Thailand marine officials look into building cruise ship terminal on Koh Samui

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Marine officials in Thailand are looking into building a cruise ship terminal on Koh Samui, a popular Gulf of Thailand island off the Surat Thani coast. A terminal is considered to be more convenient and safe for travellers as, at the moment, cruise ships must anchor by the island and smaller boats transfer travellers to the island and back to the ship.

A feasibility study is being launched by the Marine Department. The department has chosen a potential location of Laem Hin Khom in tambon Taling Ngam which is on the southwest tip of Koh Samui, which has waters deep enough for the large ships. It’s about 10 kilometres south of the Lipa Noi Pier which runs ferries from Surat Thani’s Donsak Pier.

Two cruise ships will be allowed to dock at the terminal at the same time, under the current plan. It would also be able to accommodate up to 80 yachts and six ferries.

Officials are looking into a public-private partnership model to fund the construction, with the government covering costs for land expropriation and terminal construction, while a private sector partner will pay for the equipment and port maintenance.

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Thailand’s Transport Ministry has also been pushing for the construction of more cruise ship terminals to draw in tourists. Koh Samui was chosen for its popularity among tourists and its natural beauty.

Before the pandemic, cruise ships visited Koh Samui 59 times, and the Bangkok Post says it was the third busiest cruise stop in Thailand, following behind Phuket and Chon Buri’s Laem Chabang.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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