Holland America Line’s Westerdam has arrived in port in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, where its current cruise will end. According to the latest update from the cruise line, inspection and clearance procedures began this morning.
“Given the number of organizations involved in supporting today’s complex operations, it is taking time,” the cruise line said in a written statement. “We are grateful to everyone in Cambodia who are helping and welcoming us.”
The ship had been searching for a disembarkation port ever since the cruise line switched its original endpoint from Shanghai to Yokohama, Japan, due to concerns over the coronavirus. The ship was turned away from Japanese health authorities, as well as by authorities in Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand.
All guests onboard are healthy, Holland America has said, and there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus onboard.
Plans call for guests to disembark in Sihanoukville over the next few days and transfer via charter flights to Phnom Penh for forward travel home, Holland America said. The cruise line will arrange and pay for all flights home, in addition to a full cruise refund and 100 percent future cruise credit.
Future voyage plans are still being finalized; the February 15 cruise that had been scheduled to embark in Yokohama, Japan, has been cancelled, and the line is assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing February 29 or later.
There are currently over 45,100 cases of the coronavirus, now officially named COVID-19, in 25 countries worldwide, according to the latest situation report from the World Health Organization (WHO). 1,115 people have died from the illness thus far, all but one in China.