A cruise ship arriving in the UK has reported 89 cases of passengers being struck down with fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The Saga Spirit of Discovery arrives in Southampton on Wednesday, after being denied berthing requests in Gibraltar.
The port authorities have turned the ship away from shore. This happens while there is a heightened awareness of hygiene in the cruise industry, following the quarantine of other vessels carrying novel coronavirus.
Although it was stressed by Gibraltar that passenger symptoms are not those of coronavirus, they turned the ship away to contain the contagious virus.
A spokesperson for the ports of Gibraltar said the ship was refused berthing this weekend:
"As it neared Gibraltar, the cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, reported that, on board, it had 89 cases of suspected norovirus (diarrhoea, vomiting and fever)," as spokesperson told the Daily Mail.
"However, given the current situation, the vessel has been asked to continue to its next port of call, Southampton, without berthing at Gibraltar."
The outbreak is suspected to be norovirus.
The 89 cases is a significant proportion of the mid-sized Spirit of Discovery, which carries 868 passengers and 513 crew.
The short-lived vomiting bug is usually no longer contagious after 24-48 hours, but can lead to dehydration and health complications for frail patients.
Like other infectious diseases it can be transmitted from person to person in droplets from sneezes and coughing, as well as being left on surfaces touched by carriers of the disease.
Passenger hygiene is identified as the most effective way of fighting the spread of the disease.
"We have a number of individuals suffering from a gastrointestinal illness on-board Spirit of Discovery, following her recent cruise to Italy," said a spokesperson for Saga Cruises.
"Due to the possibility that this could be caused by the winter vomiting bug, the second most frequently reported illness after the common cold, the Port of Gibraltar took the decision not to allow passengers to leave the ship.
"As a result she continued with her journey back to Southampton, which was our next port of call concluding this cruise.
"Our high hygiene standards and well-practised procedures mean that the illness has remained contained. The health of our customers is of paramount importance to us and we shall continue to take all appropriate steps to ensure their well-being."