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Cholera-scare cruise ship given the all clear following negative tests

By Philip Murray

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The Norweigan Dawn cruise ship in 2014. Picture: Fletcher6, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
The Norweigan Dawn cruise ship in 2014. Picture: Fletcher6, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

A cruise ship due to visit Invergordon twice this summer and which was at the centre of a cholera scare over the weekend did not have the deadly illness onboard, it has emerged.

The Norwegian Darn, which is due to visit the Cromarty Firth on June 29 and again in August, was refused entry to the Mauritius port of Port Louis over the weekend amid fears that several passengers might have contracted cholera.

The vessel had earlier sailed from the south of Africa, where a major cholera outbreak has infected around 190,000 people across several countries in the past year – of whom around 3000 have died.

Mauritius initially refused entry to the vessel while test results were pending after several passengers on the ship were put into isolation after suffering "mild symptoms of a stomach-related illness".

But those results have now come back negative for the disease, the Norwegian Dawn's owner Norwegian Cruise Holdings has confirmed.

"Despite previous reports and speculations, there were no confirmed cases nor any evidence of cholera on board the vessel," said a spokesperson. "Although only six guests were being monitored due to mild symptoms of a stomach-related illness, the government of Mauritius required testing in an overabundance of caution, thereby delaying the ship’s original disembarkation scheduled for February 25.

"Following the results of the regulatory testing by the government of Mauritius and their confirmation that no trace of cholera was found during their testing, Norwegian Dawn has been cleared for entry into Port Louis.

"As always, the health and safety of our guests, crew and the destinations we visit is our top priority. We operate at the highest public health and sanitation standards and abide by all local health regulations.”

The firm added that it had "quickly mobilised" additional staff to help provide support to passengers during the delay.

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