Cruise ship also hit by Norovirus

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Hundreds of passengers have fallen ill on board a cruise ship that recently launched relatively short cruises from Oslo. The vessel was due back in Oslo on Thursday, with around 2,000 persons ready to board.

"Vision of the Seas," tied up at Filipstad in Oslo last week. PHOTO: Views and News

Officials at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, part-owned by Norwegian interests, were apologizing for the virus on its Vision of the Seas vessel that has ruined holidays for around 500 persons during the past two weeks.

“We’re doing all we can to get rid of this virus,” Royal Caribbean’s marketing boss in Oslo, Ellen Stebekk, told Dagbladet.no on Wednesday. She said it was “difficult” to respond to various complaints coming in to Dagbladet from passengers on board, who claim that cleanliness on board is poor and that they’ve been left to themselves to deal with their illnesses.

One woman complained to Dagbladet that after her young daughter had thrown up in their cabin, it took more than an hour to receive clean bed linens. Others complained that they weren’t being offered any compensation for their ordeals, other than a discount on future cruises, which they were unlikely to take.

Miklos Degré, a professor in microbiology at the University of Oslo, said Norovirus is robust and difficult to eradicate. “The ship should be washed with disinfectants several times,” Degré told Dagbladet. Health authorities, meanwhile, said their inspections had shown “good” hygiene routines.

The coastal voyage vessel Kong Harald, in the Hurtigruten line, has also been hit by the Norovirus in recent days, with around 100 passengers falling ill over the past six weeks.

Views and News staff