FURIOUS passengers on board a Southampton-based cruise liner are threatening a sit-in when it arrives in port on Friday after an outbreak of norovirus that has affected hundreds.

Holidaymakers claim the virus was already on the P&O boat Oriana when they boarded.

Meetings have already taken place with the ship’s captain after passengers told the Daily Echo at least 400 people fell ill with the sickness and diarrhoea bug.

The liner is currently travelling across the North Sea after it pulled into Hamburg yesterday.

Marian Davies, from Southampton, said: “It has more or less taken over the whole ship. Some people are refusing to get off the ship on Friday in protest.

“It is like a prison camp. Lots of people are cordoned off because of the norovirus. The bug was on here when we got on. We should have been told.”

Another passenger, Vanessa Herrington, 30, also from Southampton, said that people had been ill in the corridors while vast areas of the ship had been cordoned off to restrict the spread of the virus.

Vanessa fell ill on the second day of the cruise but feels that the service to maintain the illness was not up to scratch.

“People want some kind of compensation. I have cruised many times we just don’t want to get back on board at times.

“When we pulled into Amsterdam on the second night so many people were confined to their cabins. Ill people with an inside cabin could not even get out to get some fresh air.”

P&O’s parent company, Carnival, said anyone who feels strongly about what has happened on board should write to the Southampton firm.

A spokesman added that the ship would be spending longer in port for cleaning on Friday.

He added: “As is currently standard procedure across our fleet, all the ship’s passengers were provided with a precautionary health notice advising of widespread norovirus activity and the health measures to avoid contraction and spread, both on board and whilst ashore.

“The captain is regularly updating the passengers and crew on the situation and advising passengers with gastrointestinal symptoms to report to the medical centre.

“Unwell passengers are asked to comply with the doctor’s instructions and isolate themselves in their cabin until non-contagious.".