It has been three years, but Royal Caribbean celebrated the return of port call sailings in Thailand on October 30. Spectrum of the Seas returned to the popular Phuket. The destination is offered on four- to seven-night cruises.
Speaking at the event, Angie Stephen, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International, said: “Thailand is hugely popular with our guests from Singapore – its distinctive food, culture, and welcoming locals have made the country a destination of choice for many, and we are thrilled to be able to visit Phuket again so travelers can fully experience the wonders and rich heritage of the Southeast Asian region.”
Before the cruising pause to Thailand, the island welcomed more than 450,000 guests annually. The financial impact of not having these guests was immense. With the return of cruising to Phuket, Thailand’s travel and tourism industries expect to begin to recover some of its lost revenue.
When Spectrum of the Seas arrived in Phuket, guests were welcomed by Governor Naron Woonsiew and the head of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Nanthasiri Ronnasiri. While many cruise destinations are limiting how visitors can explore, Phuket is fully open. Most of the guests on Spectrum of the Seas chose to explore Phuket for themselves.
“As Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is the pearl of the Andaman Sea, with her magnificent beaches, beautiful sunsets at Promthep Cape, and spectacular local culture and lifestyle. Tourists also love the distinct local architecture and row houses that speak to Sino-Portuguese influence, which today house museums, boutique hotels, and cafes. Phuket’s famous cultural shows, as well as the Phuket Fantasea theme park which combines Thai arts and culture with cutting-edge light and sound shows altogether make for a memorable experience for visitors to the island,” said Governor Narong Woonsiew, Governor of Phuket, Thailand.
Spectrum of the Seas operates from Singapore and is based there year-round. She offers three-night cruises to Penang, Malaysia, and four-night cruises to Malaysia and now Phuket, Thailand.
While some ports in Asia remain closed, the Singapore Tourism Board expects cruising to return fully between 2023 and 2024.