Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that Balmoral has not been quarantined in Norfolk. A gastro-enteritis type illness has affected a number of guests on board its 34-night L1608 'Old England to New England' cruise, which departed from Southampton on 16th April 2016. 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. There are two US nationals on board this cruise, with the majority of guests being from the UK.
Balmoral will be continuing to Baltimore this evening, as originally planned.
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. 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. 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 well-being of all its guests and crew on board, which is of paramount importance. Fred. Olsen exceeds the requirements of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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.