GEORGE TOWN, Dec 8 — Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chief executive officer Datuk V. Sasedharan today said that one of the four new ferries will be open for private charter as a new location for events in Penang.
He said a company has now chartered the ferry for a Penang Bridge Sunset Cruise Buffet package on weekends.
“We are open to any companies with plans to charter the ferry for any other events or activities,” he said during the soft launch of the Penang Bridge Sunset Cruise in collaboration with a restaurant, SeaQueen.
He said SeaQueen is experienced in sunset cruises as it has been offering similar packages on yachts off Straits Quay.
“We only use three of the four ferries during peak hours and two ferries during non-peak hours so we have one extra ferry that we can use for this purpose,” he said.
He said now the three ferries are bringing about 15,000 to 17,000 passengers between Butterworth and George Town each week.
“The ferry service has stabilised so now, we can use this spare ferry as a new product for visitors,” he said.
He said PPSB has also received enquiries on chartering the ferry for private events.
As for the old ferries that have been retired, two of which are docked at the Pengkalan Raja Tun Uda, Sasedharan said the ferries belonged to the Penang Port Commission (PPC).
He said PPC is considering tendering the old ferries out to private companies to convert it into static museums and restaurants.
“The engines on the old ferries will be stripped so the ferries will not sail and be parked at certain sites,” he said.
The Penang Bridge Sunset Cruise is a three-hour cruise that will start from Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda and cruise towards the Penang Bridge while a buffet dinner is served on board.
Sasedharan said the package is only available on weekends from 5pm to 8pm now and is limited to 100 pax per cruise.
“Since this is a new product, we are trying it out first, we don’t know how the response will be for this,” he said.
He said this will be a new tourism product for Penang as visitors will get to experience a breathtaking view of the island and the Penang Bridge from a different perspective.
The first cruise will set sail on December 16 and tickets to the cruise, at RM148 per adult and RM68 per child, are available for purchase through SeaQueen.