MIAMI (AP) -- Holland America Line canceled the next voyage of its troubled cruise ship Amsterdam while the company works to rid the vessel of a contagious stomach virus that has infected hundreds of passengers and crew members.
The Amsterdam was scheduled to depart from Fort Lauderdale for a 10-day Caribbean cruise on Thursday, when the ship's current sailing concludes.
Passengers booked on the canceled voyage were being given the option of a refund or upgraded travel packages.
The current Caribbean trip began Nov. 11 and as of Tuesday, 74 passengers and crew aboard the Amsterdam had become sick from the Norwalk-like virus, said Rose Abello, a spokeswoman for Seattle-based Holland America. That brings the total over the last four sailings to 518.
The virus can cause diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting for up to two days. It is spread through food and water and close contact with infected people or things they have touched.
During the Amsterdam's previous sailing, 181 passengers and crew became sick. The cruise line spent more than 10 hours scrubbing the ship with a chlorine-based solution before it departed on its current voyage.
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