07 December 2020
Phuket is now open to foreign tourists travelling with luxury yachts and cruisers.
The Phuket Marine Department Acting Chief Nachapong Pranit confirmed on 12 November 2020 that the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) granted permission for overseas yachts to check into Thailand.
The country introduced new types of visas for long-term travellers, and hopes to welcome about 60 foreign-flagged yachts and cruise boats to their waters.
An announcement from the Marine Department confirmed that yachts can be moored for quarantine in two areas of Thailand – The Ocean Marine Yacht Club in Chonburi and Ao Por in Pa Khlok, Phuket. The area in Phuket normally used for yacht mooring is located about 6.2 kilometres southeast from Ao Por pier and 2 kilometres east of Koh Naka Noi. The area has a depth of over 10 metres and is large enough for more than 100 yachts.
Nachapong further explained that crew aboard the yachts will have to quarantine themselves on board for the required 14 days.
After the quarantine period aboard the yacht has elapsed, and assuming the subsequent tests are negative, the crew will be allowed to moor the yacht at the marina of their choice and travel within Phuket in the same manner as those that arrive on the island via air travel.
The first Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) Phuket foreign-flagged superyacht client has now cleared into Phuket and is quarantining aboard, reports APS Co-Founder Gordon Fernandes.
“Earlier this year saw a record number of superyachts visiting Phuket and occupying berths at the marinas. Such yachts bring many benefits for the economy generally, the tourist industry and the people employed in the wide range of support industries, who are excited to begin superyacht arrivals to the island,” explained Fernandes.
“We are thrilled to see our clients begin their entry to Phuket as they plan their land visits and cruising voyages around Thailand’s western Andaman Sea and the eastern Gulf of Siam after quarantine aboard.
The infrastructure in South-East Asia and specifically in Phuket offers well-equipped facilities where superyachts in Phuket on an extended visit can play a significant role.”
Fernandes added: “The APS team was delighted to welcome and deliver some urgent parts to the arriving superyacht once all the paperwork was complete.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Phuket received approximately 1,300–1,500 yachts per year.