The cruise ships Zaandam and Rotterdam offloaded more than 1,200 passengers in Port Everglades, Fla. These developments, combined with one remaining disembarkation being coordinated, represents the processing of more than 120 vessels in the last three weeks to remove 250,000 passengers from cruise ships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coast Guard, under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working with Department of Homeland Security partners Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as state and local entities from multiple port jurisdictions, facilitated the safe landing, screening, quarantine and repatriation of these passengers in a manner that has prevented further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many passengers were brought to safe harbor in the United States when international ports refused entry.
Most of the cruise line industry announced a voluntarily suspension of cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call on March 13th, and the CDC issued a “No Sail” Order on March 14th to all cruise ships that had not voluntarily suspended operations.