Fred Olsen confirms illness outbreak on Balmoral

Fred Olsen confirms illness outbreak on Balmoral

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has denied reports that one of its ships had been quarantined in the US after an outbreak of norovirus on board.

However, the line confirmed that a gastro-enteritis type illness affected a number of passengers on board the ship Balmoral while on a 34-night cruise from Southampton.

Fred Olsen stressed that the vessel was not quarantined in Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday and that it continued on to Baltimore as originally planned.   

“There are currently just seven guests in isolation, out of a total of 1,434 guests and crew on board, and the incidences have substantially reduced,” the company said on Friday. ”There are two US nationals on board this cruise, with the majority of guests being from the UK.

“Fred Olsen has been undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship, in accordance with its 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.

“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 well-being of all its guests and crew on board, which is of paramount ‎importance.”

The company added: “Fred Olsen exceeds the requirements of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in that it isolates its guests in their rooms for 48 hours, instead of the 24 hours required by the CDC.

“Fred Olsen’s cruise ships meet, at all times, the highest safety, hygiene and health standards, and comply fully with the strict requirements and inspections of their flag state, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and other relevant authorities."

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