On March 17, 2021, the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) approved high-speed passenger ship “RIKULAU’s” application to conduct trial voyages along two newly added routes, "Budai Port-Kinmen Port" and "Magong Port-Kinmen Port." In the future, the ship will be able to assist in the evacuation of passengers detained at Kinmen Airport due to the suspension of aircraft takeoffs and landings. Consequently, travelers will be able to return to Kinmen or back to the main island of Taiwan for holidays smoothly.
The MPB stated that as there are no operators in the Kinmen area offering liner service to the main island of Taiwan, passengers are often stranded during fog season each year when visibility at the airport is lowered due to dense fog, aircraft takeoff and landing is suspended, and the airport is temporarily closed. To ensure smooth and uninterrupted travel between the main and offshore islands and in accordance with the “Regulations of Compensation and Supervision for Designated ROC Vessel Carriers Conducting Passenger and Cargo Transportation in Specific Routes,” the MPB has announced that vessel carriers who apply to perform marine evacuation for the "Taichung-Kinmen" route when Kinmen Airport is closed due to heavy fog will be compensated. Currently, this task has been assigned to the "KING MEN EXPRESS LINER" and "HO FU EXPRESS." After the "RIKULAU" high-speed passenger ship passes its trial voyage, it will join in conducting marine evacuation for the "Budai Port-Kinmen Port" and "Magong Port-Kinmen Port” routes. This will greatly increase the marine evacuation capacity of Kinmen Airport during heavy fog.
The high-speed passenger ship "RIKULAU," with a gross tonnage of 916, a length of 49.9 meters, and a width of 13.3 meters, has a capacity of 552 passengers and can travel at a maximum speed of 40 knots. It is resistant to winds of Force 7 on the Beaufort scale and wave heights of 4.5 meters, and features a "hull stabilization system" that can reduce the dizziness of passengers while sailing. The interior of the ship provides passengers with a high-quality seating environment while the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system operating throughout the ship offers up to 5 times the air exchange rate compared to non-ventilated vessels. The system effectively improves indoor ventilation and reduces indoor humidity as well as bacteria concentration and carbon dioxide levels, thus greatly enhancing cabin comfort.
The MPB explained that operators who apply to undertake new routes must undergo strict navigation safety inspections as high-speed ships sail at a fast speed. Operators are also required to conduct trial voyages in accordance with the applied routes and operational planning. In addition, the MPB will engage experts and scholars to participate in the trial voyages and verify operator compliance, thereby ensuring navigation safety when the routes become operational.
Contact person: Wu, Yu-Ling, Senior Executive Officer, South Maritime Affairs Center
Contact number: +886-6-3000271