The head of the Phuket, Thailand Marine Department Office is trying to kick-start stalled negotiations to expand the port to allow larger cruise ships to dock there. Represenatives from Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises met with Thai officials on July 12 to discuss the problems encountered by large ships using their port.
Located at Cape Panwa, the deep sea port has long been criticized as too small to accommodate large vessels, both cargo and passenger, for docking.
According to Marine Department Region 5 chief Phuripat Theerakulpisuk, Royal Caribbean wants to see the government become more involved in lengthening the wharf and dredge the seabed.
Chief Phuripat cited one example of a Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, measuring 312 meters long and 38m wide, that is forced to moor about four kilometers from the wharf and ferry its passengers ashore on smaller vessels.
Chief Phuripat commented on the need, "“It’s uncomfortable for passengers. Royal Caribbean Cruises has come to Phuket three times – once in May and twice in June, bringing 6,000 passengers each time. I truly believe if the port were improved, there would be a lot more ships from across the world arriving on Phuket.”