PHUKET: The first cruise ship to visit Phuket since the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic arrived for a brief visit on Monday.
The Spectrum of The Seas, with almost 4,600 passengers on board, anchored off Patong beach about 7am, and was due to head back to Singapore at 8pm on Monday.
Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, director of the Tourism Authority office on the island, said 800 passengers had booked day-trips on the island. Other passengers were seen leaving the ship to visit the beach.
She said vacationers arriving on yachts and cruise liners were a prime target for the province as they came with high spending power.
Spectrum of The Seas was the first cruise to make a call in Phuket since the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020. The year before that, 154 ships had brought 485,000 passengers to the island.
The Spectrum of The Seas started its voyage in Singapore on Friday, heading first to Klang and Penang in Malaysia. Phuket is its last stop. The ship is due back in Singapore on Wednesday.