Cambodian PM Extends Warm Welcome to All Passengers of Westerdam Cruise Ship 

AKP Phnom Penh, February 14, 2020 –​ Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, warmly welcomed all the passengers who got off the Westerdam cruise ship at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, Preah Sihanouk province this morning.

The Premier showed off his warm and kind heart by handing over a rose, shaking hands, and taking selfies with the first group of passengers of the ship who have to take a charter flight to Phnom Penh International Airport for their respective connection flight back to their homeland, after Westerdam has been refused to dock at 4 nations and 2 islands.

Speaking at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said this is his short trip to the port this morning, but it shows the Cambodian people and the international community Cambodia’s responsibility in responding to humanitarian acts.

“I come here for a short time, but I will send a message to the people of Cambodia throughout the country as well as to the international community that now this is not a time to fear, but to unite to tackle challenges,” he underlined.

According to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, no passenger on Westerdam has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). But, he continued with high responsibility, it there is someone ill, Cambodia will make the docking process faster.

“If anyone was found ill on the ship, I would permit the ship to dock as fast as I can, because s/he needs emergency response to save his/her life,” he said.

According H.E. Ly Sovann, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, the specimens collected from 20 Westerdam’s passengers who had some health problems, have been tested negative for COVID-19 by the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia.

This morning, the first batch of 119 multinational passengers disembarked Westerdam to fly to Phnom Penh International Airport for their respective flights back home, and around 11:00 am, there will be the second group, and at around 8:00 pm there will be another group.

There are in total 1,455 passengers and 802 crewmembers of 41 nationalities on Westerdam cruise ship.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen affirmed that all the passengers are also welcome to visit Cambodia, even in Preah Sihanouk coastal province, Phnom Penh capital, and Siem Reap cultural province.

(Photo: Chim Nary & El Vattanak)

By Khan Sophirom