The Italian-flagged passenger cruise vessel Costa Serena brought more than 2,600 international guests to Phu Quoc, a popular island destination in southern Vietnam, on Sunday morning.
This is the first five-star cruise to return to Phu Quoc City, which is an island off Kien Giang Province, after a long suspension induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also the first voyage by the Costa Serena to Phu Quoc City post-pandemic, said Le Thi Minh Thu, an advisor at Thien Y Marine Transport Services Company.
The passengers on the ship, which carried a crew of over 1,000, are citizens of Thailand, Cuba, and some other countries.
|International cruise guests pose for a photo with a Vietnamese woman in 'ao dai' (Vietnamese traditional costume). Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The ship was scheduled to conduct a five-day and four-night voyage from Thailand to Cambodia’s Sihanoukville before heading to Phu Quoc, where the passengers will learn about the local culture and visit popular tourist attractions on the island.
LyLy, a Thai visitor who was traveling to Phu Quoc with her family for the first time, said the island is stunningly beautiful.
She shared that she got impressed by the warm welcome of the locality.
|International cruise guests are transported on a small boat to Phu Quoc Island of Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Bui Quoc Thai, director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said the arrival of the Costa Serena cruise ship showed that the local tourist industry is recovering.
Phu Quoc is expected to serve some passenger cruise ships in the upcoming period, Thai continued.
Thu added that the Costa Serena vessel will further bring international guests to the Vietnamese island early next year.
To better service international cruise guests, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is ramping up efforts to develop its tourism infrastructure facilities appropriately while streamlining entry and exit procedures for visitors and vehicles.