Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomenewsThere's A JR Ferry That Sails Between Fukuoka & Busan, It Only...

There's A JR Ferry That Sails Between Fukuoka & Busan, It Only Takes 4 Hours

Fukuoka-Busan Ferry via the JR Queen Beetle

Japan and South Korea are staples when it comes to holiday destinations for Singaporeans. Very often we hit up a couple of cities within one country – but what if we told you there was an adventurous way to visit both countries in a single trip? 

Enter the Fukuoka-Busan Ferry that departs from Fukuoka, Japan, and lands you in the port city of Busan, South Korea in less than 4 hours via the JR Queen Beetle ferry. Not only will you get to admire stunning sea views along the way, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the ship’s amenities, ranging from a playground and ball pit to duty-free shopping.

Economy & Business Class tickets to the Fukuoka-Busan Ferry

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Standard Class seatsImage credit: Klook

The Economy (from S$104.05/pax) class isn’t shabby at all, granting you plush seats that are comfortable and roomy. In comparison, flights from Fukuoka to Busan generally cost S$200-S$300/pax, so you’d be saving quite a bit just by travelling via sea.

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Business Class seatsImage credit: Klook

Upgrades to Business Class (from S$166.80/pax) will get you fancier seats that are more spacious. These are reclinable for a restful nap with the ocean view right beside you. And of course, all the complimentary beverages and ice cream we mentioned above, along with access to the swanky Queen Lounge. Even then, it’s still considerably cheaper than a Fukuoka-Busan flight.

Shop & play while you’re on the ferry

Unlike air travel where you’re confined to one seat for most of the duration, the Fukuoka-Busan Ferry gives you the freedom to wander around the decks. Onboard the JR Queen Beetle, there are activities to keep the entire family entertained.

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Nursery room and playroom for kidsThe nursing room is fitted with a window, so you can gaze out into the ocean.Image credit: JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

Good news if you’ve got kids in tow: the ship’s incredibly kid-friendly, too. The last thing that travelling parents and breastfeeding mothers need to worry about is finding a private yet comfortable space to settle their tot’s needs. Head to the Nursing Room onboard to tend to your baby’s nappy time, and feed them while mom enjoys a tranquil sea view.

You won’t have to worry about your kiddos getting restless, either. Simply bring them to the Kids’ Space and let them run about and play, expending their energy in time for a good nap before reaching your destination. The playground has a climbing structure, slide, and ball pit.

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Duty-free shop outletsImage credit: JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

Didn’t do enough shopping in either Japan or Korea before you boarded the ferry to the next destination? The JR Queen Beetle allows you to continue your shopping frenzy even while you’re on the sea. 

It’s a huge plus for shopaholic travellers who are big on purchasing keepsakes to remind them of their trips – at tax-free prices, no less. The ferry has several duty-free outlets that sell everything from alcoholic beverages and skincare products to branded fashion pieces and exclusive JR Queen Beetle souvenirs. 

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Parking lots for bicyclesImage credit: JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

It’s already a headache to try and bring your bicycle on the MRT, much less onboard a ship. Unlike most ferries and cruises, the Fukuoka-Busan Ferry welcomes passengers to transport their bikes between Japan and Korea – perfect for travellers who are avid cyclists. 

Simply head to the Bicycle Parking Space and lock up your bike till disembarkation. You’ll need to reserve a spot at the time of your ferry ticket booking, and each parking space comes at an additional price of ¥1,000/bike (~S$8.97).

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Baggage lockersImage credit: JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

Speaking of setting stuff aside so you can explore freely, you can also deposit all your bags at the luggage lockers onboard. For those who don’t wish to haul their bags all around the decks, simply ask for a luggage locker from the ferry attendants. You’ll be assigned a locker number at no extra charge.

A major worry when it comes to flying – especially for budget airlines – is the baggage restrictions. The Fukuoka-Busan Ferry is chill; all passengers are allowed to bring up to 20kg of baggage, with each piece measuring up to 200cm in total dimensions – meaning the sum of the width, height, and depth.

