This file photo shows the World Dream as seen from the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Kowloon in Hong Kong.
File photo
Passengers on HK cruise ship that docked in Manila were screened, operator says
( - January 29, 2020 - 5:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — Dream Cruises, which operates the World Dream cruise ship that arrived in Manila from Hong Kong this week, implemented screening procedures for passengers on its ships before sailing.

In a January 24 notice to passengers, Dream Cruises informed its guests that it is working closely with local and international authorities and would bar passengers who might have been infected with the novel coronavirus (nCoV) from boarding.

Among those who would not be allowed on Dream Cruises ships are guests already confirmed to have nCoV and those who are in isolation for suspected cases of the coronavirus.

The cruise line said it would turn away "guests holding passport issued in Hubei province or have been to the Hubei province in the last 14 days" as well as those who are diagnosed with fever or other symptoms related to nCoV.

"Dream Cruises has promptly implemented precautionary measures, including health screening and temperature measurements for all embarking guests and crew members, as well as stringent sanitization and enhanced disinfection protocols on board its ships across the fleet," it said.

"Dream Cruises would like to reiterate that it maintains the highest preventative hygiene and sanitation standards on board its fleet and is committed to safeguarding the health of all guests and crew," it also said.

In a January 27 notice, the cruise line announced its ships "will be not be calling into Guangzhou (Nansha) on 31 January and 6 February 2020." 

According to its website, World Dream sails a Hong Kong-Manila-Subic-Hong Kong itinerary called "5-Night Philippines Explorer" that stops in Guangzhou in Guangdong province.

Cruise ships dock in Manila

The World Dream was one of two cruise ships that arrived in Manila this week. The other, the MV Ligulao, sailed in from Jiangsu in mainland China.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday that the passengers and crew of both ships were subjected to mandatory inspections. It also said World Dream would have had around 4,000 passengers on board but that the ship had decided against taking in more passengers from the mainland.

According to reports, the World Dream's 778 passengers were "authorized to travel" by the Bureau of Quarantine.

The World Dream was supposed to sail to Subic the local government and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority said the port would no longer accept cruise ships due to the risk of nCoV.

The ship stayed docked in Manila instead before sailing back to Hong Kong.

The Department of Tourism under then Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo had planned to develop cruise ship tourism in the Philippines.

The state-run Philippine Information Agency reported in September 2019 that a cruise ship facility in Puerto Princesa, Palawan under the administration's "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure campaign is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.

The P1.5-billion project includes a 500-meter wharf, docking facility, passenger terminal and access road, PIA said.

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