Holland America ship to transit Panama Canal but not stop

Cheryl Sanders
March 26, 2020

Since then, the ship has continued northwards and by Tuesday was off the coast of Peru, where local authorities told AFP the liner would not be allowed to dock in the port of Salaverry.

"Despite previous confirmations that guests could disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, for flights, we were not permitted to do so", Holland America said in a statement on its website.

· Meal service will be provided by room service until further notice.

The ship was at anchor for several days in Valparaiso, Chile, while taking more provisions and fuel before leaving for Fort Lauderdale. Those who are experiencing symptoms have already isolated themselves along with their close contacts, according to the statement.

Passengers on board the ship have told of their concern at being imprisoned on board the ship.

The statement also read that since its flu season, and COVID-19 testing is not available onboard causing it hard for the people to get examined and determine the cause of these elevated cases at this time.

Toronto resident Michael Kasprow said he's anxious about his elderly mother and her friend, both in their 80s, who are stuck onboard and are at greater risk if they contract the disease.

"As many countries are no longer cruise ships, we are also focussed on identifying ports for cruise ships carrying Australians to dock and disembark their passengers, and to assist them to return to Australia", Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

"The message for the Australian government is that we need them to act on our behalf to resolve this situation and get us home to Australia". The ship, MS Zaandam, intends to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on Monday, March 30 but cruise line Holland America notes that "plans are still being finalized".

Niagara Falls resident Janice Lavender, who is celebrating 50 years of marriage with her husband, Jack, on the cruise, said passengers on Zaandam were sent to their staterooms Sunday afternoon.

At least six people on the Favolosa and two individuals on the Magica tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks after disembarking from the ships in mid-March, according to the Miami Herald. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues, such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes and other conditions that cause suppression of the immune system, should in particular avoid getting on cruise ships, the CDC says.

Ship agents and cruise lines must inform the Coast Guard immediately if anyone is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or other diseases.

The number of confirmed U.S. cases from the ship has since risen to 28. How the safety of each passenger is the real motto of the cruise and the way they are catering it is commendable.

The 42 showing flu-like symptoms are quarantined.

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