Amphibious bus tours in Busan may be introduced next year

Image: City of Busan
Image: City of Busan

Amphibious bus tours in Busan may be introduced next year

haps Korea Magazine

An amphibious bus – capable of operating on land as well as in the water – may make its debut in Busan next year.

Aiming to boost maritime tourism, the city of Busan plans to launch the beginning of its sea tourism plans on the Haeundae Line, which will operate between Gwangalli and Haeundae.

It is expected that tourists will be eager to witness and try out a unique, versatile vehicle aimed at revitalizing the tourism industry.

The city of Busan announced last week that it held a meeting for the final report on the demand for services to establish a feasibility study for the introduction of Busan maritime tourism and establish an action plan.

At this final briefing session, the route map, profitability, and the introduction plan of Busan’s maritime tourism such as amphibious buses, sea taxis, and sea buses were presented in detail.

Here’s a look at what plans have been mentioned so far.

Amphibious Bus Plans

The amphibious bus route, which is likely to be introduced next year, connects Haeundae and the main tourist bases in the Nakdong River area.

The Haeundae route is divided into a total of 23km, approximately 17km on land and 6km on the water.

Suyeong Bay Yacht Stadium, where the ticket office is located, would be the start of the course which includes passing by the Busan Museum of Art, Haeundae-ro, Park Hyatt Busan, Suyeong River, Haeundae Movie Street, Dongbaek Intersection, Gwangan Beach, and the Olympic Dongsan Intersection before returning to the ticket office.

After the amphibious bus passes by the Park Hyatt Busan it would enter the water at the yacht center and sail to Suyeong Bridge, return to the yacht center and come out on land. The total running time is 60 to 70 minutes.

A second route which is planned is the Nakdong River route, with a total of 16km is about 8km on land and 8km on the sea route.

It is planned to run from Gupo Station, Samrak Ecological Park, Samrak Wetland Ecological Park, Samrak Water Leisure Sports Town, Nakdong River, Four Seasons Park, Folk Playground, and Hwamyeong Ecological Park Ticket Office to the mooring area of Buk-gu Water Leisure Sports Town where the ticket office is located.

The amphibious bus would be taken from Samrak Water Leisure Sports Town by river and then exits Hwamyeong Water Leisure Sports Town on land. The total running time is 60 minutes.

Marine Taxis and Marine Buses

Two routes for marine taxis and marine buses have been mentioned — an East Route and West Route.

The detailed planned route map of the East route is Busan Station, National Maritime Museum, Oryukdo, Gwangalli, Suyeong River, Haeundae, Gijang-gun, and Dongam Port at the Osiria Tourism Complex.

The West route starts at Busan Station and goes to the South Port Fish Market, Songdo, Gamcheon Port area, Eulsukdo Island, and Saha-gu before eventually going to Gadeok New Airport in the future.

Six additional terminals will be installed on both routes which will include a ticket office.

When, or if, can we expect to ride them

After checking the economic feasibility of the plans, the city of Busan is planning to proceed step by step, starting with profitable routes, in order to increase awareness of maritime transportation while minimizing the deficit.

The city will likely first introduce the Haeundae route for amphibious buses and the East route for marine buses and marine taxis, possibly next year.

Expectations for this mode of transportation are high, and it is hoped it will lead to the development of more experiential tourism products, promising a one-of-a-kind experience for all.

The city has been planning to run this program since 2015.

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