A P&O cruise liner dubbed "a plague ship" by passengers struck down with the norovirus winter vomiting bug has docked at Southampton, with the beleaguered passengers heading straight to hospital for treatment.

The 10-day voyage aboard the P&O vessel Oriana headed through the Baltic Seas and promised passengers a relaxed break before Christmas, however the 400 or so travellers who were struck down by the disease enjoyed anything but what the brochure said. Chris Meadows, who works for the company, told the Daily Telegraph: "The captain has admitted at the height of the outbreak that the crew could not cope."

Whilst a female passenger told Sky News today (December 14, 2012) that the whole trip "was poorly organised," adding, "The crew were running around like headless chickens. They didn't seem to know what to do and we were told it was all our fault." Needless to say, many other passengers had little else to say other than how disappointed (at the very least) they were at the end of the trip.

The Oriana left Southampton on December 4, with passengers paying as much as £1,400 for the voyage, which included visits to Copenhagen, Oslo and Amsterdam. The outbreak of the virus has been linked as few as six people who are believed to have boarded the ship with active symptoms. The P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, apologised to passengers today, telling Sky: "We had a number of people who were taken ill. I have written to all the passengers saying how sorry I am."