Three river cruise vessels since yesterday remain stuck in Vietnamese waters after they were denied disembarkation and docking due to fear of the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the vessel managers said.
Phan Soben, owner of one of the three cruise vessels, said yesterday three vessels remained stuck in Vietnamese waters near the Kingdom’s Ka’am Samnor checkpoint.
The vessels are Idochine with 37 passengers onboard, IdochineII with 34, and Toum Tiou II with six people, according to Mr Soben.
Mr Soben said another vessel named Lan Diep arrived in Vietnamese waters on Saturday and managed to allow 26 passengers to disembark when no restriction was imposed by the authorities.
He said Lan Diep reached the Kingdom’s waterway yesterday, while three others are waiting to have their customs documents cleared in Vietnam.
“One ship which carried no passengers, has already entered Cambodian waters and three others remain there,” he said.
Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said yesterday vessel managers were negotiating with Vietnamese officials over the denial of entry.
“Managers of the three ships were negotiating with the Vietnamese authorities to disembark their passengers but Vietnamese authorities still refused to grant permission,” Mr Chanthol said The passengers and crew will have their health checked.
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday ordered his officials to arbitrate and help the three vessels stuck in Vietnam’s waters.
Yesterday, Mr Hun Sen ordered Mr Chanthol to intervene and help the four river vessels to dock in Vietnam’s water after one of the cruise ship managers requested help from him.
Public Works ministry spokesman Heang Sotheavuth said on Sunday the vessels departed Siem Reap province all the way through Ka’am Samnor border checkpoint in Kandal province and bound for Vietnam.
“The [three] cruise vessels are now stuck at Vietnam’s water border,” he said.
“We are now negotiating with the Vietnamese officials, asking them to allow the vessels to dock in Vietnam,” Mr Sotheavuth said.
He said passengers were from the US, France, Russia, Denmark, Switzerland, Canada and Cambodia.