When news broke that the iconic Penang ferry—that has been transporting both passengers and vehicles between the island and mainland for 126 years—would be replaced by modern speedboats in 2021, Malaysians were naturally disappointed. After all, the journey proved to be one of the most interesting ways to get to Penang Island over the years, and most Malaysians will probably recount having taken the route at least once in their lives.
However, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul has since assured Malaysians that the service will continue to operate, acknowledging the RM30 million that was promised to Penang Port to take over the ferry service by the Pakatan Harapan-led government. To clarify the issue, we reached out to Penang Port, who explained that the old, classic Penang ferry will continue to be in service in 2021—but only for motorcycles and bicycles.
Regardless, it’s still a landmark moment, and travellers will no longer have the chance to travel-by-car-via-sea from 2021 onward. As a way to say a “final goodbye” to the ferry, photographer Siva Kumar shared a series of stunning images taken by his drone on Facebook—and I think that these pay a beautiful tribute to one of Malaysia’s oldest ferry service. Have a look at the photos, courtesy of Siva Kumar:
If you’re keen to try out the Penang Port’s new ferry service, it’s free for foot passengers from the 1st till the 14th of January 2021. This decision was made based on advice by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Kia Siong. Based on information from our call with Penang Port, it appears that this free service (for two weeks) will be for the new speedboats—which are rented in the interim.
In any case, we’ve also attached the full 2021 schedule for the Penang ferry service here:
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