MS Westerdam on its way to Juneau from Asia

Sources confirm that the MS Westerdam is on its way to Juneau from Asia. Its cruise season in Asia has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). According to a February 20, 2020 post on Holland America’s website, they cancelled their March and April Asia cruises due to the uncertainty of ports accepting cruise ships in Asia.

An internal Juneau Borough email obtained by the Landmine confirms the ship is on its way to Alaska. According to the email the ship will arrive in Juneau around March 17. It also says that no one on the ship has tested positive for the virus. The ship is slowly making its way to Hawaii and will then head to Alaska. It will be tied up at the dock until the Alaska cruise season starts. Here is an excerpt from the email:

In other interesting news, it looks like the Holland America Westerdam will be visiting us soon. You may recall that this is the ship that was believed to have COVID19 exposure and was denied access to a number of Asian ports, but that it had no positive cases on board. The Westerdam was eventually granted entry to Cambodia and then after passengers departed it was believed that one passenger actually did have COVID19. But then, after repeated testing, it was determined that that passenger was not infected. In summary, after a lot of concern, no cases were ever confirmed on board.

The company has cancelled all of the Westerdam’s Asian cruises and has tested all of the Westerdam crew (all negative). The ship is slowly transiting the Pacific and is planned to clear customs into the US (Honolulu) early this week. Holland America’s tentative plan is to bring the ship to Juneau to tie up to the AJ Dock with the about 400-500 crew on board and be here for 2-3 weeks before the Alaskan cruise season starts. Arrival is estimated to be around 3/17 or so. The arrival of the ship is still tentative, if it is confirmed, we will do public media outreach. It will be an unusual opportunity to welcome and host the crew visitors while they are here.

I reached out to Holland America and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Alaska for a comment. I have not been able to reach them. I will update the story with more information as it becomes available.

Featured image of Westerdam courtesy of Holland America website. 

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

This won’t end well. Thank you to whomever allowed this to come to shore.

Tabitha Robison
4 years ago

I don’t think they should be aloud to leave the ship. Does anyone in Juneau have any brain cell’s? Because they are not just putting them self’s in harm’s way they are putting a lot of children in harm’s way as well “Just Saying”

4 years ago

Close our boarders now, even though its already to late…

wayne coogan
4 years ago

They decide to park a ship with 500-crew and no passengers at an inconvenient, remote location? Its obvious the vessel is unwelcome at all reasonably convenient locations. 500 foreign crew members on the streets of Juneau? What could go wrong?

4 years ago
Reply to  wayne coogan

Wayne, as a former crew member, I know first hand what could happen… the Hangar could run out of beer, Twisted Fish could run out of garlic twisters (my personal favorite!) or Pizza Roma could run out of pizza. These are all far worse scenarios than to have 500 healthy people hanging out in Juneau for a few weeks before the mad rush happens in May.

Pizza Dude
4 years ago
Reply to  Katie

I hope it doesn’t get so bad that we have to eat Roma’s pizza!

Deb Rodriguez
4 years ago

Does Juneau have enough test kits if needed? If we have test kits they will need to be sent to Anchorage or Fairbanks for results; is this info correct? From what I’ve read a person can be tested several times before they test positive for the virus.

4 years ago

It’s simple people wash your hands if you are concerned about contracting this virus. I am a former HAL crew member and know that the crew will do the required cleaning. Fear is the biggest issue in this matter the common flu, snake bites, and suicide has killed more people globally since this outbreak.

4 years ago

First of all, all the guests who were onboard at that time, are already home (mostly USA) long time ago. Crew was tested all negative. By the time they reach Juneau will be tested probably multiple times again. If somebody is or will be positive, has to be in quarantine anyway and not walking around Juneau. I don’t understand what is the fear about this particular ship coming to Juneau… They will be so many more ships coming in Alaska soon and many of them probably were in Asia or close to Asia during virus outbreak that we even don’t… Read more »

Elizabritta Karen Bunten
4 years ago
Reply to  Mia


4 years ago

Don’t allow them to get off the ship. If Juneau allows them too then nobody should be able to leave Juneau for at least 14 days. This is totally insane.

4 years ago

We’re supposed to just take they’re word that they’ve been tested? This is a really bad idea,All cruises to Alaska should be cancelled our citizens and our state should be protected the alarm has been raised and no one in a position of power seems to care enough to do anything about it.By allowing this to go forward they are taking full responsibility for whatever happens they’ve made they’re choice to sell us all out for corporate greed

4 years ago
Reply to  Trey

There needs to be a blockade at our port of entry to prevent cruise ships from entering into our port until this virus runs its course, cruise ships are breeding grounds for viruses.

4 years ago
Reply to  John

Apologies John but you need to wake up and smell the coffee!! Cant remember the last time a fully occupied cruise ship went to central Italy where there is also a huge outbreak of COVID19. If there is any chance of contamination am am 100% sure CDC would not let ship anywhere near!!

Judith Wood
4 years ago

I don’t want any ships coming to ALASKA .. stay away