▲ A new ferry between Jeju and Jeollanam-do provides a quicker, less expensive mode of bringing a vehicle to the island. Photo courtesy JH Ferry
To discover the hidden wonders of Jeju and appreciate them properly, you need a car. If you are a casual visitor, that car will usually be rented.
But rental cars are often dirty and sometimes stink of cigarettes. In addition, you are unlikely to feel completely comfortable driving a car you rented just that morning. By the time you become accustomed to the unique habits of the car, it will probably be time to turn it in and head back to the airport.
The best way to avoid this often uncomfortable experience is to bring your own car to the island. Several ferry services from Mokpo, Busan and Wando will ship your car to Jeju but the journey takes more than five hours and the cost is usually more than 250,000 won. Unless you stay on the island more than a week, driving your own car in the island is a luxury only available for the wealthy.
Beginning July 2, however, the Orange, a new high-speed ferry service between Jeju and Jeollanam-do, has changed that paradigm. The ferry cuts down the journey from the current five hours to less than two and shaves the shipping cost for cars to as low as 96,000 won per return trip. If travelers plan to stay on the island more than two days, it is a much cheaper (and potentially faster, depending on your departing city) alternative to conventional travel packages that combine flights and rental cars.
The Orange cruises at 40 knots per hour and links the ports of Noryuk, Jangheung, and Seongsan, Jeju, in 100 minutes, making it the fastest sea link between Jeju and the mainland. The 2,400 ton twin-hull boat was used to cross the Dover Strait in Britain before it ended up in Korea and can seat up to 560 passengers and carry 70 vehicles.
Repainted in Korea an orange (or tangerine) color, possibly to signify its dedication to Jeju, the Orange will depart from Jangheung everyday at 8:40 a.m. and 3:10 p.m. and return from Seongsan at 12 noon and 6:30 p.m.
Liberated from the burden of rental car costs that increase every day, travelers tend to stay longer on the island when they drive their own cars. Coupled with its reduced journey time at sea, the Orange has the potential to increase the average number of nights that a traveler stays on Jeju.
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