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Travel Vietnam turns away two cruise ships over coronavirus fears

15:45  14 february  2020
15:45  14 february  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Cruise companies MSC and Costa cancel departures from Chinese ports

  Cruise companies MSC and Costa cancel departures from Chinese ports Cruise operators MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises said on Thursday that they had cancelled departures from Chinese ports because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. MSC said in a statement that no case of infection among passengers or crew had been reported on any Asian winter cruises. The decision to move the departure point from Shanghai to Singapore had been taken for the safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew, it said.Costa, meanwhile suspended nine trips from China that had been scheduled between now and February 4, saying the measure was "temporary".

Countries could continue to refuse to berth the Westerdam cruise ship carrying 2 ,257 people, citing unfounded fears of the deadly coronavirus , until

A cruise ship has been turned away by 5 countries despite no passengers testing positive for the coronavirus . Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a As coronavirus fears escalate, cruise ships — which often have thousands of people on board

By Khanh Vu and James Pearson

HANOI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Vietnam has denied permission to dock for two cruise ships amid fears of coronavirus infections on board, according to state media, ship tracking websites and messages posted to social media by passengers.

Because of the virus, many cruises in Southeast Asia are being cancelled while others currently sailing are being re-routed, skipping originally scheduled stops in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Authorities in Vietnam's Quang Ninh province, home to the UNESCO world heritage site Ha Long Bay, decided on Tuesday not to allow passengers of the German-owned AIDAvita cruise ship to disembark on Thursday, the state Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said.

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  Cruise ships to ban recent China visitors: global industry body Cruise lines worldwide will deny boarding to passengers and crew who have recently travelled to China, a global industry body said Monday, as fears grow over the deadly new coronavirus. In a statement, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said its members were taking extra precautions to prevent an outbreak of the virus on board cruise ships, where infections can spread rapidly. "CLIA Members have suspended crew movements from mainland China and will deny boarding to any individual, whether guest or crew, who has travelled from or through mainland China within the previous 14 days," the body's Hamburg office said.

The cruise ship Westerdam has been refused port in four countries over fears that some passengers may be infected by the novel coronavirus Photograph: YONHAP/EPA. Workers wearing protective suits walk away from the cruise ship Diamond Princess Photograph: Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters.

A cruise ship which had spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard may have the coronavirus arrived in Cambodia on Thursday to the relief of passengers and the praise of global health officials. The MS Westerdam, which has 1,455 passengers

"The vessel has docked in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, which have all reported coronavirus cases," VNA said.

"Not allowing AIDIvita's passengers to disembark (in Vietnam) is just a temporary solution to prevent the intrusion of diseases," VNA cited a local official as saying.

Germany's AIDA Cruises, the owner of the AIDAvita, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. AIDA Cruises is a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Corp.

The cruise liner left the Philippines port of Coron on Feb. 10 bound for Vietnam via the South China Sea, according to data published by the Marine Traffic ship tracking website.

It had been scheduled to visit Ha Long Bay, in northern Vietnam, on Saturday, then proceed to the Vietnamese ports of Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City from Feb. 16-20, according to CruiseMapper, a website which tracks cruise ships.

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SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia -- A cruise ship which had spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard may have the coronavirus arrived in Cambodia on Thursday to the relief of passengers and the praise of global health officials.

Cruise ship shunned over coronavirus fears arrives in Cambodia waters SIHANOUKVILLE, CAMBODIA - Holland America Line ’s cruise ship , the MS Westerdam

As of Friday evening, the AIDAvita was 176 km (109 miles) south of the Thai capital Bangkok, according to Marine Traffic.

VIETNAM 'UNREASONABLE'

Stoking fears in countries that usually allow cruise ships to dock is the quarantine in Japan of the Diamond Princess, also managed by a unit of Carnival Corp. Of the 3,700 passengers and crew on that vessel, 218 have tested positive for the virus.

Passengers on another Carnival Corp cruise ship, the MS Westerdam, spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries, including Thailand, over coronavirus fears, before they began to disembark in Cambodia on Friday.

The Norwegian Jade, operated by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, was also denied permission to dock in Vietnam, passengers on board the ship said in Twitter messages, but its captain said there were no virus cases on board.

"We have very strict protocols in place, there is no illness onboard the ship and no guests or crew members on the ship who hold Chinese, Macau or Hong Kong passports or have visited or transited through any of these areas," captain Frank Juliussen said in a letter sent to passengers aboard the Norwegian Jade.

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  Two Ports Deny Entry to Cruise Ship Amid Ongoing Coronavirus Concerns Barred from calling at its scheduled Japanese stops, Holland America’s MS Westerdam searches for somewhere to put into port.The passenger cruise ship, which left Hong Kong (where there have been 24 confirmed cases of the virus to date) on February 1, had already been forced to skip a port call in Manila and transfer its planned disembarkation point from Shanghai, China, to Yokohama, Japan, according to USA Today.

STORY: A cruise ship which had spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard may have the coronavirus arrived in Although no-one on board has fallen ill on board, the ship had been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and

A cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard might have the coronavirus To while away the time and break up the monotony of endless ocean scrolling past cabin windows, the ship ’s crew organized dozens of activities, tourists

"Still, the port has proven to be unreasonable during this process and late last night informed us that despite previously approving our calls and despite the actions we've taken to accommodate their new protocols, that they are denying our upcoming calls," Juliussen said, according to a copy of the letter posted on Twitter by a passenger.

It was not known which Vietnamese port he was referring to.

Norwegian Cruise Line did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

Vietnamese port management authorities refused to comment and referred calls from Reuters to local port authorities in Vietnam, where telephone calls went unanswered.

On Friday evening, the Norwegian Jade was heading for the port of Laem Chabang in Thailand, according to data published by the Marine Traffic ship tracking website.

The ship had been sailing north in the South China Sea along the coast of southern and central Vietnam as recently as Wednesday until it reversed course and embarked on a new heading towards Thailand, according to the data.

The coronavirus has killed more than 1,380 people, almost all in China where the outbreak originated, with one each in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.

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  CLIA Cruise Ships Tighten Coronavirus Screening Protocols The move comes as the quarantined Diamond Princess confirms 41 more cases.The news came shortly after Princess Cruises reported 41 more people aboard the Diamond Princess, quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, tested positive for coronavirus; eight are from the U.S. and five from Canada. “The Japanese Ministry of Health has confirmed this is the last batch to be tested and the quarantine end date will be Feb. 19, unless there are any other unforeseen developments,” Princess said.

Thailand has become the latest country to block a Holland America Line cruise ship from docking over fears that its passengers and crew could have been exposed to coronavirus in Hong Kong, as the The ship sailed from Hong Kong on February 1. It’s not the first time the vessel was turned away .

The MS Westerdam was turned away by five countries over fears someone on board may have the deadly airborne disease. Workers in protective suits walk away from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which has been put under quarantine in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan (Picture

(Reporting by Khanh Vu and James Pearson)

RELATED VIDEO: Passengers of shunned cruise ship finally disembark in Cambodia

Passengers on Quarantined Cruise Ship in Hong Kong Cleared to Disembark .
The ship had been quarantined since it arrived last week.According to BBC.com, the World Dream cruise ship arrived last week at a port near Kai Tak when several crew members reported feeling ill. As a result, health officials in Hong Kong quarantined the ship until tests were completed on all 1,800 crew members.

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