TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In just five days following the announcement of a new fast ferry that will go between Taiwan and the Matsu Islands beginning in April, over 80% of the tickets for April and May were booked.
The general agent of the new fast ferries operated by North & South Shipping Co, ezTravel Co, had announced that from April, tourists and Matsu residents will have a new transportation option, CNA reported.
The chairman of ezTravel, Chou Yun-sheng (周昀生), said that it takes only three hours for the fast ferry, which has the capacity to carry 298 passengers, to travel from Taipei Harbor to Matsu’s Nangan.
The company added that there will be 61 fast ferry services departing for Matsu from April to September next year. A total of 80% of the tickets for April and May, as well as 50% of the tickets for June through September, have already been booked, mainly by customers planning for family vacations or company trips.
The popularity of the new ferry can be in part attributed to the new “blue tear” tours that will be operated by travel agencies, according to the report.
The most popular tours associated with the ferry are the three-day, two-night trips for less than NT$10,000 (US$360). The itinerary includes shuttle bus services between Taipei Main Station and Taipei Harbor, trips to see the blue tears in Matsu, visits to Beihai Tunnel in Nangan and Qiaozi Fishing Village in Beigan, tasting of kaoliang liquor stored in Tunnel 88, and a seafood hot pot dinner at a local restaurant, according to ezTravel.
There are many theories as to what causes the blue tears, which are a kind of phosphorescence. Most experts believe they are caused by algae called dinoflagellates, which produce a glow when disturbed by motion in the water.
Ferry interior (ezTravel photo)