CDC and continued to New York City, where it's currently docked.

On April 29, during a press conference held when the ship docked in Norfolk, the captain told reporters that ill cruisers were asked to stay in their cabins and that the ship didn't dock in Bermuda because of the illness.

A statement from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines read:

"There are currently just six guests in isolation, out of a total of 1,434 guests and crew onboard, and the incidences of gastric illness have reduced substantially.

"Fred. Olsen has been undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship, following the company's strict illness containment and prevention plan. It is believed that the highly-contagious gastric illness was brought onto the ship, and is spread by person-to-person or surface-to-surface contact."

UPDATE: On May 9, 2017 (Monday), Fred Olsen Cruise Lines confirmed that hundreds of its passengers had fallen ill with norovirus onboard mv Balmoral.

According to CDC, some 252 of the 919 cruisers had the stomach virus, and 8 of the 520 crew had contracted the illness.

The line confirmed that a cumulative total of 252 passengers had been affected by a gastro-enteritis type illness.

“There are currently 15 guests who have been required to remain in their cabins, out of a total of 1,434 guests and crew on board.

“Balmoral has undergone inspections by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and US Coastguard and received a US Public Health score of 91%.

“Fred Olsen has been undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship, following the company's strict illness containment and prevention plan.

“Balmoral has now left the US and is due to arrive in Saint John, New Brunswick in Canada later today (Monday).

“Fred Olsen is co-operating fully with all the necessary maritime agencies and authorities and will continue to make every effort possible to ensure the safety and well-being of all its guests and crew on board, which is of paramount ‎importance.

“At no point has Balmoral been quarantined in any port on this cruise, and is continuing as planned.”

The cruise ship left Southampton on April 16 on a 34-day 'Old England to New England' cruise and on Sunday arrived in Portland, Maine.

Last week, an initial outbreak was reported on the ship. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea.

On April 30 and May 1, two environmental health officers from Vessel Sanitation Program boarded Balmoral in Baltimore to carry out health assessments. The Fred Olsen's  ship was then cleared by the CDC and continued to NYC, where it's currently docked. 

On April 29, during a press conference held when the ship docked in Norfolk, the captain told reporters that ill cruisers were asked to stay in their cabins and that the ship didn't dock in Bermuda because of the illness.

 

For reports on other Balmoral ship accidents see at CruiseMinus.com. You can also check the site's page with information and statistical data on major cruise ship illness outbreaks.