Passengers and crew aboard cruise ship Zaandam (IMO 9156527) were being quarantined after operator Holland America Line said that 13 passengers and 29 crew had exhibited influenza-like symptoms. There were 1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board.
It could not be confirmed whether these were cases of coronavirus as there are no Covid-19 testing kits on board.
Holland America Line said that it had asked passengers to self-quarantine “out of an abundance of caution”. Crew not required for vessel operations are also being quarantined.
Zaandam left Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 7th on a South American voyage scheduled to finish in San Antonio, Chile on March 21st.
However, on March 13th Holland America Line suspended operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It decided to end the Zaandam cruise and to return passengers as soon as possible.
Despite previous confirmations that passengers could disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, for flights, the cruise line was blocked from doing so. Because of this, no-one has been off the ship since March 14th in Punta Arenas.
Zaandam sailed to Valparaiso, Chile, where she remained at anchor from March 20th to March 21st, taking on provisions and fuel. Zaandam departed Valparaiso on March 21st and is currently sailing north from Chile to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for arrival on March 30th, although this is pending a reservation to transit the Panama Canal.
Holland America said that alternative options for the vessel were also in train.
2000-built, Netherlands-flagged, 61,396 gt Zaandam is owned by HAL Antillen NV care of Holland America Line NV of Seattle, Washington state, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual and with UK P&I Club.