Full article: https://maritimebulletin.net/2019/01/30/eec-and-sattahip-port-development-thailand/

A plan for passenger ferries from Sattahip, near Pattaya, to Koh Chang was announced, and then shelved last year.  But a maritime journalist posted some interesting findings after a recent press tour of the facilities by the Thai government, who were showcasing plans for the Eastern Economic Corridor project.  An excerpt is below, the interesting thing is the expansion to now include vehicle ferries to Koh Chang and also Samui.


Of Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme, three projects are interesting, and potentially important, for merchant shipping:

1. Thailand’s main trade gate, Laem Chabang port (plus Koh Sichang island Anchorage) – undergoing Phase 3 of its expansion, to increase containers turnover to more than 18 million TEU per year, and export cars to 3 million per year.

2. Map Ta Put Industrial port

3. Sattahip Commercial Port (or Chuk Samet Port) Development – to develop into mainly, tourists transportation hub, as a solution to tourists transportation flows to resorts of Koh Samui, Hua Hin – both on western coast of Gulf of Siam; and southeastern famous resort islands of Trat Province, such as Koh Chang, Koh Kud, Koh Mak. Also, Port is already handling multipurpose cargo ships and tankers.

Sattahip initially was, and still is, Naval Base, with 3 front piers being Naval only. Port and Project in general, are managed by Navy Command (including Project financing), with plans, later, to hand over civil facilities management to private companies.
The Sattahip Commercial Port Development Plan embraces 13 Projects, of which most interesting seem to be the Projects of constructing ferry and cruise ships piers and terminals, in conjunction with the construction of high-speed train, connecting 3 airports – Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, and U-Tapao former Air Force Base near Sattahip and Pattaya.

There will be two ferry piers at Sattahip, and passenger terminal. Deep-water pier which is handling tankers now, will be converted into passenger pier to receive cruise ships, a special short-cut highway will be built to connect pier directly to national highways and high-speed train.

Depth at cargo handling piers No. 4 and 5 will be deepened from present 9.5 meters to 11-14 meters. Piers will be handling mostly multipurpose geared cargo ships, no gantry cranes planned, because overall, that cargo handling section of Sattahip is mostly, auxiliary, the core of the project being ferry and cruise piers and terminals.

Ro-ro and passenger ferries are to connect Sattahip with three destination, all three being most popular resort areas: Koh Samui and Hua Hin along southwest and west coast of Gulf of Siam, and famous Trat Province islands – Koh Chang, Koh Kood, Koh Mak. With high-speed train, U-Tapao Airport fully operative, and ferries capable of transporting cars, buses and vehicles, it will be a tremendous achievement, solving, in the foreseen future, the transportation problems of tourists going to those resorts.

As of now, it’s rather bothersome, time and efforts consuming undertaking, any time, peak season or doldrums, simply because transportation facilities are limited, it’s either bus, or in case of Koh Samui, flight option.
There’s operating ferry line between Pattaya (Bali Hai Pier) and Hua Hin, but it’s mostly, auxiliary, it’s not a major connection line.  Sattahip Commercial Port Development Project is to be completed by 2022.

U-Tapao Airport is to be quite an important part of the whole EEC Plan, it’s already operative and developing fast, with construction works all around. As of now, there’s only one commercial flight to U-Tapao, the rest being tourists charter flights, but that will change soon, especially when Sattahip ferries lines will become operative. U-Tapao will unburden passengers flows in main Thailand Airport Suvarnabhumi, and secondary Airport in Bangkok, Don Muang, by taking on part of tourists heading for Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Trat Islands.

Ferries from Sattahip to Koh Chang and Samui



Pattaya (Sattahip) to Koh Chang High Speed Ferry

February 2018 – In 2017 a service was announced and a trial run took place from Pattaya to Koh Chang.  But this service appears to be on hold indefinitely as there isn’t a suitable pier on Koh Chang.   A new pier was announced by the Thai Prime Minister on his visit to Koh Chang, but no details about the proposed location or when (if) construction will begin.

Royal Passenger Liner Co., Ltd, a private business controlled by the Thai government announced plans for a high speed passenger ferry from Sattahip to Koh Chang.  Sattahip is a naval base around 45 minutes drive from  Pattaya and also home to Utapao Airport.  They currently operate a service across the Gulf of Thailand from Bali Hai pier, Pattaya to Hua Hin .  This takes around 2 and  half hours.

Sattahip to Bangbao pier, Koh Chang is expected to take around 4 hours.  The service was scheduled to begin in May 2017.  However, to date there haven’t been any official announcements of when test runs will take place or when services will begin.

The service uses reconditioned Chinese vessels that used to operate in the Guangzhou  –  Shenzhen delta area.

Pattaya to Koh Chang Vehicle Ferry Being Planned