ms Zaandam accidents and incidents

ms Zaandam cruise ship


Length (LOA)
202 m / 663 ft

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CruiseMapper's ms Zaandam cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1718-passenger vessel owned by Holland America. Our ms Zaandam accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2019
  • propulsion/power loss - 2009, 2019
  • pollution in Alaska - 2010 (3 times)
  • deaths - overboard (2009), 2020 (4 Coronavirus)
  • illness - 2009 (swine flu)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2003 (100 pax), 2006 (64 / 4), 2007 (91 / 8), 2008 (100 / 13), 2009 (74 / 21), 2018 (95 / 18)
  • Coronavirus - 2020 (4 passenger deaths, plus 14 confirmed cases - 13 passengers and 1 crew; non-confirmed cases - 107 passengers plus 143 crew / with flu-like symptoms)
  • medevacs - 2021 (crew)

08 January 2021Coast Guard Medevacs

On January 8, 2021 (at ~7 pm), a male crew was medevaced from the passenger-free cruise liner anchored off Torbay (Devon, England).

The man (accompanied by the ship's senior nurse) was offloaded on one of the tender boats and transported to Torquay Harbour's Inner Dock, from where ambulanced to Torbay Hospital for treatment. The medical evacuation was assisted by Torbay HM Coastguard Rescue Team.

March 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On March 22, 2020, while at sea and en-route from Valparaiso (Chile) to Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA), the cruise liner reported a total of 42 people (13 passengers and 29 crew) experiencing flu-like symptoms that are also common to the COVID-19 illness (Coronavirus). The ship was carrying a total of 1829 people (1243 passengers plus 586 staff-crew).

The ship operated on a 14-day South America cruise (itinerary March 7-21) from Buenos Aires (Argentina) to San Antonio (Chile), with scheduled visits to Uruguay (Montevideo, Mar 9), Falkland Islands (Port Stanley, Mar 12), Chile (Punta Arenas, Mar 14), Argentina (Ushuaia, Mar 15) and Chile (Puerto Montt, Mar 19).

Due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, HAL-Holland America Line suspended cruise shipping operations fleetwide on March 13 for a month (through April 14). Following the company's policy, Zaandam initially planned to disembark in Punta Arenas (on March 14) all its passengers, from where they to be flown back home. However, after Chile denied the vessel port entry, the ship proceeded to Port Valparaiso where remained anchored (March 20-21) for provisioning and fueling, then proceeded directly to Florida, with planned arrival and passenger debarkation in Port Everglades on March 30.

On March 26, Zaandam rendezvoused at sea (off Panama's coast) with the fleetmate Rotterdam to load provisions (including food, medical supplies, face masks) and offload healthy passengers before they are exposed to the illness. All passengers and crew with flu-like symptoms remained on Zaandam. Zaandam's healthy passengers were debarked in Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida). Since March 22, Rotterdam was docked (laid up) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For the "Zaandam mission", HAL instructed Rotterdam's Captain to load supplies and medical staff from Eurodam.

On March 27, HAL officially announced that 4 cruise passengers died (on the ship) and 2 are tested Coronavirus-positive. HAL didn't announce the total number of tested passengers and crew, only reported 53 passengers (4% of all) and 85 crew (14%) showing COVID-19 symptoms. According to HAL's statement, “four older guests have passed away on Zaandam” (it was not specified whether they died of Coronavirus) and that "No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile”.

On March 28, Zaandam and Rotterdam were officially allowed to transit through Panama Canal. Both vessels transited the inland waterway (through the new Neopanamax Locks) on March 29. Zaandam was originally carrying a total of 1829 people (1243 passengers plus 586 crew). The onboard medical team consisted of 4 physicians and 4 nurses.

According to HAL, Rotterdam took ~1400 healthy people, leaving on Zaandam only 450 passengers and 602 crew (of whom ~190 sick / possible COVID-19 cases).

On April 1, HAL in a statement announced that 9 Zaandam cruisers are in critical conditions (must be hospitalized) and 45 other experience mild illness symptoms. The 45 would not be allowed to disembark and will remain onboard, along with the entire crew.

On April 2, the US President Donald Trump intervened the discussions (about Florida to allow or not docking for both liners) by saying "we have to help the people". After Broward County soon agreed to accept the vessels, HAL started to arrange charter flights from Florida to repatriate all non-US cruisers. Carnival Corporation (shipowner) agreed to pay all expenses and provide "legal assurance" for the safe passenger debarkation and transportation out of the cruise port area.

On April 3, Port Canaveral reported 14 people (13 passengers and 1 crew) in critical conditions that require hospitalization. Zaandam disembarked 442 passengers, Rotterdam - 808. From both liners (combined 1250 passengers plus 1186 crew) were reported with flu-like symptoms 107 passengers and 143 crew. Those remained onboard and quarantined in separate cabins. None of the crew was allowed to disembark.

On April 9 at Port Everglades, HAL transferred 29 tourists from Zaandam to Rotterdam, with Rotterdam carrying a total of 53 people (29 passengers plus 24 contract service staff) who were waiting for their chartered home flights. The same day Zaandam left Port Everglades for extensive shipwide cleaning and 14-day quarantine (remained anchored near Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas).

