Holland America Line is working on a solution so the ms Westerdam cruise ship can finally be able to dock to disembark passengers.
Westerdam Cruise Ship Issues
The Holland America cruise ship has been denied entering multiple ports due to fears of the deadly Coronavirus which is spreading across the world. The vessel is currently sailing a 14-day voyage which departed Hong Kong on February 1 but the ship has not been allowed to enter the Japanese ports at Ishigaki Island on February 8, Naha on February 9, and (yet to come) Nagasaki on February 11.
Authorities in Japan have not allowed the ms Westerdam to call at any of its ports as the country is restricting travel to stop the spread of the virus, which first appeared in China. The Japanese Health Ministry is also dealing with the Diamond Princess, which remains under quarantine in Yokohama with dozens of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus.
As a result of the Holland America vessel unable to dock, it is currently sailing on a southwesterly course off the coast of Taiwan which is a good position if any ports allow access. The cruise line has stated it’s working with different governments to solve the issue and allow guests to disembark.
It is important to know that there are no Coronvirus infections aboard the vessel and all guests and crew remain safe. The ship has sufficient fuel and supplies to last until the end of the voyage, which is February 15.
Holland America has detailed the measures in place to help protect guests and crew from any possible infections:
- Guests who have traveled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau, or had contact with a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or a person who is under monitoring for coronavirus in the last 14 days prior to sailing, will not be permitted to board the ship.
- Pre-Boarding medical evaluations, including temperature checks, will be made for persons whom, for any reason, appear or identify as symptomatic (respiratory or fever symptoms).
- For all guests, standard pre-boarding health reporting advising of their reporting obligations for any illness or symptoms of an illness must be completed.
- Medical screening for Coronavirus will be conducted for all guests who visit our onboard Medical Center with symptoms of any respiratory illness.
- Reports will be made to local and national health authorities of all cases of fever and respiratory illness, and any patients with suspected Coronavirus infection.
- Crew members from mainland China will be delayed from joining any ship until further notice. Crew members from other regions of the world who may have been scheduled to connect on flights through China have been rerouted.
- Additional environmental disinfection onboard will be performed in addition to regular stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols.
The ship was scheduled to arrive in Yokohama, Japan, for the next scheduled sailing but now access to that port is denied and the following cruise has been canceled.
The cruises scheduled beyond February 15 are still set to go ahead but Holland America Line is monitoring developments including the impact of current port restrictions. More updates regarding future sailings will be made soon.
ms Westerdam is based in Asia but in May 2020 will reposition to offer cruises out of Canada and the U.S. during the summer season. The ship currently has 1,455 passengers onboard along with 802 crew members. The ship is over 82,300 gross tons.