Investigation Update on the Volendam

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

Cruise Ship: Volendam

Voyage Dates: November 3–18, 2018

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 68 of 1,285 (5.29%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 9 of 599 (1.50%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Holland America Group and the crew aboard the ship are taking the following actions:

  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan.
  • Collecting stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing.
  • Making announcements to notify onboard passengers and crew of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage good hand hygiene.
  • Making multiple daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to VSP.
  • Sending a corporate management public health, hotel, and housekeeping team to assist the onboard management with infection control response plans.
  • Consulting with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on November 18, 2018, including
    • Planning staged disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests.
    • Planning sanitation of terminal and transport infection control procedures.

Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and two epidemiologists will board the ship in Ft. Lauderdale on November 18 to conduct an environmental health assessment and epidemiologic investigation and to evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens have been collected, tested onboard, and found to be positive for norovirus. The specimens will be sent to CDC for genome sequencing.

Note: The gastrointestinal illness cases reported are totals for the entire voyage and do not represent the number of active (symptomatic) gastrointestinal cases at any given port of call or at disembarkation.

Page last reviewed: April 24, 2019