Gastro affects passengers cruising NZ

A cruise ship completing the final leg of a round-trip between Brisbane and New Zealand has docked in Australia after a gastro outbreak affected around 200 passengers.

The Sea Princess had spent two weeks cruising to New Zealand destinations, such as Fiordland, Akaroa, Wellington and Auckland before returning to Brisbane on Thursday.

New passengers scheduled to board the liner on Thursday morning were delayed by the outbreak as comprehensive cleaning took place onboard, according to a Queensland Health spokesperson.

Queensland Health confirmed testing had found the norovirus was the cause of the illness.

It comes less than six months after a similar outbreak aboard the Sea Princess's sister ship, the Sun Princess, which docked in Brisbane in August with at least 91 people having contracted norovirus.

Despite the recent cases, Princess Cruises defended the safety of their ships.

"There is a 750 times greater chance of experiencing norovirus on shore than while travelling on a cruise ship," a Princess Cruises spokesman said.

The Sea Princess can accommodate up to 2000 guests.