Holland America Line is working on a solution to enable passenger ship Westerdam (IMO 9226891) to dock and disembark passengers. The Westerdam has been denied entry to several ports due to fears of nCoV. The vessel was on a 14-day voyage which departed Hong Kong on February 1st, but the ship was barred from the Japanese ports at Ishigaki Island on February 8th, Naha on February 9, and probably also Nagasaki on February 11th.
As a result of the quarantining the Holland America was currently sailing on a southwesterly course off the coast of Taiwan which was a good position if any ports allowed access. The cruise line has stated that it was working with different governments to solve the issue and allow guests to disembark.
There were no nCoV infections aboard the vessel and all guests and crew remained safe. The ship has sufficient fuel and supplies to last until the end of the voyage, which is February 15th.
Holland America has detailed the measures in place to help protect guests and crew from any possible infections:
- Guests who have travelled 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 Centre 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.
Westerdam was scheduled to arrive in Yokohama, Japan, for the next scheduled sailing but access to that port has been denied and the following cruise has been cancelled. The cruises scheduled beyond February 15th are still set to go ahead, but Holland America Line is monitoring developments including the impact of current port restrictions.
Westerdam currently has 1,455 passengers onboard along with 802 crew members.
2004-built, Netherlands-flagged, 82,862 gt Westerdam is owned by Hal Antillen NV care of manager Holland America Line NV of Seattle, Washington, USA. It is entered with UK Club and Steamship Mutual.