NewsFlorida News


4 people die on cruise ship en route to Florida with 138 sick people

Cruise ship with 42 people experiencing flu-like symptoms headed to Florida
Posted at 2:33 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 14:40:59-04

Four passengers have died aboard a Holland America cruise ship that is making its way to South Florida.

"Holland America Line can confirm that four older guests have passed away on Zaandam. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and we are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time," the company wrote in a blog post to its website.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
The cause of death was not immediately known.

A total of 138 people, 53 guests and 85 crew members, have reported to the Zaandam’s medical center with "influenza-like illness symptoms."

Friday, the cruise line announced a plan to transfer groups of healthy Zaandam guests to another ship named the Rotterdam.

"Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring. Priority for the first guests to transfer will be given to those on Zaandam with inside staterooms and who are over 70," the company said in their blog. "Once aboard Rotterdam, all guests will continue to remain in their staterooms until disembarkation. Any guests who are currently ill, or in isolation as a close contact, and all crew will remain on Zaandam."

The cruise line says a number of patients with respiratory symptoms were tested for COVID-19 on Thursday and two individuals tested positive.

Before the positive tests, the cruise line asked all of its 1,243 guests to remain in their rooms out of an abundance of caution.

Zaandam was sailing a South America cruise that departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end at San Antonio, Chile, on March 21.

Due to global COVID-19 concerns, Holland America Line made the decision to suspend its global cruise operations for 30 days and end its current cruises in progress as quickly as possible so guests could return home. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.

All ill people have been isolated and their close contacts have been placed in quarantine.

Guests have been asked to remain in their staterooms and monitor their health. If they become symptomatic, they are asked to call the medical center for an evaluation and care from the ship’s medical professionals.

Holland America’s Zaandam ship is expected to dock at Port Everglades sometime next week.