Ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin officially launched Feb. 12 after a month’s delay due to inclement weather.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith presided over the grand opening ceremony at Bali Hai Pier, which was attended by more than 200 guests, including celebrities Mario Maurer and Davika “Mai” Hoorne.
After the ceremony, guests embarked on the Royal 1 ferry for the 113-kilometer trip to Khao Takiab pier in Hua Hin and a return voyage to Pattaya. The journey was monitored by a Royal Thai Navy Seahawk helicopter.
The official launch of the service had been postponed from Jan. 12 after stormy seas forced the cancellation of numerous crossings. Operated by Royal Passenger Liner Co., the ferry service has been making test runs with free transport offered through Jan. 31.
The double-decker passenger catamaran has 286 economy-class seats, each priced at 1,250 baht. It also offers 44 business-class seats and two “VIP” rooms with eight seats each. Prices for those have not yet been set.
Royal Passenger Liner is selling economy tickets for 999 baht throughout February.
Currently, just one trip a day is planned, leaving Pattaya at 10 a.m. with the return trip leaving Hua Hin at 3 p.m. The journey is scheduled to take around two hours, cutting travel time overland by more than half.
A study is being conducted on offering service for both passengers and vehicles, as well as expanding daily service.
The ferry itself has been tested in terms of durability and safety gear and the Marine Department has already approved it.
The Marine Department Director-General Sorasak Sansombat said the department will be responsible for controlling operational standards. The ferry, the staff and equipment will be checked regularly to maintain safety for the passengers.
Arkhom said the project was initiated in response to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s policy on promoting water transport between the western and eastern sides of the Gulf of Thailand.
“It provides an alternative transportation mode and will later add value to the tourism industry in coastal provinces,” he said.
For more information, call 038-488-999 or 098-625-9949.