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UK's biggest cruise ship to arrive in Southampton

The structure of the biggest cruise ship ever built for the UK has been completed and ITV Meridian has been given exclusive access to its progress.

Southampton-based Britannia is being built at a cost of £450 million and will be able to carry 3,600 passengers and 1,400 crew. She will have 15 passenger decks and is over 1,000 feet long - taller than the Eiffel Tower.

Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has been given exclusive access to the ship being built.


Exclusive look at Union Jack to be painted on P&O ships

Video. ITV News Meridian can reveal the largest Union Jack in the world is to be painted on the sides of Southampton based cruise ships to promote Britain around the world.

P&O Cruises, our oldest shipping company, say a modern version of the British flag will celebrate the companies heritage and Britishness. Designed at the companies HQ in Southampton, it will be 94 meters long and 10 metres tall, and on both sides of everyone of the companies eight ships.

And how do think they'll paint it on? With pots of paint and brushes.

Our Transport correspondent Mike Pearse spoke to Andrew Giles, the designer of the flag and David Dingle, P&O Cruises Chief Executive.

Many more infected on cruise ship says passenger

A passenger on board a second cruise ship which was hit by the winter vomiting bug says many more were infected. P&O said there were only ten passengers showed symptoms of the norovirus on the Azura which docked in Southampton today. But Michael Edwards said the real figure was much higher.

The ship underwent a "deep clean" ahead of another sailing at 6pm tonight. The Azura came into Southampton a day after its sister ship, the Oriana, docked in the city after 417 outbreaks onboard during a ten day cruise to the Baltics. P&O said the safety of staff and crew were its top priority.

Cleaning on cruise ship hit by vomiting bug

Staff cleaning the Azura cruise ship whilst docked in Southampton Credit: ITV Meridian

Staff have been "deep cleaning" the cruise ship Azura after she came into Southampton earlier. P&O said there were ten confirmed cases of passengers with the winter vomiting bug. But some passengers said the number of those infected with norovirus was higher. The Azura is due to sail again at 6pm.

Her arrival comes a day after her sister ship Oriana came into Southampton docks with 417 outbreaks during a 10-day cruise to the Baltics. P&O said the safety of its passengers and crews are its number one priority.


The Oriana returns after outbreak of Norovirus

P&O Cruises has apologised to passengers who were affected by an outbreak of norovirus on one of its ships. More than three hundred people on the Oriana were struck down with the sickness bug during a ten day Christmas cruise.

The ship returned to Southampton this morning where it underwent extra cleaning. It is setting sail again in two hours time with hundreds more passengers to the Mediterranean. Andrew Pate has the story.

10 cases of Norovirus on Azura cruise ship

P&O Cruises has confirmed that there are 10 people with symptoms of Norovirus onboard the Azura cruise ship this evening. It is due to return to Southampton tomorrow following an 11-night Iberia cruise, which departed December 4. There are 3,059 passengers on board.

There has been an incidence of a mild gastrointestinal illness among the passengers onAzura. This illness is suspected to be Norovirus, which is highly contagious and typically transmitted from person to person. Norovirus is common throughout the UK, Europe and North America and has affected a number of schools, hospitals, nursing homes and children’s day care centres.

– Spokesperson for P&O Cruises

Enhanced sanitation protocols have already been implemented to help minimize transmission to other passengers. These comprehensive disinfection protocols have been developed by P&O Cruises in conjunction with U.K. and U.S. public health authorities.

– Spokesperson for P&O Cruises

The safety and comfort of passengers and crew is always our number one priority. 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.

– Spokesperson for P&O Cruises

Norovirus: Where to get help and advice

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms typically begin 24-48 hours after infection with the virus. Sudden onset of nausea is usually the first sign of infection, followed by vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

How do you catch Norovirus?

Through contact with an infected person, as well as contact with surfaces – such as door handles and tables – that are contaminated with the virus. It is also caught by consuming contaminated food or liquid.

How do you avoid catching Norovirus?

Wash your hands frequently and avoid raw and unwashed foods.

  • Where can you get help and advice?
  • Call NHS Direct on 08454647 or click here
  • There is also more advice and information on the NHS Choices website here
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