Shunned Cruise Ship Finally Finds A Home
After nearly a week of uncertainty, Holland America Line found a port that will let the ms Westerdam dock. The ship will now terminate the cruise on Thursday in Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand. The cruise was previously scheduled to disembark Feb. 15 in Yokohama, Japan.
The ship is not in quarantine and there are no known cases of coronavirus on board the vessel.
In an abundance of caution, Japanese authorities did not allow the ms Westerdam to call at any of their ports due to the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
Timeline of Events
Last Thursday, Holland America Line was notified that the Japanese Government would not permit the ms Westerdam to call in any Japanese ports. The ship had been scheduled to stop at Ishigaki Island, Naha, Okinawa, Nagasaki and Fukuoka (Hakata), before its scheduled return to Yokohama on Feb. 15, where the next cruise was scheduled to embark.
Later that evening, the cruise line said, “Guests on board Westerdam continue to be fully safe and secure. The ship is currently in a holding pattern off the coast of Japan, southeast of Okinawa, while we are working to finalize a new port of disembarkation.”
Finally, on Monday morning, Holland America said that the cruise will now end in Thailand, on Thursday, February 13. Guests onboard will be disembarking in Laem Chabang and transferred to Bangkok to begin their journey home.
All guests will receive a 100 percent refund for the 14-day sailing, as well as a 100 percent Future Cruise Credit.
Following the disembarkation of guests, Westerdam will depart Laem Chabang. According to a statement from Holland America, “The Feb. 15 cruise scheduled to embark in Yokohama has been cancelled. No cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond February 15 have been announced at this time. However, we are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing Feb. 29 or later.”
Unlike the situation with the quarantined Diamond Princess, there are no reported cases of coronavirus onboard ms Westerdam, so guests are allowed to move freely about the ship and there is no quarantine in place.
The ms Westerdam was on a 14-night sailing from Yokohoma, Japan.