Cruise Ship with 42 Sick Aboard Headed to Florida

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2020

The Port is sanitizing the B Street cruise terminal before and after each ship.

"Despite previous confirmations that guests could disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, for flights, we were not permitted to do so", Holland America said in a statement on its website. Meals will be served from a set menu and delivered to their rooms, she said.

The ship was at anchor for several days in Valparaiso, Chile, while it took on more provisions and fuel before departing for Fort Lauderdale. Now, passengers on board told Business Insider that the numbers have jumped to 86 crew members and 58 passengers.

"UPDATE March 24 (11:20am PT/2:20pm ET): As all ports along Zaandam's route are closed to cruise ships, Holland America Line has deployed Rotterdam to rendezvous with Zaandam and provide extra supplies, staff, COVID-19 test kits and other support as needed".

Holland America Line has contacted the Port of San Diego requesting they disembark the Maasdam, a 834 passenger vessel now scheduled to arrive on March 26 and disembark on March 27 and 28.

"We're no longer a healthy ship", said one Canadian passenger.

Other passengers were told to report to the ship's medical center if they develop symptoms.

Toronto resident Michael Kasprow said he's anxious about his elderly mother and her friend, both in their 80s, who are stuck onboard and are at greater risk if they contract the disease. Those members of the crew who are still under contract will not be allowed shore leave, port spokeswoman Brianne Page said Monday.

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Rear Admiral Yerko Marcic, the head of Chile's national defense at Valparaiso port, said eight Chileans were allowed to disembark, along with two French people for humanitarian reasons because "they had a high risk chronic illness and their medication was not going to last until the ship reached land".

Cruise ships have become particular hotbeds for the virus, with a number of liners being doomed by fatal outbreaks.

The ship was little over a week into its cruise around the continent when borders began to increasingly close in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. The ship was one of two initially blocked by authorities in the state.

The Zaandam isn't the only ship with sick people on board that plans to dock in Florida.

The first passengers from the Grand Princess have begun leaving their 14-day quarantine and returning home. How the safety of each passenger is the real motto of the cruise and the way they are catering it is commendable.

Cuba allowed MS Braemar, operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, to dock in its waters after several Caribbean island nations - including Commonwealth states Barbados and the Bahamas - declined United Kingdom requests.

The 42 showing flu-like symptoms are quarantined.

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