The Pazhou Ferry Terminal in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, begins operation on Thursday. It runs two lines linking the Guangdong capital with Hong Kong. (PHOTO / CHINA NEWS SERVICE)

With the sound of a siren, the high-speed passenger ferry Haizhuhu, named after Haizhu Lake, left Pazhou Ferry Terminal for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Thursday morning, marking the official opening of the new ferry terminal in the downtown area of Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Haizhuhu, which carried 60 passengers, arrived at the China Hong Kong City terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui in about two hours, accelerating the connectivity among major cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, according to a statement released by Guangzhou Customs on Friday.

Located in Guangzhou's busy Haizhu district, Pazhou Ferry Terminal of the Pearl River is the only cross-border water passenger transport port in the downtown area of the southern metropolis, and its operation will help boost the construction of a modern comprehensive transportation system in the GBA.

Located on the south bank of the Pearl River, Haizhu district, where the China Import and Export Fair complex is located, has become one of the major convention and exhibition centers in the country.

In addition to direct ferry routes to Hong Kong's downtown area, Pazhou Ferry Terminal has also opened a ferry service to Hong Kong's international airport.

The terminal plans to launch ferry services to the Macao Special Administrative Region, located at the western edge of the mouth of the Pearl River, to meet the demands in the following months, the statement said.

The operation of the ferry terminal will help fill gaps in the high-speed passenger ferry routes from Guangzhou's downtown area to Hong Kong and Macao and it is sure to become another new transportation hub, it said.

According to customs statistics, the daily average number of passengers transiting through Pazhou Ferry Terminal reached more than 300 during the May Day holiday, with the peak on April 29, when more than 400 inbound and outbound passengers were recorded.

The customs department has handled 55 inbound and outbound ships and over 3,500 inbound and outbound passengers since the terminal's trial operation began on April 14.