Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that a gastro-enteritis type illness has affected a number of guests on board Balmoral's 34-night L1608 'Old England to New England' cruise, which departed from Southampton, UK on 16th April 2016. There are currently 15 guests who have been required to remain in their cabins, out of a total of 1,434 guests and crew on board - the rest have recovered from their symptoms and been released. The majority of guests on board are British.
Balmoral has undergone inspections by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Coastguard and received a US Public Health score of 91%. Balmoral has now left the US and is due to arrive in Saint John, New Brunswick later today [9th May 2016]. At no point has Balmoral been quarantined in any port on this cruise, and is continuing as planned.
Fred. Olsen has been undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship, following the company's 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 cabins 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 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.