TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The passenger ship Natchan Rera on April 21 began to ply the route between Tainan’s Anping Harbor and the outlying island county of Penghu three days a week, according to a press release from the city’s Tourism and Travel Bureau.
Penghu, an archipelago made up of 97 islands, is located in the middle of the Taiwan Strait.
The Natchan Rera will sail every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Passengers can bring their bicycles on the ship by paying a surcharge of NT$100 (US$3.5). The vessel can travel up to 84 kilometers per hour and the voyage takes about two hours.
During a ceremony to mark the commencement of the operation on April 21, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) said a trial run of the ferry operation was held on Nov. 20 last year. The response has been enormous since then, with many tourists inquiring about when they can take the ship again.
Besides tourism, the ship will also be used to transport Tainan's agricultural produce to be sold in Penghu, the mayor added.
Tainan Tourism and Travel Bureau Director-General Kuo Chen-hui (郭貞慧) said the bureau has been cooperating with travel agencies in Taipei as well as ship operator Uni-Wagon Marina Co. to roll out packages enabling tourists to spend one night in Tainan before embarking on the trip to Penghu.
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (center)