Passengers on the Pacific Dawn disembarked in Sydney on Monday morning and were able to return home under no quarantine after tests confirmed that none had tested positive for H1N1 swine flu.
The P&O Cruises Australia ship did not call at any of its scheduled ports last week on what was supposed to be a 10-day cruise after at least 50 passengers and crew on the previous cruise tested positive for swine flu after disembarking. That cruise ended a week ago in Sydney.
Three crew members on the latest cruise tested positive for the virus, but they recovered under treatment and remained in isolation, according to the cruise line. P&O has spent the past week battling rumors that the ship had been quarantined by the government and that passengers were infected.
After passengers on the first cruise tested positive for the flu, Australian health authorities were concerned that the virus could spread into local populations if the Pacific Dawn docked and disembarked passengers.
As a result, P&O ended the cruise early, and was only able to disembark passengers once, in Brisbane, where 84 passengers who lived nearby were able to return home from the ship after being screened for the virus.
The Pacific Dawn is not scheduled to sail again until June 4. The cruise is booked, said P&O. The company said that the ship would be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before that sailing.