As the Holland America cruise ship MS Zaandam signals that it is heading for Florida, Florida residents and officials are questioning if it is wise to allow the ship to dock at the port.
Local10.com reports that the Zaandam is carrying nearly 2,000 people, including passengers and crew, and has been stationed off the coast of Panama awaiting clearance to head for Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale. But the ship's transit is facing significant resistance from both residents and officials.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis recently issued a statement saying that in his opinion “[i]t is deeply troubling to learn that Holland America cruise ship Zaandam could traverse the Panama Canal after all and head to Fort Lauderdale." Trantalis signaled that he “cannot support the Zaandam docking in my community.”
53 guests and 85 crew members aboard the Zaandam have been displaying flu-like symptoms while at least two have tested positive for COVID-19. Four passengers aboard the ship have died, but as of yet their cause of death is unknown.