A CREW member has died during a luxury Mediterranean cruise on a Southampton-based liner, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Hundreds of passengers were enjoying a 24-day voyage aboard the Cunard ship Queen Victoria when they learned of the tragedy.

The ship’s captain made the announcement during his midday update as the vessel, which set sail from Southampton in September, was making its way to Palma, Majorca.

The family of the male member of staff has been informed of his death, while devastated friends and crewmates on board are also receiving support.

A Cunard spokesman said last night: “We can confirm the very sad news that one of our crew members on Queen Victoria died last night. We are providing support to his family back home and also to his friends and crewmates on board.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them at this time.”

The ship, which caters for more than 2,000 passengers and carries up to 900 members of staff, is currently on its way from the Greek port of Piraeus and is due to dock in Majorca tomorrow.

Cunard bosses have declined to reveal how the man died or any further details about what his job was on the 90,000 tonne liner.

They have also refused to reveal his age and nationality.

One passenger told the Daily Echo yesterday: “I’ve sailed for years and never heard of this happening.”

The vessel left Southampton on September 30 and has already taken in Lisbon, Malta, Kusadasi, Istanbul and Odessa as part of its Black Sea and Turkish Splendours cruise.

It is due to take in Palma, Majorca and Vigo in Spain before returning to Southampton on October 24.