SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia - A cruise ship that has been turned away from four countries because of the coronavirus has just docked in Cambodia. Fifteen hundred passengers, including a couple originally from the Spokane area, have been stranded on the Westerdam since February 1st.
The ship was turned away from docking in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines.
Arny and Estelle Pearlman are passengers on the ship. Their daughter, Beth Ann Sharp, told KHQ her parents said passengers were told very little about what was happening and kept hearing rumors about the coronavirus.
The ships captain told passengers there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the ship, but there were 174 confirmed cases on a different cruise ship.
Sharp said her parents have been extremely concerned and can't wait to get home. She also said, believe it or not, they're actually planning another cruise soon.
The couple had been scheduled to come home Saturday, which is still possible. Although, the cruise line will have to get them new plane tickets.
Guests will disembark in Sihanoukville over the next few days and transfer via charter flights to Phnom Penh for forward travel home. Holland America Line will arrange and pay for all flights home, in addition to the full cruise refund and 100% future cruise credit already communicated.
"To protect the health and safety of all onboard, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation with respect to the new coronavirus that originated in mainland China. Our medical experts are coordinating closely with international health authorities and have activated enhanced screening, prevention and control procedures for our ships to keep guests and crew safe," Holland America Line said in a press release.