Cruise passengers hit by Norovirus due back in Harwich

12 June 2010, 07:23 | Updated: 12 June 2010, 08:10

Heart's been told 398 passengers and 30 crew fell ill with the Norovirus while on board the Jewel of the Seas due to arrive in Harwich on Saturday.

Owners, Royal Caribbean say they were affected by the illness, during its 12 day sailing - symptoms include an upset stomach and sickness.

They say the ship will undergo a deep clean this afternoon to help prevent the illness affecting their further sailings.


Royal Caribbean International's released the following statement:

Jewel of the Seas, which began its sailing in Harwich, England on May 31, is experiencing an elevated number of persons with a gastrointestinal illness.  Over the course of that sailing, 398 guests and 30 crew members have experienced the illness, thought to be a Norovirus.  Those affected by the short-lived illness responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered onboard the ship.

At Royal Caribbean International, we have high health standards for all our guests and crew.  Therefore, in an abundance of caution, once Jewel of the Seas arrives in Harwich on Saturday, June 12, we will conduct an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing.  Because of this additional sanitizing, boarding is now anticipated to begin at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.  As a gesture of goodwill, we will be providing all guests with a $25 USD onboard credit to cover any incidentals they might incur due to the delayed boarding.  

According to health experts, as many as 300 million people worldwide are affected by Norovirus each year.  Only the common cold is more prevalent.  In an abundance of caution, crew onboard Jewel of the Seasare conducting some enhanced cleaning onboard the ship, to help prevent the spread of the illness.

Jewel of the Seas is currently on a 12-night sailing that includes port calls in Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia and Gothenburg, Sweden.