THURSDAY 5:30 P.M. UPDATE:
The Zaandam docked shortly before 5 p.m., while its sister ship, the Rotterdam, arrived shortly thereafter.
The agreement was reached on Thursday afternoon between local, state and federal officials and Carnival Corp., which owns the Zaandam and the Rotterdam, according to Broward County officials and Holland America, the company that operates the ships.
Port Everglades traffic records listed the two ships’ arrival as “confirmed.”
Thirteen passengers and one crew member will be taken to Broward Health Medical Center for treatment, while 26 passengers will remain on board the Zaandam to be quarantined for 14 days. The ship will not remain at the port for that entire time, according to officials, although the crew will stay on board.
The process of disembarking passengers could last through Saturday, officials say.
Two Holland America Line cruise ships with dozens of sick passengers on board are approaching Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
The Zaandam and the Rotterdam are scheduled to dock late Thursday afternoon.
In a blog post, Holland America Line said:
“We remain fully engaged with the Broward Unified Command and other governmental and embassy authorities to resolve this humanitarian situation and get the nearly 1,200 well guests home immediately who are fit for travel per guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
The cruise line said that guests who are healthy for travel per the CDC guidelines will transfer directly from the ships to flights for travel home, with the majority of those passengers taking charter flights.
For additional caution, those guests will be transported in coaches that will be sanitized with limited person-to-person contact. They will also be given masks.
Guests have not left the ship since March 14, and have been self-isolating in their staterooms since March 22.
For the latest update on Zaandam and Rotterdam, please visit the Holland America Line Blog >> https://t.co/SYsO29gkyj
— Holland America Line (@HALcruises) April 2, 2020
Holland America said about 45 guests who still show symptoms of mild illness, and are not yet ready to travel, will continue to isolate on board the ships until they fully recover.
The company added that less than 10 people need immediate critical care, and Holland America has obtain approval from a local health partner to treat those passengers.
Since March 22, 97 guests (83 on Zaandam and 14 on Rotterdam) and 136 crew members on Zaandam have shown flu-like symptoms.
There are 808 guests and 583 crew members on the Rotterdam, while the Zaandam has 442 guests and 603 crew members.
There are 52 Florida residents on the ships, and four children under age 12.
At least two people have died on the ships from the coronavirus, while another nine have tested positive.
Broward County has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state with 1,346. In addition, 145 people have been hospitalized because of the virus in the county, and 17 have died.