The Sun Princess has been hit with an outbreak of gastro. Picture: STEWART McLEAN
The Sun Princess has been hit with an outbreak of gastro. Picture: STEWART McLEAN

Aussie cruise ship evacuated after gastro outbreak

A cruise ship that departed Perth earlier this month has made an emergency docking in Singapore after an outbreak of norovirus on-board.

Two thousand passengers were taken off the vessel to avoid the highly contagious virus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

It is understood the Carnival Australia owned-ship departed Fremantle on November 1 as part of a 12-night trip, and while the ship has resumed its journey, some passengers have decided to return home following the outbreak.

Symptoms of norovirus generally last between one and three days, with medical experts recommending regularly handwashing to avoid the disease.

A gastro outbreak has disrupted the Sun Princess’s 12-night voyage. Picture: Liam Kidston.
A gastro outbreak has disrupted the Sun Princess’s 12-night voyage. Picture: Liam Kidston.

It's not the first time the Sun Princess has been plagued by a virus on-board.

In 2017, about 140 passengers fell ill with gastro a fortnight after a similar outbreak on the vessel during a previous cruise. At the time, the Sun Princess returned to Brisbane about 7am after its 14-day trip around New Zealand.

In 2018, a further 200 people were struck down with illness on-board another ship, called the Sea Princess, which is also part of the Princess Cruises fleet.

During this voyage, the ship was completing its final leg of a two-week round trip between Brisbane and New Zealand.

The ship was docked in Singapore.
The ship was docked in Singapore.

At the time of the outbreak, Queensland Health confirmed to the ABC that on-board testing found norovirus to be the cause of increased gastro cases.

"Around 200 people were believed to have been infected with the virus," a spokesperson said.

"Appropriate sanitation procedures and outbreak control measures have been implemented, and the vessel is expected to undergo further comprehensive cleaning while in Brisbane."

The Sea Princess can hold up to 2000 guests and 910 crew and features a four-storey atrium, casino, pools and sporting facilities.

News.com.au has contacted Carnival Australia for comment.


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