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Cruise Ship Denied by Multiple Ports Finally Finds a Place to Disembark

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The Holland America vessel MS Westerdam may finally have caught a break after having been turned away from ports in the Philippines and Japan in light of concerns surrounding the possible spread of the new coronavirus, which have caused other passenger cruise ships in the region to be quarantined.

Holland America Line (HAL) has reportedly confirmed to Fox News the Westerdam will be permitted to dock at Laem Chabang, Thailand, on February 13, 2020, and its presumably vexed passengers and crew finally allowed to disembark.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Westerdam’s was originally scheduled to finish out its itinerary on February 14 by docking in Yokohama, but was left high and dry when Japan decided to deny the ship entry at all Japanese ports. HAL was left looking for ways to patch up the plan and identify a cruise port in the region where passengers, who were then stuck at sea, could disembark.

At no time had the Westerdam been placed under quarantine and HAL has stated that there has been no indication whatsoever of a coronavirus case aboard the vessel, despite reports that Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, suspected the ship of carrying the infection.

HAL also stated that it would be refunding 100 percent of passengers’ trip fares and issuing 100-percent cruise credits to be used towards a future departure. While effectively stranded aboard the ship, passengers have also been provided free phone and internet access for the duration of the voyage.

A HAL spokesperson told Fox News, “Following the disembarkation of guests, Westerdam will depart Laem Chabang. The future voyage plan between cruises is still being finalized. The February 15 cruise scheduled to embark in Yokohama has been canceled. 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 February 29 or later. We will communicate details as they become finalized in the next few days.”

For more information, visit HollandAmerica.com.

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