The first ferry in three years from Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan berthed at Macao’s Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal around 9 am yesterday, marking the resumption of ferry services between the two terminals that were suspended in February 2020.
Ferry operator TurboJET said advance ticket sales have been satisfactory, especially over the Chinese New Year holidays and the company is now waiting until the holiday is over before deciding whether or not to increase service frequency, including night sailings, with more preparation needed before more services can return.
TurboJET currently operates 11 round trips between the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal, located at Shun Tak Centre, in Sheung Wan.
As for late-night sailing, the ferry operator will only resume services at a later stage, said Alfred Ng, director of Macao Services Division of Shun Tak China Travel Ship Management, which operates TurboJET.
“For late-night sailing, the safety requirements on the ferries are stricter. For example, there has to be one crew member dedicated to night-time lookout to assist with the sailing,” he explained.
TurboJET also promised more vessels will be put back in operation pending inspections by the maritime authorities.
Macao Government Tourism Office Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said Macao’s recent ferry resumptions, combined with the office’s buy-one-get-one-free ticket promotion, are expected to help increase the number of visitors from Hong Kong from a daily average of over 7,000 tourists to about 10,000 visitors.
She added: “But of course this is only half of the pre-pandemic [figures]. Let’s be patient,” and not expect everything in Macao to return to the pre-pandemic level, TDM reported.