All aboard on Prague's new ferry link
Visitors often admire Prague's integrated public transport system. But it doesn't just include trams, buses and the metro - your 20-crown ticket is also good for a number of ferries in the Czech capital. Tuesday saw the launch of a brand new ferry service across the Vltava. Radio Prague's Rosie Johnston was there for the good ship Josefina's first crossing, and has the story:
The ferry goes every half an hour from the stops Lihovar to Veslarsky Ostrov, though if you get there late and miss the boat, then you can always give the captain a call, says Knapp, and they will come over to pick you up at no extra expense. The ferry runs from six in the morning to ten at night, and is aimed, in particular, at commuters. But on its first outing, it seemed to impress a younger audience too:
This is not the first ferry of its kind in Prague. In June, a ferry link between Charles Bridge and Mala Strana was introduced, though this was specifically aimed at tourists, and a ticket to ride costs 15 times the amount of one for the Josefina. Every summer a ferry links Prague Zoo up with Podbaba, in the north of the city, as well. All of these routes were served by ferries in the past, but one by one, they all died out.
"I think first and foremost, this is a service for Prague residents, because they are really the ones that have been asking for such a service. We rent boats already here, a lot of people have been coming to us and asking us to take them to the other side. So, we are aiming this at people from Prague 4 and Prague 5 especially. But of course, if a tourist comes along, we are not going to have a problem with that at all. Most of our clients will most likely be from Prague though."
"Well, I have been missing just this sort of connection for quite some time, really, because I live in Barrandov here, and it is quite natural to want to cross over to Podoli to go to the swimming pool, or Zlute Lazne [a summer bathing spot]. As far as I remember, this business started last year, this boat hire here, and as far as I'm concerned this is a very useful expansion."
Just looking at poor little Josefina though, begs the question, how would she bear up in a storm?
"We are running this service until October, but we will wait and see the feedback from our customers and then decide whether to run the service all year round or not. The only problem for us is when it floods. Obviously, when there are floods, we have to close our service down. But a bit of rain, or the cold weather, doesn't affect us at all."