Fred Olsen cruise ship cuts trip short after stomach virus hits passengers

Rosie Vare
Fred Olsen cruise ship Balmoral Southampton Norwegian Fjords
Fred Olsen cruise ship Balmoral Southampton Norwegian Fjords

A Fred Olsen cruise ship has had to cut its latest trip short after passengers on board were struck by a violent stomach virus.

The Balmoral cruise ship was due to complete an eight day tour of the Norwegian Fjords but was forced to make its way back to Southampton a day early after guests began to suffer from chronic vomiting and diarrhoea.

According to the BBC the company have since said that the ship will be "systematically sanitized" before it sets off for Madeira later.

John Trownson, 86, was affected by the virus just hours after boarding the ship.

The retired engineer spent £2,200 on the cruise to celebrate his partner Doris' 85th birthday.

He said: "It was absolutely horrendous. Dreadful. I was in a terrible state. I felt it was never going to end. Hundreds of people were affected.

"Several times a day the captain was saying more people were being infected. First we heard 75. Then it was 150. The best guess by the end was more than 300."

Mr Trownson added: "I want a full refund. I didn't have the cruise I paid for."

The Daily Mail reported that there were 1,163 passengers traveling on the cruise liner, many of whom had to be quarantined in their cabins as a result of the outbreak.

It is understood that Fred Olsen have offered passengers who were on board the Balmoral compensation for their shortened trip.

According to the BBC, the company have offered to refund passengers for one day's travel as well as a voucher for up to 50% discount on a Norwegian Fjords cruise.

Rus Donaldson was on board the ship with his wife Marina when they became ill on Sunday morning.

"What they have given us is a refund of one day, however we returned home one day early so the ship could be deep cleaned, so we would expect one day's refund for services not delivered," he said.

"An offer of up to 50% off a future cruise to Norway comes with a page of restrictions, and as if anyone would ever risk repeating the same scenario. No-one would want to take up that offer."

The cruise ship is due to set sail on a 13-night cruise of the Azores and Madeira.

Related articles:

Cruise holidays: Captains reveal their favourite views​

Cruises 2015: Where to find the best deals

Weird and wonderful things you can do on a cruise ship

Best Tips to Make the Most of a Cruise
Best Tips to Make the Most of a Cruise