Know Before You Go

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How can I Travel Well®?

One of the most important practices in reducing and preventing illness from infections while traveling is washing your hands regularly. Travelers should wash their hands often with soap and water. In absence of running water, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is recommended to help prevent disease transmission. This is especially important before and after meals, when participating in activities where you are in contact with surfaces that many others could have touched (i.e., railings, buttons, countertops, etc.), handling money and after using the restroom.

CDC Travel Videos

The Centers for Disease Control have put together two short videos to make your travel safe and more enjoyable.

Passport to Health

- In this video, health experts suggest that you take several key steps to be proactive, prepared, and protected against injury or illness while outside of the United States, especially in developing nations. This includes packing a health kit, bringing necessary medications, and getting the right immunizations for safe and healthy travel. Way to go: Passport to Health

Many Healthy Returns

- International travel is usually very safe but there are things you should do to stay safe and healthy. Experts show you how to avoid problems when traveling in developing nations. This includes being cautious about the food you eat, the water you drink, and to be aware of vehicles and road conditions to prevent problems. Way to Go: Many Healthy Returns

Travelers' diarrhea (TD)

is the most common illness affecting travelers. Each year between 20-50 percent of international travelers, an estimated 10 million persons, develop diarrhea. The onset of TD usually occurs within the first week of travel but may occur at any time while traveling, and even after returning home. The most important determinant of risk is the traveler's destination. High-risk destinations are the developing countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

In areas where chlorinated tap water is not available or where hygiene and sanitation are poor, travelers should be advised that only the following may be safe to drink:

  • Beverages, such as tea and coffee, made with boiled water.
  • Canned or bottled beverages, including water, carbonated mineral water, and soft drinks.

Norwalk-Like Virus (NLV)

can be identified by symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes fever. NLV is not an upper respiratory virus such as influenza. NLV typically runs its course in 24-48 hours without serious or long term health effects. It is spread by person-to-person contact. Those travelers with chronic illnesses and those who are immunocompromised are at greater risk.

More detailed information is available at

Holland America Line has a comprehensive plan in place which has generally proved effective in limiting the spread of the illness. The plan includes rigorous cleaning protocols and changes in operating practices depending on any onboard illnesses. Any crewmember who becomes ill is immediately isolated.

Have a safe and healthy trip - and remember that the first and best line of defense against illness is to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.