10

Seat 61 has a page on ferries between Taiwan and China.

A promising option is the SeaCat between Keelung Taipei and Pingtan. It should be priced from $2,500 NTD and take three hours.

But the website linked to from Seat 61 seems more like a squatted site full of generic Chinese or Taiwanese tourism info. I can't find any information on it about the ferry, not even the Chinese word for ferry: "渡船".

This makes me worry that the ferry may have gone out of business, and some site squatting company has taken over their page.

I tried Googling for the ferry but mainly find articles announcing it first going into service a few years ago and not much useful more recent info.

Then again the site was known not to have English and could just be badly designed. Or their old site could've got taken over by squatters even though the ferry is still in business if the company has no clue about the internet.


UPDATE

I worked out that the Chinese name of the ferry company is 海峡高速 (Haixia Gaosu) "Strait High-speed", which is much more amenable to Googling. I have now contributed an answer below.

  • 2
    Are you near enough to go down and have a look? – CMaster Oct 28 '16 at 12:24
  • No I'm in Yilan. Also I couldn't find cheap enough accommodation in Keelung so I'll stay in Taipei again. I have asked a friend in Keelung if he can help my find out though so if nobody else finds the answer I surely will soon and will post it (-: – hippietrail Oct 28 '16 at 12:27
  • 1
    Via the Polish Wikitravel I found a link to this global ferry booking site where it lists the connection but the interface also gives: "There are currently no timetables available for routes selected". At this point you might not want to rely on that option of transport anymore. Can you ask locals to have a look into it? – mts Oct 28 '16 at 13:06
  • Is this what you have been looking for? – mts Oct 28 '16 at 15:06
  • 1
    See whether this would work for you on AmoyTrip which is showing bookings from tomorrow, 29 Oct 2016, forward. It's a travel agency which has an online booking tool. – Giorgio Oct 28 '16 at 15:13
6

Yes the ferry is still in operation. They have changed their website address and Seat 61 only has the old address, which seems to have been squatted.

The Chinese name of CSF is 海峽高速 (Haixia Gaosu) "Strait High-speed" and it is much more amenable to Googling.

The new website is at www.taiwancsf.com and is still only in Chinese but does seem to be working. It includes current pricing and timetables. (They also have a Facebook page.)

What's unclear: It had seemed to me that the cheapest price has increased to $2,800 NTD but if you don't buy at least three days in advance, you have to buy at the wharf where the price for the same ticket is $3,500 NTD.
But now it seems these two prices are for 60-day open tickets vs 90-day open tickets. I have to check the website translations and clarify this point.

They also have an office in Taipei. The address is:

104 台北市中山區松江路315號7樓
7th Floor, 315 Songjiang Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City

Translation by Google, wrangled by yours truly (-:


The manager of the hostel called the Taipei office for me. If there were no language problems, the office is open until 6pm even on Sundays and does sell the tickets.

  • 4
    Don't forget to drop Mark (the man in Seat 61) a quick email, so he can update the site for future visitors! – Gagravarr Oct 29 '16 at 13:43
  • @Gagravarr: I do intend to. First I'm trying to find out where in Pingtan I actually end up! – hippietrail Oct 29 '16 at 14:01
3

Try: http://www.chinacsf.com/

Unfortunately it is entirely in Chinese (the "English" link doesn't work), but it does show fares and schedules through the end of this year. You can muddle your way through it using Google translate, but better to have someone who can read Chinese to help you.

  • 1
    There is an announcement on that page that the ferry was cancelled on 20 Oct due to high winds and waves. So we can presume it still runs generally. – neubau Oct 29 '16 at 3:08
3

There's a Taipei Port to Pingtan ferry. We took it earlier today at 9am. It leaves from the port to the west of Taipei (rather than the old Keelung port to the north).

Buying tickets: we asked a Chinese friend to book, although I've heard you can book through their central Taipei office. It also looked like you can buy at the terminal.

Travel to port: we took a taxi from Tamsui (stayed overnight there) as it's not linked that well to public transport. There is a bus service you can take - see CSF website (the ferry operator) for details.

Collecting tickets/customs/check-in: all in the same building in the port. Here's the plus code of the building entrance - 592R+55 Taipei, Taiwan. Direct your taxi there. There are some big "Departure" signs up once you enter port area.

You then get a shuttle bus to the ferry itself.

Ferry was really choppy. Staff were going around with sick bags and lots of people were sick - so beware if you get sea sick! No food on sale so bring lunch.

Shuttle bus to Fuzhou: CSF operate a shuttle bus to Fuzhou city centre although you have to pre book - you can buy at the Taipei terminal I think. It didn't seem like we could buy it at Pingtan. We didn't realise this and were lucky one of the other passengers persuaded the driver to let us on without a ticket.

N.b. Seems like they aren't used to Western passengers - the immigration staff at Pingtan made us pose for photos with them and they gave us gifts! Was a bit odd but fun - they were all very friendly.

1

Yes the ferry is still going. If you go to the office go to the 5th floor where a really nice woman helped me a lot. And even though on the day nobody spoke English they still managed with the help of the office computer ;)

I will go on the 3rd of February and will send photos and report to seat61 ;)

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