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Cruise ship passengers taken ill

25 September 2012 15:52

Veendam was anchored in Sydney Harbour

Veendam was anchored in Sydney Harbour

The need for cruise travel insurance has been highlighted by reports that several people aboard a cruise ship in Australian waters were recently struck by gastrointestinal illness.

Some 21 passengers and crew members aboard Holland America vessel Veendam, anchored in Sydney Harbour, were taken ill last week. Those Veendam passengers who were well enough to do some sightseeing were ferried to the shore and engaged in a bit of shopping and visited local attractions. The number of ill passengers was later reduced to five.

With precautions in place to ensure that no other passengers or crew members fall ill, Health Canada spokeswoman Lisa Gillis moved to allay fears by insisting that an illness outbreak has not occurred as less than 3% of the vessel's population had been taken ill. The Veendam can house 1,350 passengers and 580 crew.