New Deaths Reported As Cruise Ships Remain At Sea

Mar 30, 2020, 8:46 AM
Holland America's cruise ship Zaandam was anchored off Panama for days while waiting for approval t...
Holland America's cruise ship Zaandam was anchored off Panama for days while waiting for approval to enter the Panama Canal. (Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)
(Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A cruise ship scheduled to arrive in Florida this week has reported at least 189 people are suffering flu-like symptoms on board.

Holland America’s Zaandam began transiting the Panama Canal late Sunday night after being docked off the coast of Panama for several days. The boat and its occupants have been in limbo for weeks awaiting permission to disembark after several South American ports denied the ship’s entry.

Four people have died aboard the ship, the cruise line announced Friday. At least two people tested positive for coronavirus on the ship on Thursday, according to Holland America.

Zaandam and another Holland America ship, the Rotterdam, are traversing the canal “under extraordinary conditions and for humanitarian reasons,” a statement from the Panama Canal said Sunday.

Passengers not experiencing symptoms were transferred from the Zaandam to the Rotterdam Saturday, Holland America said in a statement.

The ship could arrive in Florida Wednesday

Holland America previously announced its intention to travel to Fort Lauderdale, but officials at Port Everglades said Sunday that passengers were not cleared to disembark at that port.

It will take about three days for the ships to reach South Florida once they start transiting the canal, the statement from Port Everglades said.

Holland America must submit a plan prior to arrival that addresses a long list of Unified Command requirements for entry into Port Everglades before being allowed to port, according to the statement.

The ship departed Buenos Aires on March 7 and no one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.

The Zaandam had booked transit through the Canal for April 1, 2020 since April 2018, according to the canal statement.

Passengers and crew suffering flu-like illness

A total of 189 people — 73 guests and 116 crew members — on board the Zaandam are suffering from flu-like symptoms as of late Sunday night, according to a statement from Holland America.

Some on board the ship say the situation is dire and passengers have been confined to their state rooms for weeks.

Maximilian Jo’s parents, Jae, 76, and Julitta, 75, are both on board the Zaandam.

Jo told CNN in an email Sunday that his father was suffering from a fever for hours before being brought Tylenol by the crew. He has been communicating with his parents by email, he said.

The couple, from Long Island, New York, departed on the ship March 7 days before the cruise line announced they would suspend global operations, Jo said.

They had considered not going on the cruise but when they reached out to Holland America they were told a refund would not be given for their scheduled trip, according to Jo.

Another passenger on the ship, Clifford Kolber, told CNN Friday he and his wife have been in isolation on the Zaandam since last Sunday. Both have pre-existing conditions.

He hopes that they will be able to dock and disembark before thing get worse.

“We just want the ports in the country to help us because don’t want more people to die,” Kolber said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
8 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
14 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
22 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 month ago
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.
2 months ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference, Feb. 1, 2022, in Miami. Gov. DeSa...
FREIDA FRISARO, Associated Press

DeSantis seeks grand jury investigation of COVID-19 vaccines

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the state’s Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
New Deaths Reported As Cruise Ships Remain At Sea