SURAT THANI: A cruise ship with 636 tourists on board arrived at Ko Samui island for a visit on Sunday.
M. V. Viking Mars was the first European cruise ship to visit Ko Samui for three years, since before the outbreak of Covid-19.
Most of the 636 tourists were American and Australian nationals, and the vessel was also carrying 470 crew members. It departed from the port of Piraeus in Athens, Greece on Oct 25, and made stops in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore before arriving at Ko Samui.
The first group of tourists bought tickets for one-day trips to popular tourist attractions such as Wat Phra Yai and Wat Laem Suwannaram temples, along with sea food restaurants on the resort island.
Some of the passengers proceeded to Ko Phangan island and Ang Thong National Marine Park. Others visited souvenir shops and restaurants near Na Thon pier.
Ms Supakan, director of the TAT's Samui office, said the arrival of the vessel was believed to have generated about 2 million baht on the island on the first day of the visit.
She did not say when the cruise ship would depart from Ko Samui.
On hand to welcome the ship at Na Thon boat pier were Ko Samu district chief Chayapol Intarasupa, Rear Admiral Charatkiat Chaiyaphan, director of the Thailand Maritime Enforcement Command Centre Region 2, and Supakan Yonchun, director of Tourism Authority of Thailand's Samui office, and Samui deputy mayor Pakorn Kanchana-opas.