Investigation Underway on Queen Victoria Cruise Ship Following Illness Outbreak


CDC is currently investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness.

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Cunard Cruise Line’s Queen Victoria cruise ship is under investigation by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the voyage, 129 out of 1,824 passengers (7.07%) and 25 out of 967 crew members (2.59%) reported illnesses, with diarrhea and vomiting being the predominant symptoms noted. The causative agent for the outbreak is still unknown.1

The CDC outlines that under the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), cruise ships are mandated to document and report any passengers or crew experiencing symptoms of gastrointestinal illness. This is to monitor and manage health concerns, offering information on reported illnesses and outbreaks to help prevent future occurrences.2

In response to the outbreak, Cunard Cruise Line and crew ramped up its cleaning and disinfection procedures in line with its outbreak prevention and response plan, while ill passengers and crew have been isolated. Additionally, both current and embarking passengers and crew were notified about the onboard situation, with a strong encouragement for prompt illness reporting and diligent hand hygiene.

“Traveling on cruise ships exposes people to new environments and high volumes of people, including other travelers,” according to the CDC. “This exposure can create the risk for illness from contaminated food, or water or, more commonly, through person-to-person contact.”4

Main Takeaways

  1. On a cruise ship, 129 passengers and 25 crew members have experienced symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, marking a notable health incident.
  2. The CDC and cruise lines stress the importance of preventive measures, including frequent handwashing and prompt illness reporting, to combat the spread of infections.
  3. In response to the outbreak, Cunard Cruise Line has intensified its cleaning and disinfection protocols and isolated those affected. This proactive approach, aligns with the CDC's VSP guidelines.

Similarly, earlier this year in January, the CDC documented Celebrity Cruises' ship, Celebrity Constellation, had a norovirus outbreak. During the voyage, 92 out of 2,056 passengers onboard (4.47%) and 8 out of 948 crew members (0.84%) reported falling ill, with vomiting and diarrhea being the predominant symptoms experienced.3

Preventative measures include washing hands often to avoid exposure to anything that may cause illnesses and spread germs, particularly after using the toilet and before eating or smoking. Maintaining self-health is crucial, ensure you get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. Resting is key to rebuilding the immune system while staying hydrated helps prevent dehydration. Additionally, if you witness someone getting sick, either vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, it is important to leave the area and report the incident to cruise staff immediately, if they are not already aware.4

As the investigation continues, updates on the causative agent and further preventive measures are anticipated from the CDC.


  1. CDC. Queen victoria january 22- february 6, 2024. Published February 8, 2024. Accessed February 15, 2024.
  2. CDC. Cruise ship outbreak updates. Published February 8, 2024. Accessed February 15, 2024.
  3. CDC. Celebrity-constellation january 3 – january 12, 2024. Published January 12, 2024. Accessed February 15, 2024.
  4. CDC. Tips for healthy cruising. Published December 27, 2022. Accessed February 15, 2024.
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