As Penang is an island, the main method of arriving there are via plane or boat, although there is also a bridge. The Penang Ferry is one of the most popular ways to get to Penang, whether for a morning commute or to see some of the tourist attractions in Malaysia. The Penang Ferry takes passengers from the mainland of Malaysia to Penang Island, specifically Georgetown, at set intervals throughout the space of the day.
There are actually several ferries in Penang and each will help you arrive at various places to visit in Penang or the rest of Malaysia. The main ferry travels between Butterworth on the mainland and Georgetown in Penang. This is typically the ferry people mean if they say the Penang Ferry. Conveniently, the ferry entrance on the Butterworth side is right by the bus and train stations in Butterworth, making it easy to get there from other interesting places in Malaysia. Keep in mind that the Butterworth ferry terminal is known as Pengkalan Sultan Abdul Halim as this information can be very helpful when planning your trip via the Penang Ferry.
The Penang Ferry first started operations back in 1920 and as such, it is the oldest of all the ferry services within Malaysia. The ferry ride is around fifteen minutes and you can go as an individual passenger or take your car across as well. When the ferries first started connecting things to do in Penang with mainland Malaysia, they were betel nut orange, but now they are painted in beautiful colors and patterns. The ferries are managed by PPSB (Penang Port Sdn. Bhd.) and they have eight different ferries that make the trip several times a day, meaning that you shouldn’t ever have to wait too long.
While the Penang-Butterworth Ferry is the main one, there are also other ferries, such as those that travel to Langkawi or Medan. If you want to go to one of those destinations, you will need to do separate research.
The Jetty is where the Penang Ferry from Butterworth lands and this term also includes Weld Quay Bus Terminal, which is right next to the ferry jetty. The official name of the jetty is Pengkalan Raja Tun Uda, although most people simply refer to it as “the Jetty.”
On the left side of the Jetty you will see the clan jetties, which are historic things and one of the lesser-known places to visit in Malaysia. On the right of the Jetty, you will find the other piers within Georgetown, such as Swettenham Pier, Tanjung City Marina, and Church Street Pier.
As mentioned, you take the Penang Ferry from the jetty immediately next to Weld Quay Bus Terminal. The ferry runs between 5:30 am and 1am and the ticket price depends on whether you are a passenger or a vehicle. Adults pay RM1.20 while kids pay RM0.60 and they charge RM7.70 for cars, RM2.00 for motorbikes, and RM1.40 for bicycles.
Take care of the ferries during your trip to and from Penang. These ferries have been successfully running for decades and are the main means of connecting Penang to the rest of Malaysia. While on the ferry, do not throw anything in the water as this can damage the natural environment.