Luctor et emergo – How The Junk Liveaboards sailed through Covid times and beyond
When Covid 19 became known to the world late in 2019, no one could have suspected the immense impact this pandemic would have on countless economies and industries worldwide. One of the most affected sectors is tourism: both international and domestic. This is mainly due to national governments closing their borders and implementing lockdowns to stop the spreading of the virus.
Scuba diving, as part of tourism, was hit very hard, also in Thailand. Many dive operators closed their doors and a lot of people employed in the dive industry were forced to go home as there was simply no work to be found.
Restart of operations
By June 2020, however, The Junk Liveaboards was lucky enough to be able to start operating occasional liveaboard trips once again throughout the year with their guests coming from all over Thailand. At this time, the drive to continue operating was purely focused on making sure their staff maintained employment.
While the Thai government closed the international borders very early on in the pandemic, domestically, the borders were not shut. The guests, both Thai and expats, could therefore still travel to Phuket/Khao Lak to board the vessels and enjoy trips to Similan and Surin Islands.
2020 can by no means be called a normal year. However, since there were only a few other liveaboard operators active at the time, The Junk Liveaboards decided to make the best of the situation and support other operators in the process of providing our services. For example, they offered other dive companies the option to bring their guests on board The Junk or The Phinisi together with their own guides or instructors. Win-win situation!
Back in business after new Covid outbreak
In April 2021, a new Covid outbreak hit Thailand just after Songkran, the famous Thai New Year celebration. Domestic travel soon came to a complete stop due to government restrictions to contain the virus. This obviously meant a break in The Junk Liveaboards’ operations. The downtime was wisely used by doing a lot of maintenance on the boats. The Phinisi went into dry dock for a full make over and shiny new layer of paint. As soon as travel was once again permitted in July, The Phinisi set sail for a trip to the islands south of Phuket, all the way to Koh Lipe.
As challenging as the last two years have been, The Junk Liveaboards is proud to have successfully sailed through this ‘storm’ called Covid 19 pandemic, while taking care of her staff and beautiful boats. They are looking forward to a brighter future with all Covid-measures in place on both the Junk and Phinisi ready to sail the high seas once again and are delighted to be back in business.
Both The Junk and The Phinisi can be chartered for events at highly discounted rates. If you have a special birthday coming up, a wedding, or just a group of friends who wish to go for a private trip; it is all possible.
The Phinisi now offers an exciting new itinerary called ‘The Best of Thailand’ includes all of Thailand’s dive highlights in one liveaboard cruise: from Richelieu Rock in the Similan’s all the way down to Koh Phi Phi and the famous sites Hin Daeng & Hin Muang. This means 10 nights of diving bliss! What are you waiting for?