Coronavirus cruise ship allowed Panama Canal transition

   March 29, 2020 ,   Accidents

HAL-Holland America Line's ms Zaandam cruise ship received permission to pass through Panama Canal en-route from South America to Florida USA (Port Everglades) where is planned debarkation of all passengers and infected staff-crew.

The Panama Canal Authority announced the decision late Saturday night in a statement that read:

“The ship will be scheduled for transit after entering Canal waters, which has not occurred to-date. According to the Zaandam’s itinerary, the vessel was originally scheduled to transit on April 1.”

The permission comes with an agreement that the ship's crew and passengers are not allowed to exit the vessel and enter Panama.

Panama Canal

According to the government, Panama will guarantee "bio-security measures" to protect the Panamanian personnel who participates in the manoeuvre and thus safeguard the health of Panamanians.

It is unclear if Panama will allow the fleetmate ms Rotterdam to transit after HAL transferred hundreds of passengers from Zaandam to Rotterdam with little more than a temperature check and questionnaire about whether they had Coronavirus symptoms.

On Friday, HAL said nearly 150 passengers and crew members aboard Zaandam were ill. 4 elderly passengers died and 2 people tested positive for COVID-19.

For other ms Zaandam accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.