“Was that the Diamond?” a woman asked after the sound of a ship’s horn reverberated around the Port of Yokohama. Local resident Masako Yoneyama, 68, was referring to the Diamond Princess, the cruise liner that became embroiled in one of Japan’s earliest COVID-19 breakouts in February 2020.

Docked at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal, the ship had blown its horn to announce its imminent departure, one of the first by an international cruise ship since Japan lifted its three-year docking ban on such vessels earlier this month.

The Diamond Princess arrived in Yokohama from the United States on March 10 with 2,700 passengers who disembarked for local sightseeing. Five days later, the vessel embarked on its Kyushu & Shikoku Spring Flowers 18-night return sailing. Designed to showcase the country’s seasonal beauty, including its iconic cherry blossom, the voyage is scheduled to call at 12 Japanese and two South Korean ports before returning to Yokohama on April 2.