The operator of the Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry service will launch two additional services in May — Sattahip-Koh Chang, and Sattahip-Hua Hin, Marine Department director-general Sorasak Saensombat said.
The first additional route planned by operator Royal Passenger Liner is between Chuk Samet pier in Sattahip district of Chon Buri and Bang Bao pier on Koh Chang island in Trat province. The service will connect two seaports on the eastern coast.
The second route is across the Gulf of Thailand, between Sattahip in Chon Buri and Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Mr Sorasak said the company is in the process of acquiring two new vessels, each with capacity for 350 passengers, and obtaining permission to use the seaports, and setting fares.
There will be trial runs on the two new routes before the services are officially launched.
The company also plans another new service across the Gulf of Thailand, between Sattahip and Pran Buri district in Phetchaburi province. No decision has been made when it will begin.
Mr Sorasak said the Pattaya-Hua Hin service carried a total of 10,689 passengers in February and March, of which 3,694 were Thais and 6,995 foreigners. Of the foreigners, 4,472 were from European countries and 1,534 from China.
Only one vessel is making the two trips a day on this route, with the standard fare at 1,250 baht. Royal Passenger Liner is considering putting more vessels into service to meet the increasing number of passengers, particularly during the peak tourism season, Mr Sorasak said.