MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. All Russian nationals who arrived in Cambodia onboard the Westerdam cruise ship should return home on February 15, Alexei Dmitriyev, a Russian passenger of the ship, told TASS on Friday.
"We were told that tomorrow, on February 15, we will head home, however, the cruise operator has not provided us with any official documents so far," the Russian national said, adding that currently, he is spending time on a Sihanoukville beach with his family.
On Friday morning, the passengers of the cruise ship were allowed to disembark at the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville.
The Russian embassy in Phnom Penh told TASS earlier that all Russians aboard the Westerdam cruise ship would be sent to Russia by the cruise operator before February 15.
Passenger lists shared with TASS by the Cambodian side say there are seven Russian tourists (five women and two men) and a Russian crewmember on board. Most tourists travelling on the ship come from the United States (651 people) and Canada (271). Germans, British, Dutch and other nationals are also on board the Westerdam. Only one holder of the Chinese passport is among the passengers as well as 29 residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Westerdam’s troubled voyage
The Westerdam cruise ship left Hong Kong on February 1. The ship was planning stopovers in a number of Japanese ports. These plans were axed since Japan feared that people that had possible contracted the novel coronavirus could be aboard the ship. Subsequently, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand also turned the ship away.
The Westerdam was stuck for more than a week trying to dock in Asian ports. Eventually, it was cleared to do so by Cambodian authorities and entered Sihanoukville on Thursday morning.
TASS learnt that the cruise ship would not be quarantined. Nevertheless, the Sihanoukville administration did not allow passengers to leave the ship before local medics perform checkups.