Your Ultimate Guide To Penang Ferry Service In 2021


Cheng Sim •  Feb 22, 2021

Update: From 1 July to 31 December 2021, pedestrians can enjoy free rides on Penang Ferry Service (Fast Ferry)

There are many reasons why Malaysians love planning a trip to Penang. Situated on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Penang is packed with delicious halal street food, exciting things to do, and Instagrammable spots. If you're hoping to visit Penang once the situation gets better in Malaysia, we recommend taking their famous ferry service!

Penang Ferry Service

Credit: Qaedi Shamsuddin on Flickr

Known as the oldest ferry service in Malaysia, the Penang Ferry Service has been an important public transport service for the locals since 1894. If you're planning to explore the Penang mainland and island in a single trip, the ferry service is one of the best methods of transportation as it connects Butterworth (Penang mainland) and Georgetown (Penang island). Currently, there are two types of ferries available: Pulau Angsa Ferry and Fast Ferry.

Getting to Penang via Pulau Angsa Ferry

Credit: Qaedi Shamsuddin on Flickr

Built in 1981, Pulau Angsa ferry is one of the two vehicle-carrying ferries in Penang. Known as one of Penang's iconic symbols, this ferry transports cars, motorcycles and pedestrians from the mainland to the island. Over the years, the ferry has dealt with frequent breakdowns and high maintenance cost and that ultimately, led to the introduction of Fast Ferry to replace this great Penang icon.

As of 1 January 2021, the Pulau Angsa ferry no longer transports pedestrians, but only accept two-wheelers such as motorcycles and bicycles to prioritize the safety and comfort of its passengers. Car users are encouraged to use the Penang Bridge and Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Bridge (second Penang bridge) to travel between the Penang mainland and island.

According to New Straits Times, Penang will receive two vehicle transporters by July 2022 that could retire Pulau Angsa's ferries for good.  However, in order to preserve the heritage and historical value of Pulau Angsa ferry, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has proposed converting the old Penang ferries into floating restaurants, museums or tourist cruises.

Getting to Penang via Fast Ferry

Launched on 1 January 2021, the Penang Port Commission introduced the Fast Ferry to implement safer and faster ferry service in Penang. The Fast Ferry is only available for pedestrians, and it can cater up to 200 passengers per trip. Passengers on motorcycles and bicycles can continue taking the Pulau Angsa ferry whereas car users can use the Penang Bridge and Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Bridge (second Penang bridge)

Where to take the Fast Ferry in Penang?

  • Passengers from Georgetown (Penang island) will embark from Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal and disembark at ferry terminal Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (Penang mainland).
  • Passengers from Butterworth will embark from ferry terminal Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (Penang mainland) and disembark at Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (Penang island)

What are the operating hours for the Fast Ferry? 

  • The Fast Ferry operates from 6.30AM until 11.30PM daily

How much is the Fast Ferry fare?

  • The ticket price for the Fast Ferry is RM1.20per adult and RM0.60 per child or individual with special needs

How long is the trip on the Fast Ferry?

  • The trip duration for Fast Ferry is 30 minutes per trip

If you're planning to take the ferry service in Penang, we hope this transport guide will be useful for your future getaways to the Pearl of the Orient!