Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Virus Aboard Holland America's Amsterdam and Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic
The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) has investigated a
persistent outbreak of gastrointestinal illness among passengers and crew of the Holland America Linesí
vessel, the Amsterdam, and is investigating reports of gastrointestinal illness aboard Disney Cruise
Linesí Magic. The characteristics of these outbreaks are similar to other cruiseship outbreaks that CDC
has investigated in the past and there is no indication that they are intentional.
Holland America Amsterdam
Laboratory analysis has confirmed that the illness is Norwalk virus. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The illness usually develops within 12 to 48 hours of exposure and lasts
from one to three days.
Passengers disembarked from the most current voyage on the morning of November 21 in Port Everglades,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There were 1,232 passengers and 562 crew on the most recent voyage with 64 cases
reported among passengers and 18 cases among the crew. Norwalk virus is among the most common causes of
viral gastrointestinal outbreaks on cruise vessels. The virus is transmitted through person-to-person
contact or by consuming contaminated food or water. Epidemiologic data suggest that the probable mode of
transmission on the Amsterdam is person-to-person.
The vessel has been temporarily taken out of service for aggressive cleaning, isolation of infected
crew, and other control measures by Holland America. Holland Americaís decision to take the vessel out of
service and cancel the next 10-day cruise is strongly supported by CDC and CDCís Vessel Sanitation Program
will continue to consult with the company during the cleaning and disinfection process.
On the evening of November 21, the CDC was made aware of a reported 175 cases (163 passengers and 12
crew) of gastrointestinal illness, including vomiting and/or diarrhea, on the Disney Magic. The vessel
holds 2,318 passengers and 988 crew. CDC is currently working with Disney Cruise Lines to investigate
these reports. The vessel is on a cruise in the Bahamas, and will reach port in Port Canaveral on November
23. The cause of the illness has not been determined, but an investigation is underway and CDC staff will
board the ship when it arrives in Port Canaveral.
CDC protects peopleís health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries;
enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes
healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.
For more information, CDCís Vessel Sanitation Program can be reached at