4 passengers die on Holland America cruise ship headed to Fort Lauderdale


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Holland America Line has confirmed four passengers on board its Zaandam cruise ship have died.

According to a release sent out by the cruise line, the passengers who passed away were older.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and we are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time,” Holland America said in the release.

The ship is currently off the coast of Panama and is waiting for permission to travel through the Panama Canal before heading to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

Of the 1,243 guests and 586 crew members on board the Zaandam, 53 guests and 85 crew members report having flu-like symptoms. According to Holland America, there are four doctors and four nurses currently on the ship.

On Thursday, two people tested positive for COVID-19. All guests and crew members were given face masks.

Holland America said since March 22 when several guests reported having flu-like symptoms, all passengers were asked to self-isolate in their staterooms.

The cruise line said anyone with family onboard Zaandam can call the following numbers for information:

  • 877-425-2231
  • 206-626-7398

Complimentary telephone counseling services have also been made available to all guests and crew if they need extra support.

Zaandam had departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end at San Antonio, Chile, on March 21.

Due to global health concerns, Holland America Line decided to suspend its global cruise operations for 30 days and end its current cruises in progress as quickly. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.


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