Iconic Penang Ferries Given New Life Following Retirement

The beloved Penang ferries are set to be given new life as an attraction after being withdrawn from service at the end of 2020. The five iconic heritage ferries will soon reappear in Penang waters in the form of a floating museum, two floating restaurants, and two special tourist ferries which will be docked at Tanjung City Marina near Pulau Jerejak and Swettenham Pier respectively.

On 31 December 2020, the iconic ferries which connect Penang island’s main city, George Town, to Butterworth on the Malaysian mainland were withdrawn from a service that has been in operation for more than 120 years. They have since been replaced with fast passenger ferries carrying only pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles.

The five ferries were handed over to three eligible private companies in an online ceremony on 1 July 2021 and are currently being revamped into popular tourist spots that can stimulate the state’s economy while bringing nostalgia to Penangites. While many Penangites were saddened by the retirement of the iconic ferry service, the transformation will recapture an integral part of Penang history and the essence of what makes Penang truly Penang.

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