A cruise ship carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew that had been turned away from at least five ports in Asia over fears that someone aboard may have the novel coronavirus docked in Cambodia on Thursday.

After dropping anchor in the morning off the southwestern port city of Sihanoukville, health officials boarded the Westerdam to conduct medical checks, according to Kheang Phearom, spokesman for Preah Sihanouk Province. Later in the day the ship docked at the city's port.

Samples collected from 20 passengers who have been ill all tested negative for the coronavirus, Health Minister Mam Bunheng told Kyodo News in the evening.

Sihanoukville Governor Kuoch Chamroeun told reporters that the passengers would begin disembarking Friday morning. They will be shuttled to the city's airport to board charter flights that will take them to Phnom Penh for their forward flights home, he added.

The ship's operator, U.S.-based Holland America Line, has repeatedly stated that there are no suspected cases of coronavirus infection on board.

A Japanese government official said contact had been made with all five Japanese nationals on board and that they are all in good health.

Holland America Line earlier said in a statement that the vessel would remain in port for several days for disembarkation and that passengers will be allowed to go ashore.

Many passengers on board and U.S Ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy have expressed gratitude to Cambodia for allowing the cruise ship to dock in the country.

The company earlier said it would pay for its passengers' flights home in addition to refunding the full cost of the cruise.

Since departing Hong Kong on Feb. 1 for a 14-day cruise, the Westerdam had been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Guam and Thailand over fears it was carrying passengers infected by the new coronavirus.

Concerns about the spread of the coronavirus on cruise ships have mounted since many people have been found to be infected aboard the Diamond Princess, which is currently quarantined in Japan.