Cruise ship docks in Phuket, passengers free of virus

The Seabourne Ovation docks at Phuket deep-sea port on Thursday. (Photo by Achadtaya Chuennirun)

PHUKET: A cruise liner arrived from Malaysia on Thursday morning, with all passengers and crew found to be free of the deadly coronavirus virus.

The Bahamas-flagged Seabourn Ovation, which has 495 vacationers and 470 staff on board, anchored at the Phuket deep-sea port on Thursday morning, arriving from Langkawi Island in Malaysia.

All people on the ship, most of them Europeans, were screened by public health officials before they were given permission to alight.

Phuket Marine Office chief Wiwat Chidcherdwong said there was no sign of the virus among the passengers or crew.

The ship is scheduled to depart for Singapore on Saturday.

Phuket governor Pakkapong Tawipat expected the arrival of the ship would help the flagging tourism sector.

January and February are the peak period for cruise visits to Phuket. with 15 arriving last month and 17  expected this month.

Each tourist spends an average 6,000 baht a day during a ship visit, according to provincial estimates.

The governor expects 3 million baht will be left behind by the passengers of the Seabourne Ovation.

Navy sailors help public health officials screen passengers alighting from the Seabourne Ovatrion. (Photo by Achadtaya Chuennirun)