Do take note that there’s an additional fee of ¥1,000 (~S$8.97) for bags larger than this, and the maximum baggage limit is 30kg per passenger.

Satisfy your hunger at the cafe, bar & vending machines

Don’t worry if you board the JR Queen Beetle on an empty stomach. The Fukuoka-Busan Ferry has food kiosks to quench your thirst and hunger. And a bit of tipple is what you’re after, they even serve draught beer and sake.

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Cafe & bar for Standard ClassImage credit: JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

All passengers have access to the Cafe & Bar on the 1st floor deck. Since the kiosk is open to up to a total of over 300 people at once – and there aren’t designated dining time slots like you’d find on a cruise ship – expect to wait in line. You’ll also want to chope some of the comfy tables and chairs in the shared lounge area, otherwise, feel free to fuel up back in your assigned seat.

If you’ve been wondering whether there are different tiers to the ferry tickets, here’s the deal. Economy ticket holders can enjoy all the amenities and perks we’ve mentioned thus far. But if you’ve got a Business Class ticket in hand, you’ll get to skip the main Cafe & Bar and head straight to the Queen Lounge on the 2nd floor.

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Business Class food kiosk and free vending machineImage credit: JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

Not only that, each Business Class ticket holder can redeem 2 complimentary servings of ice cream, as well as 2 glasses of either coffee, juice, or alcoholic beverages – feel free to mix and match. All you have to do is present your boarding ticket at the F&B kiosk to claim your free refreshments.

Besides the dining lounges on each floor, the JR Queen Beetle also has vending machines where you can get drinks from ¥150 (~S$1.35). Get this: Business Class ticket holders have a special vending machine in the Queen Lounge, which grants them unlimited free drinks. Indulge in all the coffee, hot cocoa, green and black tea, and lemonade that your heart desires.

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Indoor observation deckDon’t want the wind to ruin your hair? Enjoy watching the sea from indoors instead.Image credit: Yokanavi

If you’d like to give the dining queues a miss altogether, passengers will also get a gift bag on their seats with small bites, sweets, and toiletries curated among well-known Japanese and Korean brands.

Enjoying a sweet treat while taking in the sights of the surrounding countryside and islands is hard to top when you’re on a ferry. With ice cream in one hand and a glass of beer in the other, you can find seats at the indoor observation deck to enjoy the sea view from inside the JR Queen Beetle. 

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - Outdoor observation deckPassengers are allowed to take a smoke break out on this deck.Image credit: JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

Did we mention that the cruise has 3 floors in total? To get a bird’s-eye perspective of the excitement as the ship dips and dives into the water, head up to the 3rd floor. This is also a great chance to take in some fresh air and enjoy the sea breeze.

Embark on a ferry trip from Japan to Korea

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - JR Queen Beetle counter ticketImage credit: @hyamanepiano via X

Those setting sail from Fukuoka will board the JR Queen Beetle at the Hakata Port International Terminal. Meanwhile, those boarding from Busan need to get to the Busan Port International Terminal. Whichever it may be, plan to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of boarding as you’ll need to fill in an Embarkation Form at the terminal.

Fukuoka Busan Ferry - JR Queen BeetleImage credit: Klook

The Fukuoka-Busan Ferry is ideal for frequent flyers who’d like to try a new and different form of travel. Not only do you get to continue your Japan getaway with a Korea trip – or vice versa – you get to take things slow with a scenic sea voyage instead. And isn’t that what a vacation is all about?

You’ll also get to roam around and fill the travel time with retail therapy to keep you busy. The little ones will also appreciate being able to frolic in the playground instead of being glued to an iPad. So if ever you’re journeying between Fukuoka and Busan, give the JR Queen Beetle a try.

Find out more about the Fukuoka-Busan Ferry

For more ferry and cruise guides:49-day Singapore cruise to Florida12-night Singapore to Tokyo cruiseLongest cruises from SingaporePanstar Dream cruise from Osaka to Busan

Cover image adapted from: JR Kyushu Jet FerryAvatar

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