Update: Norovirus Strikes Again: Cunard Ship May be Turned Away from U.S.

January 11, 2010
Queen Victoria (3:35 p.m. EST) -- Update: Cruise Critic contributor Ted Scull, who was onboard the crossing, reports that Queen Victoria did indeed dock in New York today at noon, and passengers were allowed off the ship. A spokesman for the CDC tells us that as of Sunday at 3:41 p.m., Queen Victoria reported 163 passengers with cases of gastrointestinal illness (that's 8.7 percent of the 1,874 passengers onboard), as well as seven sick crewmembers. The ship first notified the CDC of a possible Norovirus outbreak on January 7 when the number of ill passengers passed the two percent threshold.

(January 10, 3:30 p.m. EST) -- Another outbreak of Norovirus has been reported, this time aboard Cunard's luxury Queen Victoria, which is sailing an eight-night transatlantic voyage from Southampton to New York.

According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, there is a chance that the ship may be denied permission to dock in New York if the number of ill passengers reaches an epidemic level -- 15 percent or more of the ship's occupants. The ship is currently scheduled to arrive in New York earlier than planned, on January 11 midday rather than January 12.

Cunard spokesperson Jackie Chase confirmed that there are several sick passengers but was unable to say how many, exactly, have come down with the gastrointestinal virus, which causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and possibly headaches, fevers and abdominal cramps. Ted Scull, a Cruise Critic contributor, is onboard Queen Victoria and says that there have been no reports that the ship will not dock in New York.

Earlier this week, the virus made appearances aboard Holland America's Noordam and, most recently, Royal Caribbean's new giant, Oasis of the Seas. Two of U.K.-based Fred. Olsen's ships, Balmoral and Boudicca, were also plagued by the virus during recent Christmas and New Year's sailings.

Efforts to reach the Center for Disease Control and the port of New York for comment weren't immediately successful, but we'll keep you posted.

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor