Cases of Swine Flu on Cruise Ships
Reported Ilnesses and Port Responses

Cruise Line
Type of Incident
August 20 MSC Cruises MSC Cruises has announced it will screen passengers for H1N1 swine flu by using thermal-imaging cameras. Within seconds, cameras produce infrared images of a person’s body, detecting higher-than-normal body temperatures, MSC said. The Italian cruise line said it would have thermal-imaging cameras at the embarkation points of every one of its 11 ships, enabling its medical staff to monitor the temperature of every embarking passenger. "An infrared camera is a very effective yet nonintrusive tool for detecting people infected with a viral disease even at a very early stage," MSC said in a statement. Monitoring pax at embarkation
August 13 Aida Vita
Aida Cruises
Kathimerini (Greece) reports a 29-year-old German woman who is a member of the crew was in stable condition at the Metropolitan Hospital in Athens after contracting swine flu. Swine flu
August 12 Navigator of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
Kathimerini (Greece) reports that six people on board the ship, which docked in Piraeus, have been confined to their cabins after testing positive for swine flu. Three are crew members and the other three passengers. Swine flu
July 31 Voyager of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
Reuters reports there are dozens of victims of swine flu among the 5,000 passengers and crew docked in France Friday on its way from the Italian port city of Naples to Marseille. Sixty crew members were diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, and 70 more crew members showed signs of the disease. People infected with swine flu are being treated and will stay on board the ship, which docked at Villefranche in southern France Friday morning and will resume its journey Friday evening. All other crew members will also stay on board, though the passengers -- 3,600 people -- will be allowed to go on land during the day. UPDATE: Press Association reports the crew members and two passengers who were suspected of having swine flu have tested negative for the virus. RCCL said 62 crew members and two passengers on the ship were immediately isolated after coming down with cold and flu-like symptoms. It said: "All crew members and the guests with symptoms tested negative for Influenza A but will remain in isolation until they are symptom free." The information contradicted comments by Alpes-Maritime regional spokeswoman Geraldine Soulier, who said about 60 crew members had been diagnosed with swine flu and confined to their cabins while the ship was in the French port of Villefranche-sur-Mer. She said 70 others were also suspected of having the illness and isolated. Ms Soulier said regional authorities had been informed of the diagnosis by Spain's health authorities. The 60 had been diagnosed with the A-H1N1 virus upon boarding the ship in Barcelona, Spain, on July 26 and immediately placed in isolation. She said she had no information to indicate that the Spanish authorities' diagnosis was incorrect. UPDATE August 1: AFP (France) reports when the ship arrived in Mraseille at 7:00 AM local authorities initially barred passengers from going ashore, but after a team of medics carried out an enquiry on board, the majority of passengers were given permission to disembark. Local official Philip Ramon said authorisation to go ashore had been given because the risk was deemed "extremely marginal." Only one passenger, whose nationality was not given, was confirmed to have had swine flu and had now fully recovered, he said. About 150 people remained on board in isolation, he added. These included 62 members of the crew, who had presented symptoms of A(H1N1) flu, and another 60 people who had been in contact with them, five passengers and around 15 other passengers who had been in contact with them. Swine flu
July 26 Ruby Princess
Princess Cruises
The Daily Mail reports the ship was briefly impounded by Italian authorities when it arrived today in Venice. Two additional people (passengers) have now been reported with swine flu. An official with the Maritime Health Agency in Venice said that three passengers, an American, a Mexican and a German had been confirmed while the other four were crew. He added that the Mexican and German would be taken off and treated ashore, while the American and the crew members were making good progress and would be allowed to remain on the ship. When the Ruby Princess arrived in Venice today the captain was told that passengers would not be able to disembark until health officials had been on board to carry out checks -- about an hour delay. The ship is in Venice until Tuesday (July 28) when it leaves for Dubrovnik. (See July 24th below for more information.) Impounded briefly
