A CRUISE ship travelling around Norway and Iceland has returned to the UK following an outbreak of Covid-19 onboard.

The Sky Princess arrived in Southampton on Saturday, concluding a 14-day cruise.

A Princess Cruises spokesperson declined to confirm the number of Covid cases onboard - but one passenger has described it as “a petri dish.”

It comes as the cruise industry in Southampton marks a strong recovery from the pandemic - but is still facing outbreaks onboard liners.

Covid 'petri dish'

Speaking before Sky Princess arrived back, cruise passenger Levi Edwards said: “We (were) sailing back to Southampton on the Sky Princess. It’s a petri dish.

“At this moment in time there are over 200 people isolating with positive Covid. Isolation cabins on deck eight are full so others are allowed to stay in their own cabins.”

The spokesperson for the cruise company said those who tested positive were “isolated while monitored and cared for” by the ship's medical team.

They said the protocols established to tackle Covid do work.

'Rapid response'

The spokesperson said: “While we are not at liberty to disclose the specific number, during the voyage some positive Covid-19 cases amongst our guests were identified.

“When cases are identified because of the testing onboard, cruise ship protocols help to maximize onboard containment with rapid response procedures designed to safeguard all other guests and crew as well as the communities that the ships visit.  

“In collaboration with local health authorities, those guests who tested positive and had not completed the isolation period onboard were provided with accommodations ashore to hotels coordinated in advance for isolation purposes.”

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