New Taiwan cross-strait ferry launched
By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post
May 28, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese cross-strait ferry the Natchan RERA (麗娜輪), sailed from the Port of Taipei in Bali District to Pingtan in Fujian, mainland China, seeking to improve express logistics as well as tourism between Taiwan and China.
The Wagon Group officially launched the ferry route from Taipei yesterday, which has a set schedule between Taipei and Pingtan. The ferry is the first cross-strait ferry transport registered under the Republic of China, as before the launch of the RERA, cross-strait ferries that commute between the countries are registered and operated by the People's Republic of China.
Wagon President Hung Ching-tan (洪清潭) stated during the launch event that the closest port from Taiwan is located in Pingtan. The launch of the route will seek to attract a larger population of tourists, as well as make up for air traffic logistics deficiencies. The addition will also potentially enable Taiwan to receive a chance to become an international transit hub.
The travel time on the high-speed ferry is three hours between Taipei and Pingtan. With a round trip estimated to take 6 hours, the Wagon company stated that a one-day holiday for tourists from either country is no longer a dream.
Along with the publicized speed, the ferry boasts a passenger capacity of 800, including a vehicle loading limit up to 24 tourist buses and 300 sedans. Passengers are given seats divided into First Class, Business Class and Economy Class. The fixed schedule of the RERA has been released to be one round-trip journey between Taiwan and China twice a week, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has also endorsed the new line, hoping that tourists from mainland China will utilize the new form of transport to experience the fun and culture of Taiwan.