Summary of Outbreaks Reported by CDC

The Center for Disease Control performs unannounced inspections, which are conducted twice a year and required for any cruise ship with an international itinerary calling at a U.S. port.

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Cruise Ship Outbreak Summary

cruise ship CDC information
CDC Ship Ratings (Current)
CDC Ship Ratings 2012 Index
CDC Ship Ratings 2011 Summary


Cruise ships participating in the Vessel Sanitation Program are required to report the total number of gastrointestinal (GI) illness cases (including zero cases) evaluated by the medical staff before the ship arrives at a U.S. port, when sailing from a foreign port. A separate notification is required when the GI illness count exceeds 2% of the total number of passengers or crew onboard. The data below were obtained from these surveillance reports and from CDC-led investigations. The GI illness cases reported are totals for the entire voyage and do not represent the number of active (symptomatic) GI cases at any given port of call or at disembarkation.

The following links provide additional resource information about gastrointestinal illness outbreaks on land and at sea.


Cruise Line Cruise Ship Sailing Dates Causative Agent
Norwegian Norwegian Gem 11/16 - 11/25/13 Unknown
Celebrity Celebrity Summit 9/21-10/05/13 Norovirus
Celebrity Celebrity Millennium 4/25 - 5/10/13 Norovirus
Crystal Cruises Crystal Symphony 4/29 - 5/06/13 Norovirus
HAL Veendam 4/13 - 5/04/13 E. coli (ETEC)
Celebrity Celebrity Solstice 4/08 - 4/25/13 Unknown
Celebrity Celebrity Infinity 3/17 - 4/01/13 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Ruby Princess 3/03 - 3/10/13 Norovirus
RCCL Vision of the Seas 2/25 - 3/08/13 Norovirus

2012     Current Year



What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is so widespread that only the common cold is reported more frequently. The CDC estimates that there are 23 million land-based Norovirus cases each year in the U.S., affecting one in 12 people, or 8% of the population. In contrast, the number of cruise passengers affected is .028% of the 8 million cruising population, or 1 in 3,600 of those who vacation aboard ships. Symptoms of Norovirus include mild stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea, usually lasting between one and three days. The illness generally resolves without treatment or long-term consequences.

What is E. Coli

Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons.

E. coli consists of a diverse group of bacteria. Pathogenic E. coli strains are categorized into pathotypes. Six pathotypes are associated with diarrhea and collectively are referred to as diarrheagenic E. coli.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)—STEC may also be referred to as Verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) or enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). This pathotype is the one most commonly heard about in the news in association with foodborne outbreaks.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)

Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)

Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)

Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)

Diffusely adherent E. coli (DAEC)

Health officials recommend that the best way cruise passengers can protect themselves from getting ill is to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

Source: CDC


Cruise Line Cruise Ship Sailing Dates Causative Agent
Cunard Line QM2 12/22 - 1/03 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Emerald Princess 12/17 - 12/27 Norovirus
Prestige Oceania Riviera 11/15- 11/29 Norovirus
Holland America Amsterdam 11/11 - 12/5 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Ruby Princess 10/9-10/28 Norovirus and Ecoli
Princess Cruises Dawn Princess 8/21-9/13 Norovirus
Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas 8/24-8/31 Norovirus
Carnival Cruises Carnival Glory 8/6 - 8/11 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Sun Princess 7/8 - 7/21 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Ruby Princess 2/26-3/4 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Crown Princess 2/4-2/9 Norovirus
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Silhouette 1/29-2/10 Norovirus
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Constellation 1/29-2/10 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Crown Princess 1/28-2/4 Norovirus
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas 1/28-2/04 Norovirus
P & O Cruises Aurora 1/4-1/26 Norovirus


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