Vietnam News

Vietnam’s largest high-speed vessel to suspend operations after two months

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The high-speed vessel between HCMC and Con Dao with a capacity of 1,017 passengers will suspend operation from July 29 due to “inefficiency” just two months after launching.

Phu Quoc Express Boat Company, its operator, has announced the suspension to its partners and ticket sales units. It remains unknown when the vessel will resume.

The vessel was launched on May 13 and makes three trips a week every other day.

It leaves Hiep Phuoc Port at 7 a.m. and Con Dao’s Ben Dam Port at 1 p.m.

Tickets, sold by agents and at ticket offices and websites, cost VND615,000 – 1.1 million (US$24-43) depending on ticket class and departure time.

After two weeks of operation, the number of passengers traveling on the high-speed vessel was less than 50% of capacity, due to inadequate services.

Many passengers said the services and amenities on the country’s largest passenger vessel were great but the road from downtown area to Hiep Phuoc Port where the vessel departs was far away, causing inconvenience.

Vu Van Khuong, general director of the company, previously admitted the company had difficulty in transferring passengers from the city center to Hiep Phuoc Port and the long distance had prevented passengers from using the service.

According to the operator, on weekdays the vessel carries an average of 200 passengers per trip, increasing to 600-700 people on weekends.

It has a top speed of 35 nautical miles (more than 60 km) per hour and it takes four hours to travel between HCMC and Con Dao, a tourist island off the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Situated around 230 kilometers (143 miles) southeast of HCMC, the 16-island Con Dao Archipelago used to be known for its large prison first established by the French and later used by the Americans during the Vietnam War.

Today, Con Dao has made its mark on the global tourism map for its white sandy beaches and clear blue waters.

By Gia Minh – VnExpress.net – July 9, 2024

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