Deal is done: Cruise ship with sick passengers, sister ship allowed to dock in Florida


A Holland America cruise ship with sick passengers and its sister ship will be allowed to dock in Florida, sources tell NBC News.

It was expected that the Broward County Commission in Fort Lauderdale would vote on whether to allow the Zaandam and Rotterdam ships to dock, but sources say a deal has been reached and that officials are finalizing details.

It's unclear if the ships will be allowed to come to shore or if passengers will be ferried to land.

Four people have died on the Zaandam, at least two of them from the coronavirus. Nine others have tested positive and 179 more have flu-like symptoms.

The news comes after passengers on the ships pleaded for help after Florida's governor said he did not want the ships "dumped" there.

Nine passengers will be transported to a local hospital and 45 others who are ill will remain on board. Holland America Line will put foreign nationals on specially sanitized buses to take them to waiting chartered planes.

Some of the passengers have said that they have already been given luggage tags and were told "to pack their bags."

Asymptomatic passengers from the Zaandam have been taken on by its sister ship, the Rotterdam. More than 300 Americans are aboard the ships, including 49 Florida residents, several of whom live in Broward County.

This is a developing story; please check back for details.

Originally published