FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A cruise ship with 42 sick people on board is expected to dock in South Florida next week.
Holland America says 13 guests and 29 crew members aboard their Zaandam cruise ship are suffering influenza-like symptoms. The ship has a total of 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board.
The cruise line says every person who is ill has been isolated, while their close contacts have been placed in quarantine. All guests have been asked to remain in their staterooms, while all meals are being brought to their rooms.
The company says another one of its ships, Rotterdam, is set to rendezvous with the ship and provide extra supplies, staff and COVID-19 test kits. Rotterdam has no guests aboard, only crew members, the cruise line said.
The cruise departed Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end in San Antonio, Chile on March 21. Once the cruise line suspended its global operations for 30 days, their plan was to end its current cruises as quickly as possible. Guests were supposed disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile on March 14, but were then not permitted to leave the ship.
"Our intention is to proceed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for arrival on March 30, however plans are still being finalized," Holland America said in its statement. "Alternative options also are being developed. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile."
The ship is set to dock on Monday in Port Everglades, which is in Broward County -- one of the counties hardest hit by coronavirus cases in Florida. Broward commissioners say they want to stop the ship from docking there.
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