Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that there are no guests currently in isolation in their cabins on board Balmoral's 34-night L1608 'Old England to New England' cruise, which departed from Southampton, UK on 16th April 2016. There have been no new gastric illness cases reported on the ship since 9th May 2016. There are a total of 1,434 guests and crew on board, the majority of whom are British.
Balmoral is today [13th May 2016] in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The ship will depart later today, and is due to arrive in Ringaskiddy, Ireland on the morning of 18th May 2016.
Fred. Olsen has announced compensation measures to any guests on board who have been required to remain in isolation within their cabins, and has also agreed a further gesture of goodwill in recognition of any loss of enjoyment and amenities to guests.
Fred. Olsen has been undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship, following the Company's strict illness containment and prevention plan, and has brought on board an additional doctor and an extra nurse, giving the Medical Centre a total of two doctors and five nurses. 20 additional professional external cleaning staff are also being sent out to the ship to assist in the execution of the ship’s illness response plan.
Balmoral has undergone inspections by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Coastguard and the Public Health Agency of Canada – receiving a score of 98% out of 100% during a planned inspection in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 11th May 2016.
It is believed that the highly-contagious gastric illness was brought onto the ship, and is spread by person-to-person contact, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Clusters are more commonly seen in areas where people are in close confines, such as hotels, schools and hospitals, as well as cruise ships. Most people do not report incidences, but on a cruise ship, cases are particularly highlighted.
At no point has Balmoral been quarantined in any port on this cruise.
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.
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.