GEORGE TOWN: The days of Pulau Pinang, Pulau Undan and Pulau Talang-Talang crossing the channel from the island to the mainland are over.
Instead, Penangites can now look forward to rides on Teluk Bahang and Teluk Kumbar.
Four new ferries for the channel crossing are due to arrive sometime between June and August but photos of one of the ferries – Teluk Bahang – have already gone viral.
The ferry was unveiled at a shipyard in Haiphong, Vietnam. It has the name Teluk Bahang, Penang imprinted on the side.
It has been learnt that a second vessel would be called Teluk Kumbar.
The names of the other two have not been released. The viral photos have piqued the curiosity of social media users and many are excited.
However, there were those concerned that this would mean the iconic old ferries with the “Pulau” prefix, which carried both pedestrians and vehicles, may never return.
“Penang iconic ferry still best,” said Eugene Chin on Facebook while Shrees Arts commented: “Congrats ferry pinang.”
A spokesman for Penang Port Sdn Bhd said the new vessel, the first of four commissioned, would arrive between June and August.
“It will undergo tests on the water in Vietnam before (being sent to) Penang where it will be tested again before starting service.
“The rest of the vessels will arrive in stages,” the spokesman added.
The old double-decker ferries were retired in 2021 because of the high maintenance cost.