Dutch cruise ship passenger disembarking in Cambodiaby Janene Pieters
The first passengers of Dutch cruise ship Westerdam were allowed to leave the ship during the early hours of Friday morning, Dutch time. The Holland America Line cruise ship docked in the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville on Thursday after being refused by five Asian countries for fear of the coronavirus 2019-nCoV, now officially called Covid-19. The ship was stuck sailing the South China Sea for nearly two weeks, NU.nl reports.
A total of 1,455 passengers were aboard the Westerdam, including 91 Dutch. They've all been tested for the coronavirus multiple times, and all tests came back negative.
It will take a few days for all passengers to come ashore in Cambodia, according to the newspaper. They are doing so in stages according to the flight schedule of the charter flights the shipping company arranged for them to the Cambodian city of Phnom Penh.
The disembarking passengers were received by the Prime Minister of Cambodia in an official ceremony, one of the Dutch passengers told NU.nl. They each received a bunch of flowers from the Prime Minister, before they were taken to the airport in buses and under police supervision.
Two employees of the Dutch embassy in Thailand traveled to Cambodia to help the Dutch passengers with their further travels.