Norovirus outbreak forces Sun Princess cruise passengers, crew to evacuate after hundreds sickened

A norovirus outbreak forced passengers and crew aboard a Princess Cruises sailing to evacuate the ship Wednesday, the final day of the trip.

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The Sun Princess departed on Nov. 1 from Perth, Australia to Singapore for a 12-night excursion with 2,000 passengers when the contagious virus spread across the ship, The Sun reported. Approximately 229 passengers had symptoms of the virus, which can include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, before the cruise evacuated in Singapore.

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Cleaning of the ship was conducted Wednesday, as was an extra cleaning of the terminal “out of an abundance of care and in line with best practice,” Carnival Australia, the parent company of Princess Cruises, told The Sun in a statement.

A spokesperson for Carnival Australia claimed “the vast majority of the 2000 guests on Sun Princess were unaffected.”

A spokesperson for Carnival Australia claimed “the vast majority of the 2000 guests on Sun Princess were unaffected.” (Reuters)

Following the outbreak, some passengers chose to fly back to Australia instead of continuing on the ship, which has since resumed its scheduled travel, Perth Now reports.

A spokesperson for Carnival Australia claimed “the vast majority of the 2,000 guests on Sun Princess were unaffected.” However, the liner increased onboard sanitation measures following initial reports of the norovirus.

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"Creating and maintaining a healthy on-board environment is always a priority with the highest public health standards employed based on best international practice. On-board sanitation was swiftly stepped up following some guests reporting gastrointestinal symptoms confirmed as being due to norovirus,” the statement to The Sun read.

Princess and Carnival Cruise did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

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This is not the first time a Sun Princess cruise has been plagued with a norovirus outbreak. In 2017, at least 91 passengers were sickened on a 10-day cruise to the South Pacific.

In January, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was also forced to return to Florida one day early after 277 passengers and crew got sick from the gastrointestinal bug.