The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there has been a disease outbreak on the  M/S Veendam operated by Holland America Line (HAL)

The CDC states that the Veendam cruise ship has returned after a a 14 day cruise from February 8-22, 2014 with 114 of 1273 (8.96%) passengers suffering from norovirus-like symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. 10 of 575 (1.74%) crew members are reportedly ill.

The CDC has not figured out the type or cause of the disease outbreak.

Veendam Cruise Ship - NorovirusThe CDC has confirmed four disease outbreaks on cruise ships so far this year.

The story was first mentioned by the Cruise Fever blog.

The HAL Veendam was last infected with e-coli last year. You can read about that outbreak here: Gastrointestinal Virus Plagues Passengers Aboard HAL’s Veendam Cruise Ship.

The Veendam has experienced problems with cleanliness and Illnesses over the years.

In 2012, this HAL cruise ship flunked a health inspection. That’s hard to do. Read our article: Gross! Holland America Line’s Veendam Flunks Health Inspection.

The Veendam also sickened 80 and killed one passenger during a gastrointestinal outbreak in November of 2011.

Over the years, HAL has one of the worst records with disease outbreaks.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Djheini

  • Robert Horton

    What the article doesn’t tell you is that the passengers are the major contributors to disease outbreaks on cruise lines. Crew members and taught and trained over and over to wash their hands and sanitize constantly. However, the guests do not. They continually go to the restroom and fail to wash theirs hands. They go ashore and when they come back they don’t sanitize their hands. Plus for HAL, average age of the guests is 70 on most itineraries and older guests can be more resistant to cleaniness.

  • Stir Fry

    Oh, the “blame the guest” argument again.

    Do the staff wash their hands and “sanitize” after every dirty dish they handle and before they touch guest surfaces again? Do the cabin attendants wash their hands and “sanitize” before cleaning the next cabin? Do the servers wash their hands and “sanitize” after collecting the massive amounts of used alcohol glassware and before handling the next clean glass? Do the laundry staff wash their hands and “sanitize” between handling dirty and clean laundry? Highly unlikely.

    What proof is there that guests “continually go to the restroom and fail to wash theirs hands”? Spy cameras in the restrooms?

    The statement that passengers go onshore and fail to “sanitize” upon return is very unkind to people of the locations visited. Again, what proof is there of that?

    Painting a picture of elderly, immune compromised passengers who were not taught to wash their hands as a two year-old is just plain insulting. Since an actual statistic was published along with this distasteful statement, I can only presume the poster is a cruise line or travel agent shill (again).

  • Elizabeth Lescoe

    Just got off the Veendam in Boston after a 7 night sailing to ports in Maine and Canada (August 29th – September 5th, 2015) and experienced the same issues. We were told on the evening of 8/2 that there was an active g.i. outbreak on board and that the ship was implementing a “Code Red” whereby all pools and Jacuzzis were closed, salt/pepper shakers were removed from tables, beverage dispensing was provided by staff rather than self-serve and announcements were made about personal hygiene. I agree that this is symptomatic of an elevated elderly passenger ratio. My husband and I are 53 years old and were relatively young as compared to the ship’s general population. We both came home yesterday feeling fine and both took ill last night in our homes. I am a medical professional and am extremely cautious about hygiene issues. I came on-line to see if anything has been reported about our recent experience and I’m finding an alarming amount of past issues with this ship. Robert Horton’s comments above are strikingly similar to what I was telling folks during the cruise. Elderly people tend to have poorer hygiene practices and are much more likely to use hand rails, etc. without covering their hands with their sleeves…..something I practice on land and aboard cruise ships. We were told by the staff that a Code Red was only implemented when 10% or more of the guests were showing symptoms. A sailing like this should have been covered on the national news programs! NOTHING!!!