Still no port for cruise ship Westerdam

The operator of the cruise ship Westerdam is searching for a port to call at after being rejected by destinations including Japan amid fears of the spreading coronavirus.

The US-based Holland America Line said in a statement on Friday that the ship is "currently sailing on a southwesterly course off the coast of Taiwan." The firm says it is positioning the ship "for access to potential port locations."

The Westerdam departed Hong Kong on February 1 with more than 2,200 passengers and crew onboard.

Taiwan denied it permission to call, citing a suspicion of coronavirus infection among the passengers. Japanese authorities followed suit, preventing it from entering a port in the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa.

Holland America Line said in the statement that "The ship is not in quarantine" and there is "no reason to believe there are any cases of coronavirus on board."

It added the ship has sufficient fuel and food, and passengers are provided with free internet and phone access.