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While the injuries and deaths of cruise passengers is not a particularly fond topic of cruise companies, procedures must be in place for if a passengers falls ill or dies while on board.

Almost all ships have doctors and nurses on board, and many ships also have an area that can serve as a morgue.

However, there is rarely any counseling available on board for the grieving family of the deceased passenger. Often a spouse or family member is forced to continue traveling for several days aboard the ship until it reaches a port.

Often, the charges associated with a death at sea, including the return of a body, fall on the passenger or the passenger’s family, not the cruise ship company. Such charges can be several thousand dollars.

“Don’t take things on the mainland for granted when you step onto a ship,” said Mark Brimble, the Vice President of the International Cruise Victims Association.

We are unaware of any wrongful death cases which have been brought against Holland America where a passenger has died aboard a vessel. However, wrongful death claims have been successfully asserted where passengers have died as a result of third party negligence on an excursion recommended or arranged by Holland America.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Airline, Cruise, Bus, and Other Mass Transit.

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