July 25 Unnamed German Cruise Ship GR Reporter (News from Greece) reports panic spread among the authorities in Greece when announcement came in, that a German luxury cruise line with 4500 people on board sailed away from Turkey to Pieria with three people on board, infected with the H1N1 virus. Only three doctors are working in Pieria port, who would not be able to manage treating possible patients. (The ship is likely operated by Aida Cruises) Swine flu
July 24 Ruby Princess
Princess Cruises
Earth Times reports five people (one passenger and four crew) discovered with swine flu aboard the ship have been put in quarantine by oficials in Athens. "We have advised the four crew and passenger to remain in their cabins and to not disembark," said Health Ministry official Panagiotis Efstathiou, adding that all the other passengers have been allowed to leave the vessel. The captain had asked the Greek government to inspect the ship as soon as it arrived in the port of Piraeus from neighboring Turkey. The Ruby Princess is scheduled to leave for Venice, Italy on Friday evening. Pax/crew quarantined
July 16 Dawn Princess
Princess Cruises
Chinese media report five passengers on board the ship were in isolation due to influenza A/H1N1 as the vessel is on a stop-over in the French Polynesian capital of Papeete. The health ministry said the five have been given Tamiflu, and there is an unspecified number of people who were in close contact with the five, Radio New Zealand International reported on Thursday. The ship is carrying nearly 2,000 passengers and almost 900 crew. It arrived from Samoa and will sail to Bora Bora before continuing its voyage to Hawaii and California. Pax quarantined
July 8 Emerald Princess
Princess Cruises
Media in Finland report the ship docked in Helsinki this morning. Helsinki City health authorities have been notified that five people aboard the ship have contracted swine flu. On Tuesday Helsinki City Epidemiologist Hannele Kotilainen said any passengers or crew members who are infectious will not be allowed ashore while the vessel is in Finland. All in all, ten people have been quarantined. When the ship was last in Helsinki in late June (see July 2 below), Finnish officials were not informed that there were several people on board at the time who had contracted swine flu. The ship was in Finland on June 28th before sailing on to St. Petersburg. Cases of swine flu onboard had been confirmed by tests taken in Oslo four days earlier. The infections were reported to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control by Norwegian officials, but the information went unnoticed by Finnish authorities. The captain of the vessel was under obligation to report the infections before entering Helsinki harbour. Swine flu
July 2 Emerald Princess
Princess Cruises
Copenhagen Post reports doctors at Copenhagen hospitals are awaiting the arrival the cruise ship due to dock in Copenhagen on Saturday that has 14 crew members on board infected with the Influenza A H1N1 virus (see June 29, below). Princess Cruises confirmed to the Cruise Critic website that some of the crew on board its Emerald Princess cruise liner had tested positive and are now in isolation and being treated with anti-viral medication. The ship has already called at ports in Finland, Russia and Sweden, prior to its expected arrival in Denmark this weekend. There are 4,400 passengers and crew on board, but Danish health authorities have not yet decided if passengers will be allowed off the ship when it reaches Copenhagen. ‘The hospitals have been advised that there could be a number of passengers or others who have to be admitted,’ said health inspector Arne Scheel Thomsen. ‘So the system is ready to deal with the situation.’ Swine flu
June 29 Emerald Princess
Princess Cruises
RIANOVOSTI reports the ship, with 14 A/H1N1-infected people onboard, arrived in St. Petersburg on Monday. Swine flu was confirmed in 13 crew members and one passenger. The ship sailed from the Finnish capital, Helsinki. The infected have been quarantined in their cabins and are being treated with the anti-viral drug Tamiflu. The first case of the highly pathogenic virus was confirmed in several crew members on June 18. When the vessel arrived to St. Petersburg, 16 people had already recovered and tested negative for the virus. Swine flu
June 24 Navigator of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
PR-Inside reports two women (58-year old American and 34-year-old Italian) were quaratined during a port call in Barcelona; both tested positive for swine flu. The women will remain on the ship and it will leave as scheduled Wednesday night for Palma, on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. There doctors will examine them again. The cruise ship began its trip in Italy and stopped off in France before arriving in Barcelona. Passengers quarantined
June 22 Pacific Sun
P&O Australia
