People Sick On Cruise Ship Zaandam

Niagara cruise passengers isolated in staterooms amid coronavirus fear

Guests aboard the Zaandam have been asked to self-isolate in their staterooms until they have more information.

At the time of the initial announcement on Sunday, Holland America said there were no COVID-19 testing kits available to "determine the cause of these elevated cases at this time".

· All ill people have been isolated and their close contacts have been placed in quarantine. Other passengers were told to report to the ship's medical center if they develop symptoms.

Holland America Line said it asked passengers to self-quarantine "out of an abundance of caution", and crew who are not required for vessel operations are also being quarantined.

A cruise ship with 42 sick people on board is hoping to dock in Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on March 30. The ship was originally supposed to end the trip in Chile on March 21.

Even though cruise lines have suspended operations around the globe it has still remained hard to get ships back to ports and safely disembark passengers.

The Zaandam was scheduled to end its current voyage in San Antonio, Chile on March 21.

It's now heading toward Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for arrival on March 30, though arrangements still need to be made to secure a reservation to transit the Panama Canal. Alternative options also are being developed.

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Holland America said "all ports along Zaandam's route are closed to cruise ships" and so it had sent another liner, the Rotterdam, from Puerto Vallarta in Mexico to meet the Zaandam this Thursday off the coast of Panama.

Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is now open and operational, according to its website.

Port Everglades spokeswoman Ellen Kennedy told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the command would make the final decision on whether the Zaandam enters the port. Meals will be served from a set menu and delivered to their rooms, she said.

Meanwhile, several other cruise ships without passengers are either already docked here or coming to San Diego, largely to pick up supplies after completing recent voyages.

There is now no way to test for COVID-19 on board, according to the cruise line. At the time, dozens of cruise ships were underway. It started out in Chile and is due to arrive next Monday, when the passengers will begin disembarking.

The Zaandam, seen here during an earlier voyage, is now sailing toward Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with at least 42 guests and crew members experiencing influenza-like symptoms.

There were no confirmed or even suspected cases of COVID-19 on board, the cruise line said. We have been sailing the Hawaiian Islands for over 15 years, drawing well over 100,000 travelers to the state each year. "We just did not see it progressing so quickly the way it did", she said. The ship is now sailing north.

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