Cruise Line Continues Screening for Coronavirus, Cancels Voyage
Guests who returned to Cambodia on Holland America Line’s Westerdam continue to be screened for the coronavirus. The ship remains docked in Sihanoukville, Cambodia where testing is ongoing.
New Test Results
As of Monday morning, the cruise line reported that the Cambodian Health Ministry was onboard testing 255 guests and 747 crew members. They said the process could take a few days to complete.
Guests who already disembarked Westerdam, remain at a hotel in Phnom Penh and have all completed the COVID-19 screening. Results are being returned when completed, with the first batch of 406 all being negative.
After the guests are cleared, they may travel home. Holland America is arranging the transportation home for those guests.
The one woman who tested positive for the virus after disembarking Westerdam remains in stable condition at a hospital in Malaysia.
“We are in close coordination with some of the leading health experts from around the world,” said Dr. Grant Tarling, Chief Medical Officer for Holland America Line. “These experts are working with the appropriate national health authorities to investigate and follow-up with any individuals who may have come in contact with the guest.”
Holland America Line’s President Orlando Ashford is also onsite in Asia.
Holland America said in a statement, “On Feb. 10, 2020, all 2,257 passengers and crew were screened for illness including the taking of individual temperatures. No individual at that time was identified with an elevated temperature. Guests who were able to disembark in Cambodia underwent additional health screening and temperature checks. Furthermore, the passports of everyone on board were reviewed to ensure no one had traveled through mainland China in the 14 days prior to the cruise.”
February 29 Westerdam Sailing is Canceled
The line tweeted Sunday evening, “Out of an abundance of caution, Holland America Line has decided to cancel the Feb. 29, 2020, cruise of Westerdam. The ship was due to depart Yokohama, Japan, for a 14-day roundtrip cruise visiting mostly Japanese ports. All guests will receive a full refund. Each guest will also receive a 50% future cruise credit and reimbursement of cancellation fees.”
They said no sailings beyond February 26 have been canceled. The cruise line says that during the voyage, there was no indication of coronavirus on the ship.
The ship set sail from Hong Kong on February 1 for a 14-night cruise before it was denied entry to five ports over coronavirus fears.