20 September 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

On September 20, 2019, due to machinery breakdown, the liner remained docked in Port Quebec City and all passengers were transported via buses to the next scheduled port Montreal. The incident occurred at the end of 7-day Canada and New England cruise (itinerary Sept 14-21) from Boston to Montreal, visiting Bar Harbor ME, Halifax NS, Sydney NS, Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) and Quebec City (planned port stay 7 am - 5 pm).

26 April 2019Fire Accident

On April 26, 2019, at ~1:30 am, while the liner was en-route from Fort Lauderdale to Boston, via the PA system the Captain informed passengers and crew about a small fire in the incinerator room. Shortly after the alarm was sound, smoke was detected in Main Deck's/deck 2's forward hallway. It could be also smelled outside on deck 3 (Lower Promenade Deck). On April 27, the Captain announced that the fire was caused by smoldering garbage disposal in the waste incineration room. Due to high Saint Lawrence River water levels (reducing Jacques Cartier Bridge's clearance), the itinerary was changed by dropping/canceling Port Montreal. After the arrival in Quebec City (May 3), all passengers were disembarked and transferred to Montreal via buses.

The accident occurred during the 10-day Florida to Canada repositioning cruise (itinerary April 24 - May 4) from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal, with call ports Boston MA (April 27), Bar Harbor ME (April 28), Halifax NS (April 29), Sydney NS (April 30), Prince Edward Island/Charlottetown (May 1), and Quebec City (May 3).

June 2018Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

June-July 2018, CDC reported on itinerary June 18 to July 2, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 95 passengers (out of 1472, or 6,5%) and 18 crew (out of 591, or 3,1%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (predominantly vomiting and diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

The ship was on 14-days Alaskan cruise roundtrip from homeport Seattle WA to Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak Island, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, and Victoria BC.

29 May 2016Other Incidents

On May 29, 2016, the ship arrived in call port Seward AK with a dead fin whale lodged on its bulbous bow. The incident was reported to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Investigators were dispatched to the scene to remove the dead whale from the ship and send it for a necropsy.

19 October 2012Propulsion / Power Loss

On October 19, 2012, mechanical problems during Alaska to Hawaii cruise (Vancouver to Honolulu) forced the vessel to diverse from its course to California and make an unscheduled stop in San Diego for repairs.

2010Sea Pollution

In 2010, the vessel was reported 3 times for water pollution in Alaska. Tests on Aug 8, Aug 22 and Sept 5 showed higher than allowed levels of ammonia in the discharged wastewater.

03 August 2009Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On August 3, 2009, a 45-year-old female passenger was reported missing and presumed fell overboard. The ship was in Alaska, en-route to Glacier Bay from Juneau AK.

The woman (Amber Malkuch) was last seen at ~12:30 am (ordering from the room service menu) and was reported missing in the morning at ~9 am by her friend. The conducted by the ship search operation failed to find the body.

Later, USCG assets (1 helicopter, 2 rescue boats), two patrol boats and 2 planes from Civil Air Patrol continued the search. At ~4:30 pm (Aug 3), a helicopter found the woman’s body on a beach on Douglas Island (west of Juneau).

06 June 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On June 6, 2009, five crew tested positive for swine influenza (aka swine flu) during 7-day Alaskan cruise (itinerary May 29 - June 5) roundtrip from homeport Seattle WA.

February 2009Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In February 2009, CDC reported on voyage Feb 5 to 20, a Norovirus outbreak affected 74 passengers (out of 1408, or 5,3%) and 21 crew (out of 590, or 3,6%).

13 January 2009Propulsion / Power Loss

On January 13, 2009, the vessel suffered a propulsion loss for ~1 min. In one of its diesel-electric generators (number 5), a currency transformer in the alternator exploded, caused grounding out and shutdown of the main switchboard.

Soon, the emergency diesel generator started. No injuries or fire were reported. The ship soon regained its main power generation and arrived on schedule in call port Lahaina (Maui, Hawaii).

April 2008Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

March-April 2008, CDC reported on voyage Mar 19 to Apr 3, a Norovirus outbreak affected 100 passengers (out of 1428, or 7%) and 13 crew (out of 611, or 2,1%). The ship was on 15-day Mexico and Hawaii cruise roundtrip from homeport San Diego CA.

November 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In November 2007, CDC reported on voyage Nov 5 to 20, a Norovirus outbreak affected 91 passengers (out of 1371, or 6,6%) and 8 crew (out of 616, or 1,3%). The ship was on 15-day Around Hawaii cruise from San Diego CA.

December 2006Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

November-December 2006, CDC reported on voyage Nov 26 to Dec 11, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 64 passengers (out of 1431, or 4,5%) and 4 crew (out of 617, or 0,7%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The ship was on 15-day Mexico and Hawaii cruise roundtrip from homeport San Diego CA.

August 2003Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In August 2003, unofficially was reported that on voyage Aug 23 to 30, a total of 100 Norovirus cruise passengers were disembarked from the ship in all 3 Alaskan ports of call. The affected passengers were later reimbursed for all their expenses while ashore.

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