WESTERDAM the Flying Dutchman is to dock in Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Feb 12 UPDATE 1: According to HAL statement, cruise company reached an agreement with Cambodia Government, WESTERDAM was granted entry to Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Gulf of Siam, and permission for all passengers to disembark. All passengers are expected to go to Phnom Penh, and fly to their homes, all travel costs including air tickets to be covered by HAL. Expected Time of Arrival at Sihanoukville is around 0000 UTC Feb 13.
Feb 12 UPDATE: As of 0400 UTC Feb 12, WESTERDAM was well into Gulf of Siam and Thailand waters SW of Trat islands (Koh Chang, Koh Kut, etc.) keeping sailing towards Laem Chabang / Bangkok at some 11 knots speed. Reportedly, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) addressed Thailand authorities in a statement, asking to revise entry ban, and allow the ship to dock. CLIA accentuated presence on board of at least 19 Thai nationals, mostly crew members. Government decision to ban WESTERDAM was criticized by both international and national media.
Some mainstream media already said that the ship has nowhere to go, which of course, isn’t true. Here’s the situation: the ship most probably, is to be anchored somewhere off Laem Chabang. Virus incubation period for WESTERDAM is expiring on Feb 15, and there’s a good chance, that Thailand authorities will allow medics to board the ship and assess situation. There’s no danger of food/water/fuel shortages, Thai Prime Minister already specified, that Thailand is ready and willing to provided all required supplies. Meanwhile, HAL no doubt, will continue talks with all concerned parties, including regional States.
In a worst-case scenario, if the ship is rejected by all regional countries, there are other options left, such as Australia, New Zealand, USA Hawaii or most progressive chunk of the world, California. They’ll have to accept the ship, especially if there won’t be any suspicious cases found after Feb 15.