Hundreds of Brits hit by norovirus on luxury cruise

A quarter of passengers on board have fallen ill on Southampton to US trip

Hundreds of Brits hit by norovirus on luxury cruise

Hundreds of passengers on a British cruise ship have fallen ill with the sickness and diarrhoea bug norovirus.

The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) said 252 of the 919 passengers on board the Balmoral cruise ship had fallen ill with the stomach virus.

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The BBC reports that most of those on board are British, and that Fred Olsen Cruise Lines said it was "undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship".

The Balmoral left Southampton on 16 April for a 34-night 'Old England to New England' cruise. The ship has capacity for 1,350 passengers, and is the largest and newest ship in the cruise line's fleet, according to Reuters.

It was docked in Portland, Maine, on Sunday, and is expected to arrive in Saint John, in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, on Monday.

The Mirror reports that a company statement added: "Fred Olsen has been undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship, in accordance with its strict illness containment and prevention plan.

"Commonly, the illness abates within one or two days. Those guests who are affected are asked to remain in their rooms during this time – with complimentary room service and in-room entertainment.

"Fred Olsen is co-operating fully with all the necessary maritime agencies and authorities, as Balmoral continues on her cruise, and will continue to make every effort possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its guests and crew on board, which is of paramount importance."

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