Massive cruise terminal and marina proposed in popular Thai destination

Massive cruise terminal and marina proposed in popular Thai destination

Thailand’s famous resort town of Pattaya may soon become a major port of call for cruise ships in Asia. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs plans to propose to the cabinet a US$211 million cruise ship port in Pattaya.

If the project becomes a reality, it will boost cruise business to Southeast Asian countries as it aims to capitalize on the growing popularity of cruise tourism globally. Pattaya will also be one of the few deep-water ports in Thailand with a dedicated cruise ship terminal and wharf.

Ambitious plans for Pattaya’s future

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs will propose to the Thai government a $211 million project to build a dedicated cruise port in Pattaya, a popular resort town south of the capital Bangkok.

If approved, construction of the port would begin in 2026 and be completed in 2029. The new port will be located offshore and will accommodate two cruise ships at the same time. A bridge will be built to connect the one-kilometer jetty to the mainland.

With more than 31.5 million people taking cruises globally this year and expected to rise to 36 million by 2024, the plan is poised to capitalize on the growing number of cruise ships departing from Bangkok, Hongkong, Singapore, Shanghaiand Manila.

Ships in Pattaya (Photo credit: phakkkon/Shutterstock)

According to Mr Wannachai Butthongdee, Director of Engineering Division of the Marine Department, Thailand ranks third among the most popular destinations in Asia for large cruise ships and luxury yachts:

“Thailand welcomes an average of 500 luxury yacht trips every year. Most of these ships can accommodate around 1,000 passengers.” Mr. Wannachai said.

“For large luxury cruise ships, temporary anchoring and smaller ships are required to transport passengers to shore, which is inconvenient for travel.” he added.

The new port will address these issues and provide a smoother and more enjoyable experience for cruise ship guests.

Currently, Thailand lacks significant cruise ports and most of its ports are tender or industrial cargo ports. Ports like Ko A Dang, Ko Kood, Ko Lanta, and Ko Phi Phi Island are known for their tropical paradise appeal, but operate as supply ports with limited capacity for ships with more than 1,000 guests.

Laem Chabang and Phuket are the two main ports for large cruise ships, despite the distances from these ports to interesting sights.

Some smaller luxury cruise ships can dock in central Bangkok, but such visits are rare for cruise ships with a capacity of more than 450 passengers.

Catering for cruise ship guests

The planned Port of Pattaya is expected to accommodate 1,500 cruise ship guests per hour as a home port and 3,500 to 4,000 guests per hour as a port of call.

This capacity exceeds that of other ports in Thailand and should bring the port up to expectations Chinese cruise passenger traffic surges especially.

Pattaya (Photo credit: Pesh Siri/Shutterstock)

For those unfamiliar with the area, Pattaya is a resort city on Thailand’s eastern Gulf Coast known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. The city has the potential to transform into a major international cruise port that can attract millions of cruise enthusiasts from around the globe.

Pattaya not only has a lively nightlife, but also a lively nightlife. There is much more to discover in this city. Guests can soak up the sun on Pattaya’s sandy beaches, engage in water sports or indulge in local and international cuisine.

The city also offers a rich cultural experience, with its temples, markets and museums showcasing Thailand’s history, culture and traditions. Additionally, Pattaya is a convenient starting point for exploring nearby destinations such as Coral Island, the world-famous Sanctuary of Truth, and even Bangkok.

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