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Fred Olsen Cruise Lines sued over norovirus outbreak

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Cruise passengers are taking legal action after a ship departing from Liverpool was hit by vomiting bug norovirus.

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Cruise passengers are taking legal action after a ship departing from Liverpool was hit by vomiting bug norovirus.

It has been reported earlier this month that 96 passengers on board Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca had been affected by symptoms of gastroenteritis on a 14-night Baltic cruise.

The ship left Liverpool on May 23 and called at Portsmouth en-route to Scandinavia and St Petersburg, returning to Merseyside on June 6.

On its return Boudicca, which can carry 880 guests, underwent an intensive “deep clean” and sanitising operation which was extended to cover Liverpool Cruise Terminal.

Travel law firm Irwin Mitchell now says it has been contacted by passengers who became ill on four different cruises onboard Boudicca during March, April and May – including the Baltic cruise.

Barbara Smith, from Skelmersdale, booked on the trip but six days into the two-week cruise she was quarantined on the ship for two days with gastric illness.

The 84-year-old said: “My friend fell ill just a few days into the trip and I ended up getting ill the day after her.

“When I returned home I continued to suffer.

“It was so awful. I will have no problem remembering this trip but for all the wrong reasons.”

Specialist travel lawyer Suki Chhokar said: “It’s both very disappointing and worrying that passengers on board the Boudicca during March, April and May have suffered illness.

“As part of our ongoing investigation we will be carefully considering the adequacy of the steps taken by Fred Olsen to protect their passengers and reduce the risk of them suffering illness.

“We hope that all possible steps are taken by Fred Olsen to prevent any future passengers suffering illness.”

Fred Olsen said guests were made aware of the importance of meticulous hygiene at all times.

Passengers showing symptoms of the norovirus are put into isolation in their cabins for 48 hours and examined by a doctor before being able to rejoin the rest of the ship.

A spokesman said: “Fred Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that a number of guests have been affected by gastroenteritis-type symptoms on board its 880-guest cruise ship Boudicca on some recent cruises.

“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.”

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.