Fiji Times reports five passenger that arrived in the Northern Division yesterday were not allowed ashore on the orders of health officials. Officials who are part of the quarantine team at Savusavu port requested that the five remain in their cabins after they showed symptons of seasonal flu. Health inspectors from the Savusavu Hospital awaited the arrival of the cruise liner to check passengers. A health official said the team had already known of the five cases before the cruise liner docked. Ministry of Health spokesman Iliesa Tora said a team was at the port in the morning to carry out necessary inspection on the 1600 passengers that disembarked. Passengers quarantined
June 21 Pacific Star
P&O Australia
Fiji Village reports all arriving passengers were screened for swine flu. Health Ministry officials looked for any symptoms of Influenza A H1N1 amongst the 1,600 passengers of the Pacific Star which docked at the Savusavu whalf at around 8:30 this morning. Passengers screened
June 20 Ocean Dream
Pullmantur Cruises
Radio Jamaica reports health authorities in Aruba have been checking passengers and crew from the cruise ship for signs of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus. The Dutch territory's health ministry said the tests were a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus. The ship arrived back in Aruba late Monday. The passengers' Caribbean trip was cut short after three crew members tested positive for the H1N1 virus while eleven others showed symptoms. Authorities in Aruba have not ruled out some of the passengers spending more time on the vessel. The people on board were said to be calm but frustrated by the long wait and lack of information. UPDATE: Taiwan News reports all but one passenger disembarked Saturday (June 20) and 400 crewmembers will disembark Tuesday. The single passenger and three crewmembers tested positive and are under quarantine onboard the ship. Swine flu
June 18 Carnival Corporation

Seatrade Insider reports Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison said that 20 of 23 Caribbean governments where the company operates ships have agreed not to ban calls due to concerns about swine flu. ‘Over-reaction in some locations is a problem,’ Arison said during today’s Carnival earnings call. He told analysts the company is trying to deal with the issue on a port by port, country by country basis. He said it’s a matter of educating destinations about the facts. Cruise ships have rigorous sanitation protocols and practices that include the immediate isolation of passengers or crew who exhibit flu-like symptoms. These measures minimize the chance swine flu could spread from ship to shore. NOTE: His comments are interesting in the context of Carnival's over-reaction in stopping all port calls to Mexico when swine flu first appeared (especially given that most of those ill were not in Mexico's ports).

Corporate pressure on ports
June 18 Ocean Dream
Pullmantur Cruises
BBC News reportsVenezuela has quarantined the ship following an outbreak of swine flu on board. More than 1,200 passengers and crew will be kept on board the vessel, which has docked at the Venezuelan island of Margarita. They were stopped from disembarking at previous stops in Barbados and Grenada after three crew members were diagnosed with the flu virus. Eleven more crew members are reported to have symptoms. "The virus was detected in three crew members and the boat must now stay in quarantine until June 24," said Venezuelan health official Jorge Alchaer. UPDATE June 19: Safety at Sea International reports the ship is headed for Aruba today after 342 Venezuelan passengers went ashore. The cruise line issued a statement today denying that Venezuela quarantined the ship until 24 June, as Caracas had earlier said. "The ship is continuing its itinerary to Aruba, where the rest of passengers and affected crew members will disembark in strict accordance with security measures established by Aruba's health authorities," Pullmantur added. Ocean Dream left Isla de Margarita off Venezuela, carrying 198 Spanish passengers and 151 Colombians, said the company, which added three crew members infected with swine flu and 11 others with flu symptoms were all improving. Detained and quarantined
June 18 Ocean Dream
Pullmantur Cruises
Reuters India reports the ship was refused entry to Bridgetown, Barbados because of reports of flu-like symptoms among its occupants, shipping agents in Bridgetown said. Denied port access
June 16 Sun Princess
Princess Cruises
