SEATTLE (NEWS 1130) — Holland America Line further suspended operations for 30 more days Monday, while two of its cruise ships started two move after being stranded off the coast of Panama following the deaths of four passengers with flu-like symptoms.
The company previously paused operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now been extended from April 14 to May 14, due to the continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding global health concerns.
“As the world addresses global health concerns, travel has come to a temporary standstill as communities take necessary precautions to protect themselves,” Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, says in a release.
All bookings will be cancelled automatically. Guests will be contacted and be able to choose either a full refund or a future cruise credit for 125 per cent of the booking value, along with a $250 shipboard credit, says a release from the company.
Two cruise ships carrying nearly 2,700 passengers and crew, including 248 Canadians, were on the move Monday after being stranded off the coast of Panama following the deaths of four passengers with flu-like symptoms.
Holland America’s MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam passed through the Panama Canal and were sailing toward Florida.
The MS Zaandam had been anchored on the west side of the canal after reporting four people on board had died nearly 200 passengers and crew were exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
Holland America says several people on the ship have since tested positive for COVID-19.