DOZENS of guests were struck down by a vomiting bug on board a luxury cruise ship which docked in Southampton this morning, it has been revealed.

The Celebrity Eclipse departed from the city on May 11 on a Mediterranean cruise and returned today.

But 77 guests and five crew members - 1.8 per cent of those on board the ship - were laid low by an illness thought to be the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

A spokesman for Celebrity Cruises, which runs the ship, said it would undergo an “extensive and thorough” clean now that the vessel had returned to Southampton.

The spokesman said: "At Celebrity Cruises we have high health standards for all our guests and crew. During the sailing, we have been conducting enhanced cleaning onboard.

“All guests will receive a letter at boarding that asks if they have experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms within the last three days.

“If any guest is uncomfortable taking their cruise at this time, for reasons related to personal health or otherwise, our staff will assist them in rescheduling their sailing for another time.”