FRESH cases of a highly contagious sickness bug are still being reported on board a Southampton-based ship as it cruises around the Caribbean.

Latest figures released by the American Centre for Disease Control (CDC) show that the Queen Mary 2 has now seen 201 passengers stuck down by the bug – suspected to be norovirus – and 14 crew members.

The Cunard liner’s 2,613 holidaymakers, who set off from New York days before Christmas are now eager for their trip to end, describing it as a “ghost ship”.

It comes less than two weeks after passengers complained when more than 400 of them on board P&O’s Oriana cruise ship were struck down by the bug.

The Cunard ship, owned like P&O by Southampton-based Carnival UK, is currently on red alert, with precautions to prevent further spread and extra medical staff and a public health officer sent to the ship in response to the outbreak.

The luxury liner will undergo extensive cleaning when it docks back in New York on Thursday, delaying its departure for Southampton by about six hours.