Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

Passengers taken sick on Fred Olsen cruises

Marie and Michael Bridge
Marie and Michael Bridge said they both became ill on a cruise ship

A cruise company based in Suffolk is facing complaints after passengers were taken ill.

Outbreaks of sickness have occurred on two Fred Olsen ships, the Boudicca and the Balmoral, in the past three months.

A couple from Norfolk said they had become ill on a cruise. A firm of solicitors told the BBC it was acting for 50 other people taken sick.

Fred Olsen said norovirus had been brought on board both ships and 50 people had been ill.

"It should be noted that currently there is not an outbreak on either ship," it said in a statement.

"It is only to be expected that cruise lines, along with hospitals and schools and other institutions where people are together in close proximity, have also been affected by the virus."

'Hygiene reminders'

The turnaround time of its ships was extended so that they could be cleaned properly after an outbreak and sanitising gels were available around the vessel, the statement continued.

It added: "There are constant reminders to everyone on board to pay attention to personal hygiene, but the effectiveness of all these precautions is only as good as the co-operation of the people concerned."

Marie and Michael Bridge, who live near Norwich, said they had spent £3,000 on a Fred Olsen Mediterranean cruise.

"On the fourth day my husband was taken ill with gastroenteritis and we were kept in the cabin for three days," said Mrs Bridge.

"The next day, I was taken ill."

Irwin Mitchell solicitors said it was aware of many passengers who had become ill on Fred Olsen ships, some with the winter vomiting bug, norovirus.

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