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Monday, July 15, 2024

Color Line hit by virus on board

The large cruise-ferry Color Fantasy resumed sailing from Oslo to Kiel in Germany on Tuesday afternoon, after cancelling departures Sunday and Monday just at the start of the Easter holidays. The cancellations came after dozens of passengers and crew fell ill with suspected cases of norovirus.

The Color Fantasy berthed at Color Line’s dock in Oslo. PHOTO: Møst

The virus has caused problems on other vessels and cruiseships for years, and Norway’s Color Line was hit late last week. That’s when an unusual number of crew members and some passengers got sick while sailing from Kiel to Oslo on Friday. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that the ship turned around in Oslo and sailed back to Kiel Friday afternoon, though, after consulting health authorities and conducting “extra cleaning” before passengers boarded.

One passenger travelling with her four children told Aftenposten that she was first warned of possible illness two hours into the cruise, when passengers were urged to be extra diligent with handwashing. She said the overnight cruise south to Kiel went well, but her 11-year-old daughter became violentaly ill on the cruise back to Oslo, as did she and two other children.

She described it as “complete chaos,” and ended up calling the family’s doctor from their cabin on board. Color Line later reported that there were so many cases of ill crew and passengers that it decided to cancel Sunday’s return to Kiel in order to disinfect the vessel. A spokesman said around 280 employees plus external cleaning crew were called in to ready the ship for its Tuesday departure, and sailed on schedule again at 2pm. staff



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