Conflicting reports have emerged as to the number of sick passengers that are vacationing on the Fred. Olsen cruise ship Balmoral.

The ship is carrying over 900 passengers.

The ship docked in Portland, Maine, and according to initial reports by The Daily Mail, UK, the first ship of the season had more than 500 sick people on board. In their report, they quoted the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as saying that nearly 30% of the passengers had been sick since the start of the cruise in Southampton, England three weeks ago.

The sickness is suspected to be Norovirus. The cruise ship is carrying 919 passengers. Some crew members were reported as being ill too. The owners of the cruise line have stated that there are only seven guests in isolation on board the ship and in a statement they pointed out that the number of cases is “reducing”.

Vigorous cleaning.

When the ship first called into Baltimore in Maryland last week, the crew was seen vigorously cleaning and disinfecting. CDC boarded the vessel to check out the steps being taken to contain the illness.

Ethan Strimling, Mayor of Portland visited the ship on a tour and confirmed there was a lot of cleaning on and that even the elevators were being wiped down. Press Herald reported that the ship is on its way to the next stop at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Common on cruise ships.

Norovirus, also described as the Winter Vomiting Bug, is a vigorous and very contagious gastric sickness that could easily have been carried on board by a passenger or crewmember.

The disease is spread by contact with other people or by contact with surfaces sick people may have touched; this is why it is often associated with crowded places such as hospitals, ships, public transport, schools and public toilets. Web Md explains that it is quite a common event on cruise ships and the gastro-enteritis ruins vacations for many travelers every year.


The symptoms of the illness include stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, headaches, and fatigue, In other words, you feel really bad, very quickly.

The greatest danger comes from dehydration and lots of fluid replacement is a must to help get over it. In most cases, the symptoms go away all by themselves within a couple of days and most adults will have no lasting side-effects.

Useful information about norovirus.

In 2015, the CDC released a useful video about the norovirus that can help people to prevent and cope with the illness. It explains the symptoms and gives advice on how people can protect themselves from becoming infected. This is a useful video for travelers and anyone who may come into contact with large groups of people. The video is available via YouTube.

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