The West Australian reports ill passengers aboard the cruise ship have been tested for swine flu before docking in Fremantle tomorrow. The ship, which departed from Sydney on May 2 for an Indian Ocean cruise. is the first international cruise ship to arrive in Perth since the outbreak of the A/H1N1 virus. It is due to dock at Fremantle Port at 7am tomorrow and is expected to leave at 4pm. A Princess Cruises spokesman said he did not know how many swabs had been taken from passengers for testing at a WA health laboratory but confirmed the ship’s doctor had sent swabs to for testing as precaution. He said during the 46 night cruise, which made stops in Asia, South Africa, India and Mauritius, only seven people had shown flu-like symptoms of which five were confirmed to have contracted influenza A. In line with national protocols, all passengers will be required to fill out health declaration cards before being allowed off the ship. All sick passengers will be assessed by WA health communicable disease control staff and people sharing the same cabin will be offered Tamiflu as a precaution if appropriate. Passengers tested before disembarking
June 16 Ocean Dream
Pullmantur Cruises
Grenada Broadcasting Network reports the ship, which was scheduled to visit Grenada on Monday, was turned away by health authorities. Passengers were prohibited from coming ashore by the Ministry of Health because some crew members were exhibiting flu like symptoms. Geo. F. Huggins & Co. (G'da) ltd; local agents for the ship, confirm that the company was informed by the vessel that approximately forty (40) crew members onboard were found to be exhibiting flu-like symptoms. As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Health prohibited the disembarkation of any passenger or crew member. Denied disembarkation
June 13
The Nation reports Minister of Health Donville Inniss said cruise ships could be stopped from docking at the Bridgetown Port if there were more than five people onboard with any infectious disease, including H1N1
Barbados may deny port access
June 13
Lloyd's List reports the UK will not follow the lead of Australia and other countries in banning cruiseships that suffer flu outbreaks from entering ports, a senior public health source has confirmed. Nicol Black, who is responsible for port health matters at the Health Protection Agency, described such a policy as an “over-reaction”, and questioned whether it was compliant with existing international health regulations.
UK will not deny port access
June 11 Enchantment of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
News7 Belize reports that disembarakation was delayed for more than four hours because of a swine flu scare. Six of the ship's crew had flu symptoms and were quarantined on the ship. As a precaution, passengers weren’t allowed to de-board until a Ministry of Health team checked out the ship. The okay was given at mid-day and the passengers filed off the ship. The TV station reported that most passengers were unaware that there was an onboard H1N1 scare.
Delayed disembarkation
June 10 Adventure of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
The Daily Mail reports the ship was turned away from St. Lucia today over worries the vessel was carrying the H1N1 swine flu virus. The line says another island, Antigua, also has told the ship not to visit as scheduled on Thursday. The islands' decisions came after the line reported two crew members and a passenger on the ship had been experiencing flu-like symptoms. The ship departed San Juan, Puerto Rico Sunday on a seven-night Southern Caribbean cruise and has stopped only at Bridgetown, Barbados. It is scheduled to visit Philipsburg, St. Maarten and St. Croix, Virgin Islands later this week. There's no word yet on whether the two islands will allow the ship to dock. Denied port access
June 8 Zaandam
Holland America Line
Associated Press reports at least three crew members tested positive for swine flu. The seven-night, round-trip cruise had departed Seattle on May 29 and returned Friday. It visited Ketchikan on Wednesday. A medical epidemiologist with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, said her department was informed Tuesday that three crew members were affected. More were reported with symptoms Wednesday. Specimens were collected and sent to the department's lab in Fairbanks for analysis. Swine flu was confirmed Thursday. None of the officials had an exact number of cases available. Subsequent reports from Agenece France Presse put the number at five crew members comfirmed illwith swine flu. 5 crew ill
June 2 Dawn Princess
Princess Cruises
ABC News reports the ship has been turned away from Lifou, New Caledonia amid fears of swine flu after up to five people on board started showing flu-like symptoms. Swabs have been taken from the sick passengers and sent to Sydney for testing. The cruise left Sydney May 24 for a 13-day South Pacific cruise (previous port calls at Vanuatu and Fiji) and is now heading back to Sydney and will arrive on Friday. Denied port access
May 27 Pacific Dawn
P&O Australia
