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Bug leaves passengers cabin-bound

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Dozens of cruise ship passengers will be facing the task of making a claim on their travel insurance after an outbreak of the norovirus sickness bug left them confined to their cabins on a trip to the Far East.

Around 60 passengers, including some Britons, have been affected by the illness on board the Princess Cruises' vessel Diamond Princess.

The holidaymakers were unable to leave the ship when it stopped at Shanghai in China as part of a 16-day cruise which has included stops in Hong Kong and Singapore.

John Lloyd, 69, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, told The Sun: "We're cooped up here with this virus. It has been hellish. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime."

The Chinese health authorities have confirmed the cause of the sickness as norovirus, according to a spokeswoman for Princess Cruises.

She added: "We are working closely with the Chinese health authorities who are sailing with the ship until her arrival in Xingang (in China) on Friday.

"The ship is currently undergoing an extensive sanitisation to contain any further spread of the illness, and we have planned additional enhanced ship disinfection for the turnaround in Xingang."

© Press Association 2008