Passengers of the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship, linked to 21 deaths and 700 cases of COVID-19 across Australia, have launched a class action over the ship's berthing.

Shine Lawyers today filed a class action against Carnival Plc and Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, seeking compensation for passengers and their families.

The class action alleges that operators of the cruise ship were negligent and failed in their duty of care.

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Ruby Princess departing Port Kembla (AAP)

Vicky Antzoulatos from Shine Lawyers alleges the operators of the ship were aware of the risk before they docked in Sydney on March 8.

"We say the owner and operator knew of the risks that passengers may contract coronavirus before the ship left and they failed to take steps to ensure their passengers were safe and protected," Ms Antzoulatos said in a statement.

"People on board the ship trusted Carnival to do the right thing but they were not told about the risk of coronavirus and some paid the ultimate price for it.

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"More than 20 people have died, many remain gravely ill, while others struggle daily with the grief of having lost a loved one or having to care for a very sick relative."

Shine Lawyers is inviting the 2700 passengers onboard the ship to join the class action, as well as affected relatives.

Executors of the estates of those who died are also eligible to join.

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Graeme Lake, a member of the class action whose wife Karla died 10 days after coming home from the ship, said he was seeking justice.

"It broke me, it broke the kids, and she didn't deserve it," Mr Lake said.

"Karla went on that cruise to celebrate her 75th birthday and what happened to her has destroyed us. I am doing everything I can to get justice."

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Source: 9News