The ship received permission yesterday to dock at the port of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. The Westerdam had previously been sent away by five other countries for fear of the Covid-19 virus. You would say that would have led to traumatic scenes among the passengers, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Best cruise ever

“This was my best cruise ever,” says retired space engineer Pierre Ashby from Canada. “Usually you buy a cruise and you know exactly where you stand. This was an adventure,” he says from the beach at Sihanoukville where it is 27 degrees and the sun is shining.

The British Zahra Jennings, a retired nurse, is also very enthusiastic about the time on board. “Everyone says poor you. But there was no poor me. We had free internet and free wine. We had three-course dinners. There was so much choice. In one word it was delicious.”

Hash browns were on

Robert Sayers also didn’t have much to complain about, except that the hash browns (potato biscuits) and the tomato sauce had run out for a few days. “But that was it. It was great, really,” says the 60-year-old New Zealander.

The Westerdam was on a fourteen day trip that started in Hong Kong on 1 February. The guests would actually disembark on February 15 in Yokohoma in Japan. There were also 90 Dutch people on the ship.

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