After days of uncertainty, Holland America Line’s Westerdam has secured approval to dock in Sihanoukville, Cambodia on Feb. 13 to start disembarking guests who have been onboard since the ship departed Hong Kong on Feb. 1.
“Guests will be able to go ashore. All approvals have been received and we are extremely grateful to the Cambodian authorities for their support,” Holland America wrote in a statement.
Guests will be able to disembark and board charter flights to Phnom Penh for travel home. Holland America, according to a statement, will pay for all of the flights home, in addition to giving the guests a full cruise refund and 100% future cruise credit.
When the ship arrives, Cambodian health officials will reportedly conduct onboard health checks and provide visa-free services to passengers, according to local media.
The news ends days of uncertainty for the 1,455 guests and 802 crew onboard as the ship was denied from docking in Japan and denied entry by Taiwan, the Philippines, Guam, and Thailand, over recent days, because of concerns over coronavirus.
Despite the concerns, “All guests on board are healthy and despite erroneous reports there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus on board, nor have their ever been,” Holland America said.
Future sailings are still being finalized. The ship’s next scheduled sailing, a Feb. 15 cruise scheduled to embark in Yokohama, has been cancelled. No cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond Feb. 15 have been announced at this time.
“We are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing Feb. 29 or later. We will communicate details as they become finalized in the next few days,” Holland America said.