Holland America Line is awaiting confirmation to disembark guests from Zaandam and Rotterdam in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We remain fully engaged with the Broward Unified Command and other governmental and embassy authorities to resolve this humanitarian situation and get the nearly 1,200 well guests home immediately who are fit for travel per guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both ships are scheduled to arrive at the boundary of U.S. waters by early tomorrow morning and will remain outside U.S. waters while awaiting clearance to enter.
Guests fit for travel per the CDC would transfer straight from the ship to flights for onward travel home, the majority on charter flights. Out of an abundance of caution, these guests will be transported in coaches that will be sanitized, with limited person-to-person contact and while wearing masks. These provisions well exceed what the CDC have advised is necessary for their travel. Guests have not left the ship since March 14 and have self-isolated in their staterooms since March 22.
The approximately 45 guests who still have mild illness and are unfit to travel at this time will continue to isolate on board until recovered. Disembarkation would be at a later date to be determined and only after they have recovered and are in alignment with CDC guidelines for being fit to travel.
For the estimated less than ten people who need immediate critical care shoreside, we have secured approval from a local health system partner that they will accept them for treatment. This small number is the only group that will require any support from medical resources in Broward County and is necessary to prevent further harm to their health.
Since March 22, 97 guests (83 on Zaandam/14 on Rotterdam) and 136 crew on Zaandam (0 on Rotterdam) have presented with influenza-like symptoms. We have seen a significant decline in the presentation of new cases on Zaandam, with only 1 new case reporting in the past 24 hours.
There are 808 guests and 583 crew on Rotterdam. On Zaandam there are 442 guests and 603 crew.
Holland America Line calls for compassion and reason in the review and approval of our disembarkation plan by Florida officials and we are grateful for those that have supported our efforts.
We appreciate the support of President Trump in resolving the humanitarian plight of our guests – 311 of whom are American citizens and 52 of whom are residents of Florida. There are also four children under the age of 12 on board.
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 at San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. Attempts were made and denied to disembark guests in Chile on March 15 and in other ports along its route to the U.S.
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.