Another cruise ship with 3,000 aboard calls at Samui

Island’s tourism sector buoyed by news of three more planned visits over the next month

Passengers disembark from a boat sent to bring them ashore from the Mein Schiff 5 in Koh Samui on Saturday. About 3,000 passengers and crew visited the island in Surat Thani for a one-day trip. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: Another cruise ship with about 3,000 passengers and crew arrived at Koh Samui for a one-day visit on Saturday. The visit was expected to generate 10 million baht for the resort island.

Mein Schiff 5 docked at Na Thon pier on Saturday. Its 3,000 passengers, mostly German and other European tourists, and crew members had travelled from Singapore via Vietnam to the popular destination in the Gulf of Thailand.

Chayaphon Intharasupha, chief of Koh Samui district, said the visitors were divided into groups to visit various attractions including Hin Ta and Hin Yai — beautiful rocks that emerged from the sea; Na Muang waterfall, an elephant camp and beautiful beaches.

Some tourists chose to take boats to Mu Koh Ang Thong, a marine national park in Surat Thani. Bicycles were also offered for tourists wanting to enjoy the natural beauty of the island at a leisurely pace, said Mr Chayaphon.

Buses were made available to take visitors to Chinese shrines and communities as well. Police, immigration officers, tourist police and local officials were on hand to provide convenience and safety, he added.

Authorities predicted that the arrival of the cruise ship would generate at least 10 million baht to the island.

Three more cruise ships will arrive at Koh Samui over the next four weeks. Silver Spirit from Singapore is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, and Mein Schiff 5 will make two more calls, on Feb 11 and 25.

On Nov 27, MV Viking Mars with 636 tourists became the first European cruise ship to visit Koh Samui for three years, after a three-year absence of calls by big liners because of the outbreak of Covid-19.

By the end of February, the island will have received a total of eight visits by cruise ships with 15,000 passengers.

Tourists from the cruise ship visit Guan Yo shrine on Koh Samui. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)