Ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin on the other side of the Gulf of Thailand isn’t really anything new. Several private ferry operators have tackled the project again and again over the decades – and ultimately all failed miserably.
The last attempt to bridge the 113-kilometer sea route between Pattaya and Hua Hin by ferry failed only in 2011, due to lack of passengers and as unprofitable as previous projects.
Now a brand-new passenger ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin was officially launched on Sunday.
The new ferry service, operated by Royal Passenger Liner Ltd, launched unofficially on January 1, with free trips between the seaside resorts offered until January 31. The official launch was however postponed from January 12 after bad weather caused the cancellation of many trips.
The double decker passenger ferry has 286 economy seats, each priced at 1,250 Baht per one-way trip. It also offers 44 business class seats and two VIP rooms with eight seats in each room.
Until the end of February, economy tickets will be sold at a discount rate of 999 Baht.
The journey is advertised to take two hours but reportedly takes about two-and-a-half hours. While this is still considerably shorter than the five-hour road trip passengers have also reported that they had to arrive at the pier 90 minutes before departure.
The only ferry that is currently in use can carry only passengers – no vehicles -, and there’s just one round trip per day.
Although the operator has not yet revealed the total number of passengers since the (free) service was launched early January the service has “received a warm welcome from commuters,” officials said.
In any case, we keep our fingers crossed and hope the new ferry service will be a success in every way. 1,250 Baht for a one-way trip is certainly a bit steep and it still remains to be seen how potential customers will respond to the new regular fare.
Because if passengers remain absent it will probably be just a question of months until the latest attempt to revive the new ferry service fails as miserably as all previous ones.
Source: Bangkok Post