The Australian reports the ship will be quarantined off Willis Island, east of Cairns, tomorrow after three crew members tested positive for swine flu. The crew have been isolated and medical samples will be sent to Brisbane laboratories for testing. The ship has missed scheduled stops in the Whitsundays. It had been cleared Monday by NSW Health to sail on a scheduled 10-night cruise to Queensland, but today NSW announced it would treat all cruise ships arriving in NSW waters as if swine flu were onboard. Eighteen cases of infection have now been recorded from the cruise ship. Three crew members on the present cruise have been confirmed to have the illness. UPDATE: The ship's port call at Cairns and Port Douglas have been cancelled by the government in its effort to prevent spread of swine flu. The ship will call at Brisbane Saturday and return to Sydney Monday (three days ahead of schedule). UPDATE: Bloomberg News reports 53 passengers and crew have tested positive for the H1N1 virus after two voyages. Most were diagnosed after they disembarked in Sydney May 25. Cases among people on board the ship have been found in Canberra and the states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, the nation’s health department said by e-mail today. The infections contributed to a more than twofold increase in Australia’s swine flu tally to 164 since early yesterday. Denied port access - 53 pax/crew ill
May 25 Pacific Dawn
P&O Australia
The Daily Telegraph reports a second case of swine flu outbreak. The paper said Monday that Sydney Harbour was in lock down with two children aboard the cruise ship believed to have tested positive for swine flu. The two passengers have been quarantined in their cabins. Test on four suspected cases came back positive at 6pm revealing two passengers were infected with the H1N1 virus (another 170 passengers show flu-like symptoms). Passengers were apparently allowed to disembark, however asked to remain locked indoors at home. The two children (confirmed cases) were isolated on board the cruise ship two days after it left Sydney for the South Pacific on May 16 with what they thought was the influenza A virus. Disembarkation delayed
May 23 Dawn Princess
Princess Cruises
The Melbourne Herald Sun reports ship was quarantined for several hours on arrival in Sydney at the end of a 35 night cruise of the Pacific amid a swine flu scare. Almost 2000 passengers, and another 900 crew, were kept on the ship for more than five hours while another 2000 passengers waiting to board were left to wait on the dock. The ship arrived at Darling Harbour at about 12pm (AEST) today, hours late due to poor weather conditions. Then, health officials were called out and the ship was locked down because four passengers with mild influenza-like symptoms were suspected to have swine flu - they underwent tests. All passengers and crew were subsequently allowed to leave the ship but told to remain in isolation in Sydney until the test results are known. Disembarkation delayed
May 14 Carnival Victory
Carnival Cruise Lines
Safety at Sea International Newsletter reports concerns over swine flu have impeded disembarkation in Barbados Wednesday, but the cruise line disputed a report that the ship had been quarantined. Barbados Port CEO Everton Walters said the ship had been quarantined and the cruise port had been closed. Carnival said a female crew member exhibiting flu-like symptoms was recently placed in isolation and upon the ship’s arrival in Barbados this morning, this information was provided to local authorities. Carnival said, “In response to the information, local authorities in Barbados are requiring that all guests disembarking the vessel there be given a screening questionnaire. The process is somewhat delaying debarkation. The ship will extend its port call in Barbados until 1930 to provide additional time in port.” The female crew member was quarantined shortly after the ship left Roseau, Dominica. See Jamaica Observer and The Dominican. Disembarkation delayed
May 9 Serenade of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
While cruise ships have dropped port calls in Mexico to avoid swine flu, the first cases of swine flu on cruise ships were identified on a cruise ship in Alaska. KTUU in Alaska reports state health officials say a female crew member (dining room waiter) tested positive for the H1N1 swine flu virus, and that ship is now in Alaska waters. The ship was en route to Sitka on Sunday, traveling in the Icy Strait on a 14-night cruise from the Caribbean to Canada. "(Saturday) we received reports of a probable case of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus, also called swine flu," said Dr. Jay Butler, the state's chief medical officer. Royal Caribbean said in a statement that two crew members experienced flu-like symptoms about a week ago. Both crew members were immediately isolated. The illness was subsequently confirmed to be swine flu. 2 crew ill
April 28 All Cruise Lines All cruise lines announced they were suspending port calls to Mexico -- the suspension is expected to last until early June. Mexican ports dropped