MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. The Westerdam cruise ship owner will pay compensations to Russian passengers for their losses and will fly them home at its expense, press attache of the Russian embassy in Phnom Penh Rafael Yangareyev said Friday. The Westerdam was forced to sail around Asian ports looking for one to dock for more than a week because of coronavirus fears.
"Russian citizens, seven passengers and one crewmember, continue to stay aboard the ship. They had their Cambodian visas issued and were cleared to enter the town. According to the ship owner, before February 16 all passengers will be sent to countries of their citizenship at the company’s expense with full reimbursement of losses suffered," he said.
The press attache added that consular department staffers are keeping in touch with local authorities and the Russian citizens. "Should it be necessary, the relevant assistance will be provided to them," he underlined.
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.