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Florida Gov. Says Coronavirus-Stricken Zaandam Cruise Ship Can’t Be ‘Dumped’ in Fort Lauderdale

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A meeting of Broward County, Fla., officials will take place later today, Tuesday, March 31, to decide whether a Holland America cruise ship stricken by the coronavirus – and carrying four dead passengers and 193 others who are sick – can dock in Fort Lauderdale.

Eight of the sick passengers aboard the Zaandam have tested positive for COVID-19. The ship has been at sea since March 7.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis insisted Monday that the passengers cannot be “dumped” in his state.

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“We cannot afford to have people, who are not even Floridians, dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources,” DeSantis said coronavirus-stricken-cruise-ship-heads-toward-florida-governor-says-passengers-n1172431″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>during a television appearance Monday night. “We view this as a big, big problem, and we do not want to see people dumped in Southern Florida right now.”

At a news conference later, DeSantis said he was concerned that disembarking in Port Everglades will use up Florida hospitals’ scarce resources.

The news comes just two days after the Zaandam had been given permission to pass through the Panama Canal and return to Fort Lauderdale.

The Zaandam had initially been denied entry into Chile on its South American itinerary and then denied the chance to pass through the Canal to get back to its homeport in Florida, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper, until Panamanian officials relented.

One American citizen is believed to be among the four deceased passengers. The passengers were ordered to self-isolate in their staterooms since March 22.

Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, called for a port to allow the Zaandam and its sister ship, the Rotterdam, which picked up healthy passengers, to dock.

“We are dealing with a ‘not my problem’ syndrome. The international community, consistently generous and helpful in the face of human suffering, shut itself off to Zaandam leaving her to fend for herself,” Ashford covid-19-crisis” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>said in a statement. “Nations are justifiably focused on the Covid-19 crisis unfolding before them. But they’ve turned their backs on thousands of people left floating at sea. Are these reactions based on facts from experts like the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or fueled by irrational fear? What happened to compassion and help thy neighbor?”

“The Covid-19 situation is one of the most urgent tests of our common humanity,” Ashford added. “To slam the door in the face of these people betrays our deepest human values.”

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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European Waterways Barge Cruises Are Ideal for Family Vacations

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European Waterways offers the perfect solution to socially distant family travel in Europe.

As the coronavirus pandemic begins to wane and countries begin to reopen their borders to international travelers, families are expected to look to travel to reconnect with one another, and European Waterways is ready for the surge, offering the ideal opportunity for families to explore on private, chartered river barges.

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Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, says that he is already observing increasing interest.

This isn’t surprising seeing as how these vessels offer ideal accommodations for families, with room for anywhere between six and 20 passengers. Guests can cruise Europe’s canals and smaller waterways as well as the less-populated countryside.

“Cruising with European Waterways has always been about taking ‘the path less traveled,’ so much of our outdoor activities already take our guests away from crowded tourist attractions to the more exclusive, less populated settings,” said Banks. “Until travel returns to normal, we are further committed to providing a safe and healthy onboard environment for our guests, with pre-cruise checks for all on-board and the implementation of more stringent cleaning procedures, among other policies.”

Social distancing will likely be the norm for a while in Europe and around the world, and these barges offer the chance to enjoy scenery while still remaining safe.

For the most part, meals are served on board by the master chef and cruises feature exclusive private tours of castles, aristocratic estates and vineyards, plus other excursions, tailored to avoid the crowds.

L’Art de Vivre is the ideal barge for a family vacation. The eight-passenger vessel once carried supplies during World War One. Now, the boat has been completely modernized and cruises the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy, France.

Family-friendly excursions include a visit to the Caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, which features some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, a medieval castle under construction using traditional methods at the Chateau Guedelon; the age of the dinosaurs in Cardo Land; and the fun and wildly eclectic artwork on display at the Fabuloserie Art and Sculpture Museum.

Family charters can also incorporate activities such as tennis, ice-skating and mini-golf as well as kayaking, quad biking and horseback riding.

European Waterways’ Family Charters are available throughout France, the U.K., Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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