First Taiwanese ferry sets sail between Taipei, China's Pingtan
Central News Agency
2014-05-27 07:03 PM
Taipei, May 27 (CNA) A Taiwanese-owned high-speed ferry began operating directly between Taipei and Pingtan in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian Tuesday, adding to the transportation options across the Taiwan Strait. Each trip aboard the Natchan Rera takes three hours, offering another option for tourists traveling across the strait. The ship, owned by the Taiwan-based Wagon Group, is the first Taiwanese-owned vessel to offer regular ferry services directly across the strait. It will sail between Taipei and Pingtan on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while continuing to ply the waters between Suao and Hualien on Taiwan's eastern coast the rest of the week. Currently, two Chinese-owned boats offer regular ferry services between Taiwan and China, linking Taiwan to Xiamen, also in Fujian, and to Pingtan, respectively. Travelers can also travel to the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu and take ferries from there to Fujian as part of the "mini-three links" that were launched in 2001. The 10,712-ton, four-deck high-speed boat can carry 800 passengers, 24 tour buses and 300 cars. Fares for a one-way trip are NT$3,450 (US$114) for economy class, NT$3,950 for business class and NT$4,500 for first class. (By Sunrise Huang, Liao Jen-kai and Scully Hsiao)
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