The operations of tourist ships on the Cox's Bazar-Saint Martin's sea route resumed on Thursday morning, with the first ship Karnaphuli Express departing Cox's Bazar with 750 passengers on board for the coral island.
Moreover, another cruise ship MV Bay One was scheduled to leave Chattogram for Saint Martin's on Thursday night.
A limited number of tourist ships have resumed operating on the sea route ahead of the tourism season.
The Cox's Bazar district administration restricted the movement of tourist ships on the Cox's Bazar-Saint Martin's route from 31 March due to rough seas and the apprehension of Nor'westers.
Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Mamunur Rashid said the movement of ships from Teknaf is temporarily suspended due to a navigability problem. The Karnaphuli Express will move from Cox's Bazar to Saint Martin's on a trial basis.
He added that all other ships that sought permission to operate on this route would get approval in phases, depending on the situation.
Karnaphuli Express General Manager Hossainul Islam said the passengers had been provided with the highest security with a team of tourist police on board.
Sea Cruise Operators' Association President Tofail Ahmed said, "The decision to operate tourist ships from Cox's Bazar and Chattogram to Saint Martin's has been taken as the alternative routes considering the upcoming tourism season."
Meanwhile, hours after the departure of the Karnaphuli Express, some tourists reportedly fell ill in the middle of the sea due to a lack of cleanliness and air conditioners (ACs) on the ship.