P&O Cruise Ship Diverted Due to Swine Flu

May 27, 2009
Pool on P&O Australia's Pacific Dawn

P&O Australia's Pacific Dawn is being diverted after three crewmembers displayed flu-like symptoms.

As we reported yesterday, all of the 2,000-plus passengers who were onboard Pacific Dawn's last voyage have been asked by Australia authorities to quarantine themselves at home because two cases of the H1N1 virus also known as swine flu were confirmed among guests onboard. Also, a number of potentially ill crewmembers disembarked.

Now, according to an official statement from P&O Australia, the cruise line and the Queensland Government jointly decided that Pacific Dawn will not call at the Whitsundays on this sailing due to concerns about being able to quarantine disease on such isolated islands.

Due to the change, Pacific Dawn will reverse its itinerary and head to Willis Island for its planned sail-by of the island. It will then visit Port Douglas on Friday and Cairns on Saturday before heading south to visit Brisbane on Tuesday. Passengers onboard this impacted sailing (including 33 Britons) will be compensated, though details were not available at press time.

In the statement, P&O Australia says that samples from the three ill crewmembers have been sent ashore for testing "as a precautionary measure"; no passengers onboard the current voyage have displayed flu-like symptoms.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor, with reporting by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor

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