Thailand’s Ambitious Plans for a New Cruise Terminal

You can receive daily cruise news updates directly to your inbox, so you don't miss a thing! Go ahead and Subscribe here.

Aiming to revolutionize its cruise tourism sector, Thailand is focusing on Koh Samui. Plans for a new cruise terminal and infrastructural improvements aim to make the island a top global destination.

Setting Sail for Growth in Thailand

In a strategic push to expand Thailand’s footprint in the global tourism market, the government has unveiled ambitious plans to enhance Koh Samui’s appeal as a leading cruise destination. Central to the initiative is developing a state-of-the-art cruise terminal, part of a broader effort to improve infrastructure and attract a larger international visitor base to the island and the Surat Thani Province.

Prime Minister Srethha Thavisin emphasized the initiative’s potential impact, stating, “Koh Samui is an island with great potential, having been ranked in the top 20 of the world’s most popular islands in every travel ranking.”

During a visit to the area, the Prime Minister said his visit “aims to address issues to help Koh Samui reach its full potential, setting KPIs with the Minister of Tourism and Sports that Koh Samui must enter the top 10 of the world’s most attractive islands.”

Prime Minister Srethha Thavisin
Prime Minister Srethha Thavisin

Prime Minister Thavisin also proposed introducing seaplanes to diversify travel options, directing the Minister of Transport to include this in the Cabinet meeting before the year’s end “as a New Year’s gift to the people of Koh Samui.” He also mentioned discussions with private airport owners about expansion to accommodate more tourists.

The Prime Minister plans to revisit Koh Samui later in the year to monitor progress. He mentioned that if the cruise terminal, marina, and seaplane terminal are established, leading to increased tourist arrivals, it would benefit the private sector to bid for Duty-Free operations.

Navigating New Horizons

The Tourism and Sports Ministry’s data claims that 1,800 to 2,400 tourists currently arrive in Thailand on cruise ships between the high season of October through March. The data finds cruise travelers spend 10 times more than traditional tourists.

The planned cruise terminal is envisioned to become a key gateway for international tourists, providing them with direct access to the island’s renowned beaches, cultural sites, and hospitality offerings. It will also continue the 10-year development plan launched in 2018 to enhance Thailand’s port facilities and prepare the nation for increased cruise ship arrivals.

Read Also: Popular Thailand Destination Proposes Large Cruise Dock and Terminal

Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island, nestled in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is dotted with tourist hotspots, such as Chaweng Beach, known for its vibrant nightlife, and the more serene Lamai Beach. Koh Samui is also home to landmarks like the famous 12-meter-tall golden Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai Temple.

Cruise ship in the Andaman Sea, Thailand
Cruise ship in the Andaman Sea, Thailand (Photo Credit: Semachkovsky)

The island’s port is currently welcoming Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Cruise Line, Viking Oceans, and AIDA Cruises. Oceania Cruises’ Oceania Insignia will arrive on the island on April 20 as the last big cruise line of the season. The 2024-25 season will resume in October, with Princess Cruise’s Coral Princess the first to arrive on October 19.

Currently, Thailand’s additional cruise calls include Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand, scheduled as a call in 2024 by Viking Oceans, Regent Seven Seas Explorer, Aida, Silversea, Azamara Club Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line; and Phuket.

As the nation’s largest island, Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Located in the Andaman Sea off the southwestern coast, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas cruise lines are scheduled to visit in 2024.

Comprehensive plans for infrastructural improvements to support the anticipated increase in tourist flow accompany the Prime Minister’s cruise terminal project.

If you enjoyed the article and would like no fuss daily cruise news to your inbox directly from Cruise Hive, you can Subscribe here.

You can also discuss this topic and more over on the Cruise Boards. If video is your thing, we've even got daily cruise news updates over on YouTube.


Free expert cruise tips and news from Cruise Hive! We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Don't Miss Any Cruise News!

We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Copy link