New Cruise Ship Reports Gastrointestinal Outbreak

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The newest luxury ship from Silversea Cruises, Silver Nova, has reported a gastrointestinal illness outbreak on its current sailing, with nearly 30 guests and crew members reporting symptoms.

Onboard actions have been taken to ensure good hygiene and minimize any further spreading of the illness, as well as to keep guests informed of the situation.

Illness Outbreak on Silver Nova

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring a disease outbreak aboard Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova, with a total of 29 cases reported during the current 16-night sailing.

According to the CDC, of the confirmed cases, 28 are reported from passengers out of the 633 travelers onboard (4.42%), while just one is a crew member out of the 538 staff onboard (.19%). At full capacity, Silver Nova can welcome 728 guests, and her full crew complement can reach 556 team members.

As is standard procedure to safeguard individuals’ privacy, the names of those reporting symptoms have not been released. The severity of the symptoms has also not been clarified.

At this time, the type of disease is not yet confirmed, though the primary symptom is diarrhea. This could likely be norovirus or may be a different gastrointestinal disease, which are usually easily spread through contaminated surfaces.

Photo Credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

It is important to note that the total of 29 cases does not mean that 29 guests and crew members are sick simultaneously; the total is only confirmed, reported, symptomatic cases during the entire voyage. Norovirus symptoms, for example, typically last just 1-3 days, so it is possible the cases have simply been spread throughout the voyage, with just a few reported at once.

Mitigation Measures Underway

In response to the reported cases onboard, crew members aboard Silver Nova have immediately implemented enhanced sanitation and other measures to minimize any further spread.

This includes announcements to both crew and staff encouraging good hand hygiene at all times, including before eating and after using the restroom. Anyone reporting symptoms has also been isolated to further minimize possible transmission.

Read Also: Cruise Ship Illness – How to Protect Yourself

Increased cleaning and disinfection protocols have also been implemented onboard, particularly for high-contact surfaces and public areas.

Next Sailing Not Yet Impacted

Silver Nova is currently sailing a 16-night one-way cruise from Lima, Peru to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, having visited ports in Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Jamaica, and Mexico en route. Guests could also have embarked in Cartagena, Colombia, for the last 7 nights of the sailing.

Silver Nova Pool Deck
Photo Credit: Silversea Cruises

The ship is due to arrive at Port Everglades on Tuesday, April 16, and there appears to be no delay in her scheduled arrival. Her next voyage, scheduled to depart the same day, is a 20-night one-way from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco, California, including a full transit of the Panama Canal.

It is possible that embarkation for the next sailing may be slightly delayed in order to facilitate further deep cleaning and sanitation procedures, and guests would be contacted directly if that were to be implemented. The ship will still depart on the same day, however, and the next itinerary should not be impacted by any slight delay.

Not the First Outbreak This Year

The outbreak aboard the 54,700-gross-ton Silver Nova, which just entered service in August 2023 and was officially christened in January 2024, is not the first illness reported to the CDC so far this year.

Similar outbreaks have already been investigated aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation, Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria, and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam.

On all three vessels, norovirus was determined as the cause of the illness. The outbreak aboard Queen Victoria was the largest, affecting 154 guests and crew members with vomiting and diarrhea.

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