Cruise ship Westerdam welcomed in Cambodia

The cruise ship the Westerdam, with 1455 passengers on board, arrived in the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Thursday 13 February at around 07:00 local time. The Westerdam was not welcome in several Asian ports over the past few days for fear of the coronavirus.

The Netherlands and the United States, among others, were looking for a mooring place for the ship. Although it was first allowed to dock in a port near Bangkok on Monday 10 February, that permission was revoked again a day later for fear of spreading the novel coronavirus. On Wednesday, the Westerdam was given the green light to berth in Cambodia.

The Dutch Government assisted in finding a port for the ship. The head of the World Health Organization was pleased that the cruise ship Westerdam has now been allowed to dock in Cambodia. ‘This is an example of the international solidarity we have always asked for,’ says Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The passengers can disembark within a few days and do not have to go into quarantine. According to the Dutch Ministry of Health there is no reason to assume that the passengers are infected with the virus. The passengers were previously checked while underway. However, it is possible that the Cambodian authorities will subject the passengers to a brief medical check-up.

Source: ANP

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Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.