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Passengers fall sick on cruise ship

Guests confined to their cabins

The health and safety of cruise passengers has come under the spotlight again after an outbreak of sickness aboard a ship in Australian waters.

Various media outlets have reported that guests aboard the Grand Princess were confined to their cabins due to an outbreak of COVID and gastrointestinal issues.

The 2,600-guest ship is currently docked in Adelaide having sailed from Melbourne on Saturday. She is due to leave tonight heading back to Melbourne to complete a four-day round trip.

Prior to that she was on a 14-day round-trip from Melbourne to Queensland, calling at Sydney, Newcastle, Cairns and Brisbane. It was on this voyage that passengers fell ill.

South Australia Health has not confirmed how many people have been infected with either COVID-19 or gastroenteritis on the ship, which has a total capacity of 4,000 including crew.

A spokesman for Princess Cruises confirmed several guests were treated by the ship’s medical staff for respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms. Those affected were in “single digits”.

The company was quick to point out that the ship underwent thorough cleansing in Melbourne ahead of the current four-day sailing and that this is a completely new voyage.

“On the previous voyage a number of people reported to the Medical Centre with symptoms of respiratory illness and acute gastrointestinal illness.

“While most guests were unaffected by illness on that voyage, we proactively launched a comprehensive disinfection program, developed in coordination with international health authorities to prevent further spread.

“In an abundance of caution, there will be another disinfection program carried out on board the ship in Adelaide today before Grand Princess returns to Melbourne on November 15.”


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Published: 12 November 2023

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