According to a story from Thailand daily Bangkok Post, Costa Victoria, a cruise liner operated byCosta Crociere (Italy), plans to use Laem Chabang as its cruise hub for guests visiting the ASEAN region by boat.
It is the company’s first cruise ship coming to Thailand looking for a berth at Laem Chabang’s deep-sea port, a facility located between Pattaya and Bangkok, an hour by car from the Thai capital.
Buhdy Bok, president of Costa Group Asia, declared to the Bangkok Post that “Costa Victoria is one of our cruise liners pioneering the Asia-Pacific region.We will continually expand in Thailand by launching our first home port cruises from Laem Chabang,” he said.
Costa Victoria will play an essential part in serving rising demand for both Thai and international tourists seeking to enjoy maritime tourism in the near future. The ship will be cruising for over four nights to explore the destination route stretching from Sihanoukville in Cambodia to Phu Quoc in Vietnam. It will then move on to Koh Samui in Thailand before returning to Laem Chabang.
Providing good facilities at ports is one of the challenge faced by Thailand with facilities at Thai ports far behind facilities offered by China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore or even Vietnam. According to Wassana Paisarn-akanee, general manager of Joyful Holidays Co, one of the exclusive sales agencies for Costa Victoria in Thailand, “the government and tourism operators should help enhance the competitiveness of cruise passenger terminals in Thailand by building effective infrastructure”.
“Thailand should promote the fact that it has outstanding piers and ports and a good immigration process for cruise tourists, so that the country will be able to compete with others in this region in the field of maritime tourism,” said Mrs Wassana to the newspaper.
Costa is also hopeful to attract Thailand local market. On Costa Victoria’s first cruise service, 1,500 of the 2,000 passengers were Thai nationals.
Costa Crociere has 26 cruise ships under the brands of Costa and Aida, with a combined capacity of 72,000 beds. Seven new vessels will be added to the fleet by 2020.
(Source: Bangkok Post)