New ferry between Penghu and Western Taiwan welcomes free passengers

Regular journey between Penghu and Chiayi County will take one hour

  1526
The Rikulau, a new high-speed ferry linking Penghu to the rest of Taiwan.

The Rikulau, a new high-speed ferry linking Penghu to the rest of Taiwan. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - A total of 500 passengers were invited for a free trip Wednesday on a new high-speed ferry which will soon ply the route between Penghu in the middle of the Taiwan Strait and Taichung Harbor.

The Wisdom Marine Group spent US$35 million (NT$1 billion) on two ships built by Australian company Austal, the Liberty Times reported.

One of the ships, the Rikulau, will start regular services on Friday, but on Wednesday, 500 residents of Penghu received a free chance to experience the speedy and comfortable journey, the report said.

Candidates who had not registered beforehand still received a chance to view the interior of the ferry, while the 500 lucky passengers embarked on a 40-minute journey around the Penghu islands.

An underwater stability system made seasickness less likely, while the ferry displayed its top speed of 42 knots.

The operator, Pescadores Ferry, announced special discount rates for the period from March 22 to April 2. The other ship, the Blue Magpie, will reportedly ply the route between the Penghu capital of Magong and the township of Budai in Chiayi County, a journey expected to last one hour.