P&O Swine Flu Cruise Ends in Sydney

May 31, 2009
Pool on P&O Australia's Pacific Dawn Update, 8 p.m. EDT: P&O Australia's Pacific Dawn has arrived at Sydney. New South Wales health officials have cleared the ship and passengers have disembarked without being quarantined. Pacific Dawn's next cruise does not depart until Thursday.

(May 30) -- P&O Cruises Australia's Pacific Dawn arrived in Brisbane today (Saturday) and the cruise line confirmed that at this point, no passengers have tested positive for swine flu.

The ship is now headed south to Sydney, where it will arrive on Monday -- three days ahead of schedule.

Samples from passengers had been taken ashore for testing, after three crewmembers were diagnosed with the virus. The swabs came back negative. The crew members have now recovered, but remain in isolation.

The cruise ship originally left Sydney on Monday for a 10-night Queensland itinerary. This has since been altered with the ship having to remain at sea, only docking Gladstone in North Queensland to drop off swabs for testing. There are 33 Britons onboard Pacific Dawn.

P&O Australia has said that 84 passengers disembarked in Brisbane today, while the remainder of the passengers will arrive back in Sydney on Monday. The company is now working with the New South Wales Health Authority regarding the ship's arrival.

Passengers on the swine flu cruise will be compensated for the disruption, according to P&O Australia. Each passenger will receive a 75 percent reimbursement of his or her cruise fare and an additional 25 percent that can be used as credit toward a future cruise. This is in addition to $100 in onboard credit they have already received.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor

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