The Fred Olsen Cruise Liner, The Balmoral has been forced to end its journey ahead of schedule because more than 100 passengers have fallen ill with a vomiting bug. Passengers started to feel ill as the ship was cruising around the Scottish islands. By the time the liner was supposed to head to Guernsey and the Channel Islands it was decided that too many people were not particularly enjoying themselves and the ship headed straight back to Dover.
The Balmoral was carrying 1,200 passengers on what was supposed to be a nine night cruise around the British Isles. A number of passengers and crew had to be confined to their quarters as the norovirus bug spread throughout the ship. It is strongly believed that the virus was brought on board The Balmoral by a lady who boarded at Dover where the cruise started. The ship’s medical staff diagnosed her with the gastro-intestinal illness and asked her to remain in her cabin so as to prevent its spread to the other passengers. Evidently she did not like being put into quarantine and was seen sneaking out of her quarters and mixing with the other passengers, one hundred of whom quickly succumbed to the virus.
The Balmoral is now due to depart on a cruise around the Baltic for 12 nights. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines have said that one of the reasons for returning to Dover early was so that the ship could undergo a deep clean before any passengers came aboard.