With a land area of 215 square miles, Phuket Island is about the same size as Singapore, making it Thailand's largest island. Known as the "Pearl of Thailand," this beautiful retreat offers pristine beaches, lush vegetation, traditional villages, and seascapes of huge limestone pillars that tower over the turquoise waters of Phang-Nga Bay. Apart from tourism, much of the province's wealth derives from tin production, which started back in the 16th century.
The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Snorkel the coral reefs surrounding Koh Khai, just off Phuket’s eastern shore, observing the variety of marine life that flourishes in the crystalline waters.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a picturesque drive across Thailand’s largest island of Phuket to the Boat Lagoon Marina. There, you will board a speedboat bound for the much smaller islands of Koh Khai, which lie about a half-hour to the east.
The waters in this part of the Andaman Sea are typically crystal-clear, ideal conditions for snorkeling. Upon reaching beach-rimmed Koh Khai Nai, you may relax, sunbathe on the island’s stretch of sand, or snorkel. The coral reef just offshore is teeming with tropical fish of every imaginable color, size and shape.
While snorkeling, you may spot brilliantly colored butterfly fish pecking for food among the crevices, triggerfish comfortably nestled in the coral, and clown anemone fish, whose bright-orange coloring and three white stripes make them one of the most recognized reef-dwellers. Interestingly, all clownfish are born male yet they have the ability to switch their sex irreversibly to become the dominant female of the group.
Following this snorkeling adventure, you will zip over to nearby Koh Khai Nok to snorkel along its coral reef. While the same sorts of species flourish here, you are sure to see different varieties, as the scenery is constantly changing.
After snorkeling, you will cruise back to the marina and drive on to the pier.
Please note: Although the tour does not involve extensive walking, swimming in the sea comes with its inherent difficulties, such as possible currents. Guests must be able to swim comfortably in the sea and must be able to negotiate getting on/off transportation. A ladder is used to get on and off the speedboat at the snorkeling sites and at the marina, the speedboat is boarded from pontoon piers that can rise and fall with the tides. Surfaces may be wet and slippery. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition. Swimwear; a cover-up; sunglasses; sun cap; sunscreen; a towel from the ship; and aqua socks are recommended. Wildlife sightings, while common, cannot be guaranteed. The location of the snorkeling sites is subject to change and dependent upon sea/weather conditions. Those guests who participate in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility.
On this excursion, enjoy some of the island highlights, including an elephant show, a cooking and rubber tapping demonstration. Elephants are an important part of Thai history and culture, regularly featured in Buddhist art and architecture. Wild elephants used to roam Phuket Island but as rubber plantations and tin mining changed the natural environment the wild elephants slowly disappeared. Elephants were used in Thailand's logging industry hauling heavy logs out of the remote forest to roads not accessible by truck. In 1989 most elephants and their mahouts (handlers) were forced out of work when the Thai government banned virtually all logging of its quickly dwindling teak forests.
Departing the pier, drive to a cashew nut factory, curiously named Sri Bhurapa Orchid Company. There you will see how mouth-watering cashew nut products are made as skilled workers create a scrumptious variety of snacks and sweets.
Next, a short stop will be made at Chalong Temple. The Thai word for Temple is “Wat” so this sight is referred to locally as Wat Chalong. This is by far the most famous of temples on the island of Phuket.
Another stop will be at an elephant camp where you will enjoy a young elephant show, see an elephant being bathed, Thai Cooking demonstration SOMTAM and a demonstration of rubber tapping. Afterwards, you'll re-board your motor coach for a short stop at the local souvenir shop before returning to the ship.
Please note: The tour sequence may vary. Traffic in Phuket can be heavy at times, affecting tour duration. As the tour visits a religious site, please dress appropriately; knees and shoulders must be covered.
Thailand's only island province, Phuket is a world famous tourist destination renowned for its magnificent mountains covered with lush tropical vegetation, its surrounding azure blue sea and stretches of powder-white sandy beaches fringed with coral reefs. Once renowned for its tin mines and rubber plantations, visitors now arrive looking for a place to relax and explore the incredible scenery. Most of the buildings in Phuket Town's city center were built nearly a hundred years ago, and show an enchanting mix of Chinese and Western influences in their architecture. This tour introduces you to the unique array of island sights found on this tropical paradise.
Departing the ship, drive south of Phuket Town to a cashew nut factory, curiously named the Sri Bhurapa Orchid Company. There you will see how delectable cashew nut products are made, as skilled workers create a mouth-watering variety of snacks and sweets.
Your next stop is the Buddhist temple, Wat Chalong. Considered the most beautiful and ornate temple on the island, Wat Chalong enshrines a gilt statue of Luang Por Cham, the monk who became a hero when he helped the people of Phuket put down the Chinese Coolie Rebellion in 1876.
The island drive continues with a stop at the Phuket Sea Shell Museum, displaying one of the world's most valuable collections of seashells. Shells from all over the globe are featured and include numerous rarities and curiosities such as the world's largest golden pearl (160 karats) and a massive 550 pound shell.
Your drive continues to Promthep Cape. Located at the extreme south end of the island, Promthep Cape appears to be a simple rocky hill with no immediate interest. However, once you climb the steps to the top (40), experience a stunning view of the perfect half-moon bay of Nai Harn Beach and the scattered islands dotting the Andaman Sea.
Back on board the coach, drive to Phuket Town for a short sightseeing tour around the old part of town with its old Sino –Portuguese Buildings. You'll see some splendid examples of European-Sino-Thai architecture before returning to the ship.
