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Boudicca renamed “HMS Holby City” by passengers struck down by gastroenteritis

Fred Olsen Lines’ cruise ship Boudicca has returned to Greenock after 170 passengers were struck down by a bout of viral gastroenteritis, which caused some to be confined to their cabins with sickness and diarrhoea.

Boudicca left port 90 minutes’ late earlier this month, after undergoing fumigation following a 21-night cruise to the Adriatic and Croatia.

By the time it was heading for Madeira, 30 passengers were isolated in their cabins with the virus, but the cruise went ahead to schedule despite this.

When it docked in Greenock on Sunday (20/05/12), NHS crews and ambulances were waiting on the quayside to take passengers off for treatment.

A passenger said the holidaymakers had renamed the ship “HMS Holby City” because of the outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea.

“Half the facilities were shut down and we were even told not to swap quiz sheets to stop the bug spreading.”

Fred Olsen Lines said that the cause of the illness was a gastro bug which caused “mild gastroenteritis symptoms”.

A representative for Fred Olsen Lines said:

“During this cruise, the highest number of guests needing to be kept in isolation at any one time was 35, out of a total number of people on board of 1,176. The total number of cases reported during the 13-night cruise was 170.

"At Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, the health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew on board remains our priority at all times – and we believe that our systems for preventing the spread of illness on board our ships are amongst the best within the industry.

"Fred Olsen Cruise Lines' 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 and relevant authorities."

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Dated: 22/05/2012

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