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Southampton-Newcastle cruise cancelled after | The Independent

Simon Calder’s Travel

A two-night cruise from Southampton to Newcastle, which was priced at less than the rail and air fare, has been cancelled “following on from some reported cases of gastro-related illness on board”.

Balmoral was due to sail from the Hampshire port to the Tyne on Wednesday evening. But the ship returned to the Solent from a two-week Northern Lights cruise to Norway on Wednesday morning with some passengers suffering from stomach complaints.

A spokesperson for the cruise line, Fred Olsen, said: “For the safety and comfort of our guests, we will be completing a deep clean upon our arrival into Southampton, which will cause delays to our planned departure time on this short cruise.

“In addition, sailing with no guests on board will enable this deep clean to be as effective as possible before new guests embark in Newcastle.”

Balmoral is due to sail from the Tyneside port on Friday evening, 1 March, on a nine-day Northern Lights cruise to Norway.

The cancelled sailing was a “repositioning” voyage between Southampton and Newcastle. Cruise lines often sell such journeys cheaply.

Cabins on the vessel were sold for as little as £99 per person for the 35-hour voyage, including all meals and entertainment.

Dream trip? Passengers whose cruise from Southampton to Newcastle was cancelled have been offered an alternative sailing to Liverpool

(Fred Olsen Cruises)

The Fred Olsen spokesperson said: “All guests who were due to join us on this cruise have been offered the chance to transfer their booking to Bolette’s two-night spring mini cruise in April, or receive a full refund.”

This departure from Southampton, on 17 April, is to Liverpool. It will take passengers along the south coast of England to the western tip of Cornwall, then north through the Irish Sea past Anglesey to the Mersey.

The price of £199 compares with £56 one-way from Southampton to Liverpool on South Western Railway and Avanti West Coast via London on the same day.

There are no flights from Southampton to either Liverpool or nearby Manchester, so Bolette does not offer a direct alternative to flying from the south coast to northwest England.

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