PHUKET: A cruise ship from Singapore anchored off Patong beach yesterday morning, bringing 3,000 passengers for a brief visit to the island province.
The Genting Dream, operated by Resorts World Cruises, arrived about 7am. The ship, which is on a five-day cruise out of Singapore, stopped at Penang island in Malaysia before arriving in Phuket.
Officials from the Tourism Authority of Thailand's (TAT) Kuala Lumpur and Phuket offices welcomed the cruise ship's arrival. The passengers are mostly Singaporean, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian and Taiwanese, according to Nongyao Jirundorn, director of TAT's Kuala Lumpur office.
The 335-metre Genting Dream has 18 decks and 1,674 rooms, which can accommodate 3,352 passengers.
The ship, which left Singapore on Sunday, was due to leave Phuket around 7pm yesterday to begin its return voyage, with scheduled calls at Langkawi and Port Klang, which services Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Koh Samui is preparing to welcome its first cruise ship in three years since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Surat Thani Witchawut Jinto said the Viking Mars, a Norwegian ship carrying more than 700 tourists, mostly Europeans, is due to make a one-day stop to allow its passengers to spend time on the island.
Local tourism businesses are now excited about the cruise ship visit, as passengers are expected to eat out at restaurants and shop, giving the local economy a boost, he said.