Holland America Line has reported that 42 individuals—13 guests and 29 crew members—aboard the cruise ship Zaandam have been experiencing “influenza-like symptoms.” The ship is expected to dock in Florida next week.
COVID-19 testing kits are not currently available on board Zaandam.
“Since it is flu season, and COVID-19 testing is not available on board, it is difficult to determine the cause of these elevated cases at this time,” Holland America Line said in a statement on Sunday.
According to FOX News, the ship originally departed from Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 7 and was scheduled for a two-week South American itinerary before disembarking in San Antonio, Chile on March 2.
The cruise line suspended all sailing for 30 days on March 13 and planned to end “its current cruises in progress as quickly as possible.” Zaandam planned to dock in Punta Arenas, Chile to allow passengers to disembark for flights home. However, passengers were ultimately not permitted to leave the ship.
Zaandam later docked in Valparaiso, Chile for supplies and medicine.
According to CNN, all 1,243 passengers have been asked to remain in their staterooms until the ship arrives in Florida. To minimize the risk of spreading the illness to other guests, all sick guests have been isolated, and meals are delivered to guests in their cabins.
All non-essential crew members have been quarantined, and the ship is expected to dock in Fort Lauderdale on March 30.
“The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is one of our highest priorities,” Holland America confirmed in their statement.
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