The saga of the Holland America ship MS Zaandam keeps getting more complicated. After passengers and crew members aboard the ship came down with flu-like symptoms, the Zaandam found itself unable to port due to worldwide heightened precautions relating to coronavirus. Yesterday we blogged that the Zaandam was finally headed to Florida and set to dock on March 30. Now, even that is uncertain.
Due to a lack of access to coronavirus test kits, ship authorities have been unable to confirm whether the ship's outbreak is caused by the common flu or by coronavirus, complicating the ship's docking plans.
Holland America has dispatched the MS Rotterdam to meet up with the Zaandam and provide it with supplies to help tide the passengers and crew over while the ship heads toward South Florida. Passengers have been aboard the Zaandam for the past 11 days, unable to disembark and mostly confined to their rooms as a precaution.
South Florida residents have voiced concerns about the Zaandam docking at Fort Lauderdale, putting the ship's plans to arrive at Port Everglades in doubt. Company officials say that they are devising a back-up plan of action in case the ship is not allowed to dock at Fort Lauderdale.
"When we have the full plan, we’ll let guests and others know," company spokesperson Erik Elvejord told USA Today.