Holland America President Makes Statement on Zaandam Situation


Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford issued a statement broadcast on in-stateroom televisions aboard the Zaandam and Rotterdam.

The company has been moving guests, supplies and crew between the ships. 

Ashford played down rumors of the concept of a "healthy ship and a sick ship" and said the intention is for the ships to stick together with guests isolated. 

He said moving people between the ships is to create the maximum flexibility and comfort; for example, moving guests with inside staterooms from the Zaandam to better rooms on the Rotterdam. 

In a separate statement, the company said it was aware reported permission for both the Zaandam and Rotterdam to transit the Panama Canal in the near future.

"We greatly appreciate this consideration in the humanitarian interest of our guests and crew. This remains a dynamic situation, and we continue to work with the Panamanian authorities to finalize details," the company said.

Meanwhile, Port Everglades issued the following statement: "Should Holland America receive approval to transit the Panama Canal, it would take about three days for the ship to reach South Florida. Holland American must then submit a plan prior to arrival that addresses a long list of Unified Command requirements for entry into a Port."

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