Zaandam and Rotterdam Approved to Disembark Guests at Port Everglades

Zaandam and Rotterdam Approved to Disembark Guests at Port Everglades

Holland America Line is pleased to confirm that Broward County and the Unified Command cleared both Zaandam and Rotterdam for arrival to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to disembark guests who are fit to travel per guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We extend our sincere gratitude to President Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Port Everglades Unified Command, Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry and all governmental and embassy authorities who helped to resolve this situation and get our nearly 1,200 guests home. And a special thank you to Broward County Mayor Dale Holness for his leadership, help and understanding.

“These travelers could have been any one of us or our families, unexpectedly caught in the middle of this unprecedented closure of global borders that happened in a matter of days and without warning,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are so happy to be able to get our guests home and assist those few who need additional medical services. The COVID-19 situation is one of the most urgent tests of our shared humanity, and we must do everything we can to ensure we continue to act in ways consistent with our common human dignity.

“Our guests on board both ships have been truly incredible, and we extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to all of them,” continued Ashford. “Their cooperation, support and understanding throughout this entire experience helped us best protect the health of all on board and ensured our shipboard teams could focus on caring for everyone and getting them home.

“I would also like to extend my sincerest thanks to the amazing officers and crews of Zaandam and Rotterdam,” continued Ashford. “They are heroes who rose to the challenge of taking care of our guests and each other under extraordinary circumstances. All of us at Holland America Line are so very proud of our colleagues for their exemplary leadership and service.”

Following arrival in Port Everglades, guests will be health screened and also cleared for entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Disembarkation is expected to be completed by tomorrow evening, with priority given today to those who need immediate care at local health system partners who have approved their arrival.

Fit-to-travel guests will transfer straight from ship onto buses for transfer directly to the airport for their flights home. The majority will leave on charter flights. Local Florida residents will return home immediately via private car. Guests have not left the ship since March 14 and have self-isolated in their staterooms since March 22.

Guests who still have symptoms will remain on board and disembark at a later date to be finalized after they have fully recovered and meet the CDC guidelines for being fit to travel. They will continue to be well cared for on board by the ships’ medical staffs.

No crew from either ship will disembark in Fort Lauderdale.

Since March 22, 107 guests (90 on Zaandam/17 on Rotterdam) and 143 crew on Zaandam (0 on Rotterdam) have presented with influenza-like symptoms.

There are 808 guests and 583 crew on Rotterdam. On Zaandam there are 442 guests and 603 crew. Among the guests, 311 guests are American citizens and 52 are residents of Florida.

Due to global health 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.  At the time, Zaandam was sailing a South America cruise that began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 that was originally scheduled to end in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. Attempts were made and denied to disembark guests in Chile on March 15 and at other ports along its route to the United States.

On March 21, Zaandam was originally scheduled to begin a 20-day South America and Panama Canal cruise from San Antonio, Chile, and end in Fort Lauderdale on April 7. On March 30 an additional 30-day extension of cruise cancellations was announced, including departures through May 14.


Join the Discussion


  1. Ronnie Medina April 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Just concern about crew members if they would still be employed with Holland America while a 30 day cruise suspension is in effect. These people are the most hardworking employees and it would be a real tragedy for them to lose their jobs when they need it the most.

  2. Elizabeth M Corrigan -374376440 April 2, 2020 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    From my news in British Columbia, I was under the impression that Florida would only allow Florida residents to disembark the Zaandam. I hope this has now been changed. The treatment you received in the South American Ports was disgusting and my next cruise will not be to South America any time soon. Have they no human compassion??? I just wanted to let Holland America Line know that I have done several cruises with you and have only the highest respect and love of the entire experience. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about any of my cruises or the ships who carried me. When this pandemic is over I will be cruising Holland American again and will feel comfortable that the service and the staff will be as always, exceptional. I am sure there are many who feel as I do and we all need to hear a positive comment in times of stress. Keep sailing and I will see you hopefully, sooner than later. You are the best… Sincerely Elizabeth M Corrigan.

  3. Bill jackson April 3, 2020 at 1:02 am - Reply

    Bravo HAL!

    Best cruise line in the world.
    Cannot wait until the world gets back to normal so we can go cruising on your ships again.
    Stay safe and well

  4. Philippa Daniels April 3, 2020 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Thank goodness that the Zaandam has finally found a safe haven. We were on this lovely ship in February, and our thoughts go out to all the passengers, and the delightful staff and crew, for their future health, and to those who are unwell a speedy and full recovery. May you return to your homes safely and soon.

  5. Sandy Byers April 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    High Five to Holland America for all that transpired these last few weeks. Have cruised with Holland America many times with most recent on Rotterdam November 2019. The officers & crew were the best. Thankfully both ships have arrived safely.

  6. joan m johnson April 18, 2020 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    The Zaandam and Rotterdam have been my home away from home several times. I had tried to book on the Zaandam for the South American cruise, but by the time I finally got around to it all the suites and balconies were booked. Rather than wait another year the Azamara Pursuit had a small suite available and my spouse and I decided to travel with Azamara. I was pretty devastated as one of the reasons I cruise HAL is because they always have a Catholic Priest on board. This has been a tragic season for all cruise lines and I wish them all the very best. Azamara was a wonderful choice and by the grace of God we were a healthy ship all the way.

  7. Geraldine Kee-Chaston April 18, 2020 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I was a passenger on msZaandam from March 7 to March 29 and ms Rotterdam from March 29 to April 3 and I would like to express my overwhelming gratitude to the captains and crews of both ships, as well as Holland America and Carnival Corporation.
    I returned home to Toronto on a plane chartered by Carnival Corporation, thanks to the work done by captains, crew, corporations, governments and individuals, and I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of gratitude and thanks.
    Fortunately, I remained healthy and have spent the last 14 days in isolation. Reading the captain’s blog has brought the memories back in the most wonderful way. He has reinforced the work done to keep us safe and healthy, not to mention well fed and cared for.
    I send my undying gratitude to everyone involved, and I wish for good health and safety to everyone.
    Thank you, Gerry Kee-Chaston

  8. Karin Marion Zapf April 21, 2020 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Eine unvergessliche Kreuzfahrt vom 7.3.-7.4.20 mit vielen Highlights Südamerikas wollten wir auf der Zaandam von Buenos Aires bis Fort Lauderdale erleben ….. doch leider kam in Punta Arenas alles anders
    Nach unserer langen Odyssee auf See sind wir gesund und glücklich am 4.4.20 wieder in Deutschland bei unseren Familien angekommen !
    Dafür liebe Holland America Line, lieber Orlando Ashford, lieber Kapitän der Zaandam Ane Jan Smit, lieber Kapitän der Rotterdam Bas Van Dreumel und besonders der Crew beider Schiffe unseren unermesslichen herzlichen Dank. Danke für ihre Fürsorge, Besonnenheit, die perfekte Organisation aller notwendigen Handlungsabläufe und dem grossen Verantwortungsbewusstsein für all die Menschen auf den Schiffen. Das haben sie so toll gemacht !!!
    Wir wünschen ihnen allen für die Zukunft persönlch alles Gute, bleiben sie gesund und der Reederei HAL mit ihrem sehr guten Image auf allen Weltmeeren wieder bessere und entspanntere Zeiten !
    Herzliche Grüsse aus Leipzig – Marion Zapf und Dr. Michael Richter

  9. Betsy Bahrenburg June 16, 2020 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    How are the crew and staff doing at this point? (June16)

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