By The Nation
Economy-class tickets will be priced at Bt1,250 per person for each trip, he said.
The launch of the service is in line with the government’s policy to facilitate water transport connections and to promote tourism. The service offers a shortcut, navigating the 113-kilometre distance between Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier and Hua Hin’s Fish Marketing Organisation Pier, across the Gulf of Thailand.
Fares for first- and second-class have not been finalised.
Sorasak said the fare was reasonable when compared with the prices of other water taxis. This price would give the private operator a 20-30 per cent profit margin.
He said the fare might be reviewed after six months if passenger load reached 80-90 per cent, higher than the 50 per cent projected.
Sorasak said the department has recently discussed with the ferry operator, Royal Passenger Liner Co Ltd that has recently won a ferry operating license, about free trips to be given passengers as a New Year gift for 15 days during January 1-15.
"We agreed to give people as a New Year gift," Somsak said, and adding that the way to book and get the tickets would be discussed and known Friday.
The ferry service will initially serve two trips per day with catamaran vessels that carries 346 passengers. First service will depart from Hua Hin at 8.30 am and the second will depart from Pattaya at 15.30 pm. The journey time is about an hour and 40 minute, compared to 4-5 hours of travelling by cars.
For the next stage, the ferry services will be served both passengers and cars. But, the operator is now in preparation to propose the Marine Department for consideration of the appropriate piers for both services.