Fourteen people have disembarked from cruise ship Zaandam

The cruise ship Zaandam and the assisting cruise ship Rotterdam have moored in the harbour of the city of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Fourteen people were disembarked and taken to two hospitals.

According to the authorities, 1211 people on the ship will be allowed to continue their journey home on Friday 3 April. Fifty crew members and 26 passengers with symptoms of illness are not yet allowed to leave the ship. They must remain in quarantine. HAL’s parent company, the Carnival Corporation, has prepared cars and arranged planes for flights to Canada, France, England and New Zealand. Two charters have also been arranged for American sailors to Georgia and California.

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis spoke of a well-controlled operation to disembark people. He actually wanted to ban the ship because it has corona patients on board and four people died on board, including a Dutchman. But President Donald Trump later said that the people on board had to be helped.

First mooring since mid-March

Dutch Minister Stef Blok (Foreign Affairs) thanked the U.S. government for allowing the Zaandam and its escorting sister ship the Rotterdam.

This ship was able to moor for the first time since mid-March. It sailed on March 7th from Buenos Aires for a South American cruise. On Thursday, the ship entered a port for the first time since leaving the Chilean port of Punta Arenas on 14 March.

Four deaths

On the ship dozens of passengers have symptoms of the new coronavirus and four passengers have died, including the Dutchman. The fourteen people transferred to hospital concerns a crew member and thirteen passengers according to local media.

According to a spokesman of Carnival two of the deceased had the new coronavirus. Local media stated it is unclear whether the bodies were also taken from the Zaandam.

Source: ANP

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.