This full-day tour takes you to one of the most unique and inspiring spots on earth, Phang Nga Bay. Considered by many a must see sight, there are very few places in the world with a landscape like Phang Nga.
Begin your day with a drive to the island's north end and then cross to the Thai mainland via the Thep Krasettree Causeway. Drive to Phang Nga National Park where you board a motorboat and begin your unforgettable cruise through the spectacular and seductive limestone scenery. Established in 1981, the park lies in the sheltered pale milky-green waters northeast of Phuket Island and is the location of more than 80 awe-inspiring islands. These unique karst formations were created when a collision of great magnitude occurred over 300 million years ago between the Indian subcontinent and mainland Asia. The force of the tectonic plates pushed and rotated what is now Thailand and Malaysia, forcing the limestone above the surface. The resulting karst formations appear like fairy castles out of the sea and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Vegetation on the karsts has evolved to withstand long periods of dryness and an almost complete lack of soil. See spectacular flora hanging off the vertical rock faces and cascading down the cliffs including palm trees, bamboo, ferns and wild orchids. During your cruise enjoy a photo opportunity at the small island of Kao Ping-Gan, where part of the James Bond adventure “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed.
Visit Koh Panyee, a small island with a picturesque village extending out across the water, resting precariously on small pilings. It is inhabited chiefly by Muslim fishermen who originally migrated from Indonesia. Cut off from the mainland and most modern amenities, their unique culture has existed for more than a hundred years.
After cruising through magnificent mangrove forests and small grottoes, your boat stops at a local resort where you will be treated to a buffet lunch. Following lunch you will drive back to the ship. A short stop at a recommended shopping venue will be made en route.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking; however, there will be some steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Tour duration can vary based upon traffic conditions in Phuket.
This excursion will provide an exciting and comprehensive taste of the rich and colorful culture of Phuket.
Begin with a scenic drive along Phuket's southern coast, the first stop is Promthep Cape. Located at the extreme south end of the island, Promthep Cape appears to be a simple rocky hill with no immediate interest. However, once you climb the steps to the top, experience a stunning view of the perfect half-moon bay of Nai Harn Beach and the scattered islands dotting the Andaman Sea. Back on board the coach, drive to Wat Chalong, the largest and the most strikingly ornamented of Phuket's 29 Buddhist monasteries. Its intriguing history features a monk believed to have formidable healing powers. To this day, Thais from all over the country flock to Wat Chalong to pay homage to the monk and regain their physical and spiritual powers. From there, proceed to the Phuket Thai Village, located on an old tin mine site, with a tranquil lakeside setting.
During an elaborate performance, you will be charmed by Thai Classical Dances, with performers dressed in opulent costumes and intricate head pieces made of sparkling gold and colored stones. The drumming of the thaporn or Thai drum, and the sweet melodies of the phee, a Thai flute, will carry you further into the past. Enjoy a thrill to the complex style of Thai boxing. Following the show, a short stop is made at the souvenir shop before return to the ship.
Please note: Modest dress is required in the temple.
Phuket is a tropical island located off the southern coast of Thailand, in the warm, turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. With its natural heritage of stunning white-sand beaches, exotic marine life and lushly forested hillsides, Phuket is one of Asia's most popular destinations. The island features welcoming inhabitants, outstanding seafood and beautiful waterfalls carved into magnificent mountains. The architectural style of the island is described as turn-of-the-century Indo-Portuguese-Chinese, giving Phuket Town a decidedly strong Mediterranean character.
Departing the pier, you will first make your way to Promthep Cape, a headland stretching into the sea and forming the extreme south-end of Phuket Island. It has traditionally been a prominent feature for mariners approaching the island. The vantage point here offers up a breathtaking panoramic vista that overlooks the southern-most tip of the island.
Continuing on, you'll next drive to the Big Buddha Temple (Mingmongkol Eak Nakakiri Temple). From nearly anywhere in the area south of Phuket, you will see a towering Buddha Image located right at the top of Nark Kerd mountain. This giant Buddha, as known locally, is a local landmark and a sacred place facing that faces Chalong bay. It is nearly 148 ft. high and 82 ft. across the base. Its official name is "Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha".
From Big Buddha Temple, you will then proceed to Chalong Temple. This impressive temple is Phuket's largest and most sacred. Of particular interest are the gold-leaf-encrusted statues of three former abbots. One of them, Luang Por Cham, was well known for his medical skills and magical powers, which he successfully used when Phuket was attacked by the Chinese at the turn of the 20th century.
Two stops are included on your way back to Phuket, the first is a short stop at a local shop where Thai silk, cultured pearls, pewter, cotton, porcelain, and stones are sold. Your final stop is at the Chinese Shrine. The majority of people in Phuket are Chinese who are descended from those who migrated to Phuket over 100 years ago. Each year, the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival takes place at the Chinese Shrine. Following your time at the Shrine, you'll transfer directly back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes over 2-hours of easy to moderate walking and steps to negotiate, especially at the Big Buddha Temple where there are a significant number. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light weight clothing (please dress conservatively in respect of the temple visits); sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The tour may operate in either a coach or a minivan, dependent upon participation levels. If by coach, it will be necessary to transfer to a minivan to reach the Big Buddha Temple.
Terms & Conditions:
Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. Concierge benefits do not apply to Executive Collection private cars or other private arrangements. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children 17 years and under must be accompanied by a an adult 18 years or older on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.