Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Vice President of Holland America Ralph Samuels insisted the Westerdam is safe and free of any COVID-19 concerns.
Samuels spoke at a special meeting of the CBJ Assembly Committee of the Whole dedicated to issues surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
Samuels said the passengers and crews of the Westerdam have been tested and cleared of any virus. The ship was denied port in Japan. That led others, like Bangkok, and Korea to deny the ship access. Eventually, it docked in Cambodia.
Since that arrival, the Centers for Disease Control has cleared the ship. Over 2,200 passengers and crews have been tested. All have been cleared.
The ship plans to dock with just crew members here in Juneau around March 22. They plan to dump garbage in Honolulu and Victoria in British Columbia. They can not use shore power at the dock in Juneau. The ship is not equipped to hook up to shore power at the dock. They have a permit to discharge grey water. They plan to dock in Juneau for three weeks.
The ship can offload grey water to the City Municipal Treatment system.
They do not discharge directly into state waters or place anything into the harbor.
Samuels said the crew members will have been on the ship for over a month without any sign of the coronavirus before the ship docks in Juneau.
Samuels said he understands the community concerns and angst over the ship coming to Juneau.
The CBJ won't receive any marine passenger fees from the ship. They will receive normal fees for things like water and grey water discharge.
The crew will have been on board for over a month before they arrive in Juneau.
Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum said the crew of the Westerdam would not meet the criteria to require testing set by the CDC before they disembark off the ship.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy canceled town meetings in Kenai, Seward and Homer scheduled for this week so he can spend more time monitoring the developments with the coronavirus.