The long-awaited ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin will be commenced on January 1 next year as a New Year gift for the people, the Department of Marine announced.
Director-general of the department Mr Sorasak Sansombat revealed the operation of the ferry service across the Bay of Thailand on a 113 kilometre distance from Pattaya to Hua Hin after it has picked Royal Passenger Liner as the operator of the service.
As the Bangkok Post reported, he said the company is the only operator which submitted tenders to operate shuttle service after the department invited interested investors to submit tenders to operate ferry service on the route from the eastern coast covering Pattaya and Sattahip to the western coast covering Cha-am, Hua Hin and Pranburi.
The department invited investors to submit tenders on August 9 this year and announced the winner on September 30.
He said the department’s selection committee has endorsed the company’s proposals and is now under the process to inspect the ferry and improvement of ports for safety and appropriateness.
The company was given a three month long period after being selected to produce all required documents to apply for the licence, which included the ship certification licence.
He said the service would be commenced on January 1, 2017 to serve as a New Year gift for the people.
Initially the company will use one ferry with capacity to load 150 passengers and will operate a round trip in the route.
Feasibility study of full ferry service which includes the loading of motor vehicles is expected to finish this month and made known to the public on December 15.
Under the company’s proposals, it will begin service from Pattaya to Hua Hin on a 113 kilometre long route using Catamaran Ferry which has a maximum speed of 27 knots, and can load 150 passengers at maximum.
The company plans to introduce another ferry with a capacity to load 260 passengers at a later date.
The ferry service will cut short travel time between the two popular resorts by almost two thirds.
The Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry service is part of the government’s East-West Ferry Project which aims to boost tourism and logistics between Chonburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Earlier a promotional video which was reported in Thai language media gave a first glimpse of what the final ferry service may look like when it is fully operational by 2020.