Coronavirus Update: Holland America Shifts Westerdam to Tokyo, Costa Updates Screening Policy

Holland America Westerdam Updated Refurbished Photo by Holland America Line Editorial Use Only
Holland America's Westerdam will now disembark/embark guests on February 1 in Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, not Shanghai. Hong Kong embarking voyages are not impacted.

Holland America Line is changing Westerdam's disembarkation in Shanghai on February 1 to Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan. In addition, the ship's voyage expected to board that same day in Shanghai is also being shifted to Yokohama.

In addition, Costa Cruises updated its screening policy to include passengers from two additional areas -- see below. 

Shanghai to Tokyo

As for the Westerdam changes, Holland America's statement said: 

  • "In light of the U.S. CDC Level 3 travel warning to China issued January 27, 2020, the disembarkation from Westerdam on Saturday, February 15 will now take place in Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan rather than Shanghai, China. All guests and their travel advisors are being notified of these changes" 
  • "Guests who have purchased their air through Holland America Line’s Flight Ease will have their return flights rebooked to depart from Tokyo rather than Shanghai at our expense. Guests' new homeward travel arrangements will be communicated shortly."
  • "Guests with independent travel arrangements should rebook their air to depart from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport or Narita Airport no earlier than 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 15. Most airlines and hotels are allowing guests to change travel plans involving China with no penalty, but should you incur expenses related to adjusting your travel plans we recommend you retain your receipts to support a claim with your travel insurance." 
  • "Guests with Holland America Line post-cruise hotel arrangements in Shanghai will [receive a refund] to the original form of payment."
  • "If any additional Westerdam sailings in Asia will be impacted, booked guests and their travel advisors will be notified as soon as it Is known."

In addition, all sailings aboard Westerdam in Asia from the February 15 departure through March 28 will not visit China. Itinerary revisions with Japanese ports for these cruises have been planned and are being communicated to guests and their travel advisors. Cruise turnarounds will take place in Yokohoma, Japan, instead of Shanghai or Hong Kong. Cruises after March 28 were planned without ports in China and will sail as scheduled. 

For the changed voyages, embarking guests with independent travel arrangements should arrive to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport or Narita Airport by 6:00 p.m. for the February 29 sailing and by 12:00 noon for the March 14 sailing. All disembarking guests with independent travel arrangements should depart no earlier than 12:30 p.m. on their disembarkation day.

More Information

Holland America said that "although the risks to our guests, crew and business is very low, Holland America Line is closely monitoring this situation. The line's medical experts are coordinating closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement recommended screening, prevention and control measures for Holland America's ships.

This will include denial of boarding for persons who have recently visited the epicenter of the disease, Hubei Province, China; health screening, including temperature checks, for persons from the affected region; and standard pre-boarding health reporting for all guests. 

Additionally, guests visiting the line's onboard medical centers for respiratory illness will be evaluated for coronavirus. "Robust environmental disinfection onboard will be performed in addition to our regular stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols," the line said in its statement. 

The line also provided several links, including to the CDC's website on coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

U.S. CDC Travel Warning for China, Level 3, Avoid Non-Essential Travel: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china

U.S. CDC Travel Advisory for Hong Kong, Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/hong-kong-sar

U.S. CDC Travel Advisory for Taiwan, Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/taiwan

Costa Update

Costa Cruises also updated its policy for those who are being given a pre-boarding health questionnaire and who may be subject to additional screening by medical staff.

Originally, that was for guests holding passports from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, but now Costa is also requiring that from passengers holding passports from Macau and Singapore, too. 

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