June 13, 2024

P&O Ventura: Health officials to assist cruise ship amid norovirus outbreak

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, There are almost 3,000 passengers on board Ventura, according to P&O Cruises

  • Author, Charlotte Andrews
  • Role, BBC News

A cruise ship which is experiencing a norovirus outbreak will be met by health officials on its return to the UK.

A number of passengers on Ventura were reported to have sickness and diarrhoea.

Southampton Port Health Authority said it would offer assistance to the vessel when it returns on Saturday.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Passengers with the stomach bug have been asked to isolate in their cabins

The authority said had been made aware of “elevated numbers” of acute gastroenteritis on the cruise ship.

On Sunday, P&O Cruises confirmed to the BBC that the illness was norovirus.

It would not reveal how many passengers had been affected but said there were just under 3,000 guests on-board.

“Those symptomatic guests will disembark later and separately,” P&O said.

The vessel is scheduled to leave the same day for a seven-night trip to Spain and Portugal.

Constant sanitation

The 14-night cruise included stops in Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Cadiz and Lisbon.

“Constant and enhanced sanitation” was being carried out by specialist teams following reports of “gastrointestinal symptoms”, P&O previously said.

Those with symptoms had also been asked to isolate in their cabins, it added.

One said P&O was “downplaying” the situation, while another felt the cruise company was “putting profit before the health of their passengers”.

P&O apologised and said its highest priority was always the wellbeing of everyone.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Ventura is due back in Southampton on Saturday morning

In a statement, Southampton Port Health Authority said it had had been communicating with parent company Carnival UK and understood the ship was continuing to sail at a “heightened level of response for AGE”.

“We are working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to offer assistance to the vessel on its return to Southampton,” it added.

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