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April 29, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Creek cruise has a way to go

SUZHOU Creek cruise, affording views of historic and modern buildings on both sides of the river, had its maiden voyage yesterday.

It wasn't totally smooth sailing.

The 10-kilometer route runs from the Danba Road Dock to Moganshan Road Dock in Putuo District, winding its way under 12 bridges and passing historical buildings like the former Shanghai Flour Co.

Unfortunately, it's hard for passengers to reach the Danba Road Dock starting point by public transport. There were no buses or Metro within a 1-kilometer walk. And Guangfu Road W. connecting Danba Road is still under repair, requiring a detour.

Most passengers yesterday arrived at the dock by taxi or drove there themselves.

Shen, an official with the water police station, noted that there were no safety measures and emergency response system on the boat.

Only the captain himself drives the 10-seat small boat, no other sailor. It's one of three small boats in the six-boat cruise fleet.

"If a passenger falls into the water, who will save him?" asked Shen. Facing the question, a captain who refused to reveal his name answered with an awkward smile.

In addition, the captain admitted that they are not equipped with walkie-talkies, considered important in the ship business.

"We only contact each other by cell phone," the captain said.

Happily, there are no more jolts and soakings from the splash of passing boats, which many passengers complained during the trial runs last September. On the other hand, there is no air-conditioning in the enclosed passenger compartment.

The cruise service will make two round trips every day between 9am and 4pm, with evening trips planned for the summer.

One-way trips cost 50 yuan (US$7.30). Round trips, 80 yuan.


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