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Cruise Ship La Belle Des Oceans Hits Reef on Route to Phuket

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The cruise ship La Belle des Océans arrived safely in Phuket on Monday after running aground on a reef in the Andaman Sea overnight. The cruise ship was therefore escorted to Phuket by a Thai navy vessel.

The Belgian-owned cruise ship was en route from Singapore to Phuket when it hit an uncharted reef in the sea off Krabi. The cruise ship docked at Phuket sea port, while all 150 passengers and crew were finally evacuated.

The cruise ship departed Koh Lanta on Sunday night for Phuket on a round-trip excursion from Singapore.

la Belle des oceans
The La Belle des Oceans was built in 1989 and is also the former Clipper Odyssey, Oceanic Odyssey and Oceanic Grace.

She hit submerged rocks near Koh Pida Nok, part of the Koh Phi Phi islands group in Krabi province.  The ship tilted and began taking on water, according to the Thai Navy.

Ship’s captain was unfamiliar with the route

The captain reported the incident and Royal Thai Navy dispatched the patrol boat HTMS Sriracha to assist. It accompanied the ship to Phuket after the crew had controlled the leak.

Pramok Urawan, a representative of Phuket Shipping Co, said the ship’s captain was unfamiliar with the route. “There are no markings on the chrts to alert ships about undersea rocks in the area. Only local vessels know of them Foreign vessels do not,” he said.

A Cruise Ship hits a reef in Phuket Thailand
Royal Thai Nave Tug helps Belgian-owned cruise ship La Belle Des Oceans into the deeps sea port to unload passengers in Phuket.

The ship would return to Singapore for repairs, Mr Pramok said. As a result the passengers were taken to a hotel in Phuket and would be flown back to Singapore.

The cruise ship La Belle des Océans is 103 meters long and 15 meters wide, according to its website. She is the second cruise ship of the CroisiEurope fleet. Launched in 1989 as “Oceanic Grace”, until 2019 were she was renamed “La Belle des Oceans”. La Belle des Oceans will has 60 staterooms, 1 restaurant, 1 grill, 2 bars; poolside bar, Gym, Beauty Salon, and also a Spa.

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