lisbon portugal. 01 may 2018. large luxury cruise ship sapphire

Norovirus Outbreaks Sicken Over 150 Cruise Ship Passengers on Two Major Cruise Lines

Two separate outbreaks of norovirus are currently under investigation by the CDC. Both have been linked to U.S. cruise ships- Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess and Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas.

The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) is tracking the “very contagious” outbreaks following reports of “passengers in distress.”

Approximately 67 of the 1,993 passengers on the Radiance of the Seas reported falling ill during its voyage from Tampa to Los Angeles between April 8 and 22, 2024. An additional two crew members reported the same. 

Approximately 94 of 2,532 passengers on the Sapphire Princess reported similar symptoms during its voyage from Los Angeles into the South Pacific that began April 5 and is scheduled to conclude on May 7. An additional 20 members of the 1,066 crew reported symptoms as well. 

One of the biggest health risks posed by Norovirus is dehydration. The CDC recommends those infected drink plenty of liquids to aid in recovery. 

What Is Norovirus?

Norovirus is more commonly known as the stomach flu. This illness involves nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, and abdominal cramps. It is not the type of illness someone wants to contract while confined to a boat out at sea. Norovirus is extremely contagious and can spread from physical contact with someone who has the illness or by touching something that someone who had the illness touched. It can also spread by contaminated food or water. 

Whenever an illness, such as norovirus, strikes on a ship, cruise staff are required to implement sanitation procedures. If the illness is reported while the vessel is at sea, depending on the sickness involved, the ill passengers are often quarantined to prevent it from spreading while being treated by the ship’s medical staff.

We recommend that before you book your cruise, that you visit the CDC’s website where you can research different cruise ships to see how they performed in their last inspection. Ships are graded on a 100-point scale. Points are deducted whenever a safety violation is found. Certain violations are easily fixed immediately, often during the actual inspection. Other more complicated issues may take longer to correct. These random inspections verify that ships are maintaining a healthy and safe environment on board. If you are about to take a cruise, we urge you to review your ship’s annual inspection report.


Norovirus outbreaks linked to 2 cruise ships with over 150 infected (