Virus: Holland America Cruise Ship, a Flying Dutchman Looking for a Port

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One of these cruise liners, the "MS Zaandam" owned by Holland America Line, is desperately seeking a port to dock so it can disembark 42 people -13 guests and 29 crew - experiencing flu-like symptoms similar to COVID-19.

The Norwegian Jewel cruise ship is in lock down while health authorities test a man for COVID-19 in Sydney, Australia, on February 14, 2020.

"Since it is flu season, and COVID-19 testing is not available on board, it is hard to determine the cause of these elevated cases at this time", the company said, adding it was following the recommendations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Of the 586 crew members, those not essential to running the ship are also in quarantine and essential staff are self-isolating when not working.

The ship is set to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on March 30.

Another much smaller cruise ship, Le Boreal, with 220 passengers and about 11 Canadians, has also been seeking a port without success.

Any decision by Broward County Government on whether to allow the ship to enter Port Everglades will be determined as more information is available in consultation with a Unified Command made up of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health in Broward County, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Port Everglades Pilots Association and Broward Sheriff's Office. It is expected to dock March 30.

"The ship is still pretty far away, so it is too early to determine", she said.

The ship sailed to Valparaiso in Chile where it remained at anchor last Friday to Saturday while taking on fuel, provisions and medication before continuing to San Antonio.

Zaandam was sailing a South America itinerary which departed Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 7.

"Since March 15, the ship has been on the coast of Chile, not knowing where it is going, trying several options but without a specific destination", he said.

Another ship that was out at sea, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Jewel, arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday.

Passengers disembarked Monday and boarded chartered flights home.

Japan had initially impounded the ship after a passenger who left the ship in Hong Kong in January subsequently tested positive. Australia's 9 News published photos posted on Facebook of "crew members packed tightly together in a narrow corridor while collecting passengers' meal trays".

Harry Sommer, CEO of Norwegian, thanked Hawaiian officials for letting the passengers disembark. We have been sailing the Hawaiian Islands for over 15 years, drawing well over 100,000 travelers to the state each year.

"Zaandam departed Valparaiso on March 21 and is now sailing north", Holland America wrote in a press release shared Sunday.



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