Thailand’s Koh Samui to welcome first cruise ship in three years this weekend

On Sunday, a cruise ship will dock in Koh Samui in southern Thailand for the first time in three years, according to the President of the Koh Samui Tourism Association Ratchaporn Poolsawat.

An MV Viking Mars cruise liner carrying 700 tourists, mostly Europeans, will make their way to the island from Singapore, said Ratchaporn.

Ratchaporn said the return of the cruise ship to Koh Samui will be vital in helping the local economy which is still recovering from the pandemic. Income will be generated for restaurants, merchants, taxi drivers, bus operators, and local businesses, he said.

Thailand is definitely set to surpass the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) goal of 10 million tourists before the year is through, especially with the help of cruise ships, said Ratchaporn.

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So far, 8.2 million tourists have holidayed in Thailand this year – mostly from Malaysia, India, Singapore, Laos and Vietnam – generating 2.8 billion baht, he said.

Next month, Koh Samui will welcome a large cruise ship carrying thousands of tourists.

The MV Viking Mars is a smaller ship with a capacity of 930 guests, “allowing us to dock where larger ships cannot,” according to Switzerland-based company VikingCruises.

In 2019, 1,373 passengers onboard Viking Cruises’ MV Viking Sky ship were evacuated in the middle of the Norwegian sea. The vessel sent out a mayday signal after engine trouble left the ship drifting around in stormy conditions.

Passengers had to be evacuated by helicopter because waves were too strong to deploy rescue boats. No one died but some passengers suffered injuries such as broken bones and bruises. About a dozen people were hospitalised.

In October, Phuket in southern Thailand welcomed its first post-pandemic cruise ship – Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas – carrying nearly 4,600 passengers. The vessel is set to dock weekly in Phuket.

Are you visiting Koh Samui this winter? Read The Thaiger‘s ‘Guide to visiting Koh Samui in 2022.’

Thailand Travel


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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