A cruise ship from the United States that was blocked from docking at several ports in Asia due to concerns about the coronavirus has finally been able to anchor in Cambodia, signaling an end to the saga.
According to BBC.com, Holland America’s MS Westerdam departed from Hong Kong on February 1 as part of a 14-day voyage and was scheduled to conclude the sailing in Yokohama, Japan, on Saturday when around 20 people onboard reported symptoms similar to coronavirus.
Instead, the 2,257 passengers and crew members aboard the Westerdam were denied entry at ports in Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand due to concerns related to the viral outbreak that killed at least 1,300 people in China.
Officials from Holland America said there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Westerdam, giving Cambodian provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun the clearance needed to let the ship dock in Sihanoukville on Friday morning.
At the dock, medical professionals were waiting to conduct testing and buses were lined up to transport passengers to the local airport so they could board a connecting flight to Phnom Penh before traveling home.
Holland America announced it would foot the transportation bill for impacted customers.
“The permission to dock is to stop the disease of fear that is happening around the world,” Cambodian premier Hun Sen told local media outlets. “We must help them when they asked us for help.”
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New Crystal Program Offers Lower Deposits Good Through 2022
Crystal’s just-launched Crystal Assured Savings program lets travelers make a $500 deposit by June 30, 2020, for an additional 2.5 percent savings on any seven-night or longer voyage through 2022. Travelers have until March 31, 2021, to select their preferred voyage.
The extra savings range from $50 for over $6,000, depending on sailing and category. The offer is good on any ocean, river, expedition or yacht cruise.
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Travel advisors will earn commission on the deposit as well as locking in new bookings for the future with full commission, less applicable savings.
“Our travel partners are part of the Crystal family, and we remain dedicated to supporting their business and working with them through these unprecedented times,” said Carmen Roig, Crystal’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “The Crystal Assured Savings program equips them with an honest, simple tool – and meaningful savings for their clients – to continue to grow their luxury business and share the Crystal Experience with travelers who are looking to explore the world at a later date.”
The additional savings of 2.5 percent are on top of other Crystal special savings that may apply including two-for-one fares, Book Now Savings, Crystal Society Savings, Early Final Payment Savings, Back-to-Back Savings, Combination Voyage Savings and available future cruise credits.
“The Crystal Assured Savings is a win for our clients, given the array of opportunities to lock in savings on Crystal’s incredible luxury experiences now, as they look ahead to traveling again in the future,” said Eric Maryanov, president of All-Travel in Los Angeles. “Likewise, the program presents a wonderful chance for travel advisors to stimulate business during today’s uncertain environment, while also building a strong foundation for tomorrow that will keep their businesses growing. With Crystal Assured Savings, Crystal is making it possible for the travel community to stay connected and inspired beyond the challenges we are currently facing, and helping advisors weather the storm.”
Another advisor agrees. “There is no better time to start planning a Crystal vacation, with so many savings opportunities available to both new and returning guests. … Crystal’s new program helps ensure that we all sail through this time together,” said Leah Bergner, senior travel advisor for Coastline Travel Advisors in Orange County, Calif.
Terms and conditions for Crystal Assured Savings can be found here.
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