So, your client has heard of all the great things about a cruise holiday but is concerned about norovirus onboard cruise ships. You wonder, what is norovirus? Should cruise customers be worried?
Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can be contracted from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes inflammation in the stomach or intestines leading to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.
While it all sounds scary, the risk of getting norovirus is low.
According to U.S. statistics, the risk of getting norovirus on land is 1 in 15. A cruise passenger has 1 in 5,500 chance of getting norovirus during a shipboard outbreak. You might hear of more cases of norovirus onboard cruise ships, and that is because unlike the shore examples, cruise ships are obligated to report when there is a significant number of passengers down with illnesses.
Cruise lines do their part to ensure a healthy cruise experience and that passengers and crew maintain good hygiene onboard. Cruise ship crew members employ strict cleaning and sanitation practices developed with public health authorities.
What cruise passengers can do onboard is to observe thorough, frequent hand washing and to get plenty of rest and water.
Armed with this information, reassure your cruise customers today!
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)’s membership offers a globally recognised online training and accreditation programme – specially designed for travel agents – with elective modules dedicated to river cruising. Visit www.cliaasia.org to join.
Jiali Wong is the Regional Manager for Asia, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)