The recently renovated Mariera is up and running with voyages around Hakata Bay every noon, afternoon, and evening. Fukuoka Now interns Fabien (France) and Fern (England) went for a cruise one clear afternoon to enjoy this beautiful vessel and great sights of the city!
The 40 meter long ship sets sail from Hakata Futo Terminal by Hakata Bayside three times a day with cruises at 12:00, 16:25, and 19:00. Boarding entry to the 600 person-capacity vessel costs ¥2,000 on the lunch- and twilight-time cruises, and is ¥2,500 for the 19:00 dinner-time voyage. With over ¥200 million spent on its recent refit, the ship has a slick, nautical interior and two restaurants over the first two floors crowned by an open bar on the top deck. A great array of reasonably priced snacks and drinks, as well as a range of delicious dining options, are available. The buffet in the first floor cafe ‘The Ocean’ will set you back ¥5,000 at lunch and ¥6,500 on the dinner cruise. At ‘The View’ restaurant on the second floor, a mouth-watering choice of world, continental, and French cuisines are available. Ranging from ¥6,000 to ¥9,000 at lunch and ¥8,500 to ¥12,500 in the evening, these beautifully rich set menus change each season. All prices for set courses include boarding fees.
Those looking for a private dining experience can also pay to use the exclusive veranda room facing out from the stern or the separate party room adjacent to ‘The View’. Rental prices for these spaces range from ¥1,000 to ¥10,000 depending on the level of privacy selected.
The cruise takes passengers for a delightful tour of the harbor, past Fukuoka Tower, the Yahuoku Dome and Momochihama, and out to Nokonoshima. Great views of these Fukuoka landmarks can be enjoyed at all times of the day, but are particularly stunning during the sunset on dinner cruises setting off at 19:00.
Comfortable sofas and tables dot the top deck, providing the perfect spot from which to sip a glass of something cold and enjoy the view! If the weather turns bad, there are also plentiful indoor spaces from which to appreciate the journey. Moreover, the stability of the ship throughout makes it a very pleasant experience for all, including any potential seasickness sufferers.
The Mariera is perfect for people of all ages and stages, from families with children through to couples. There are pirate outfits available to borrow on the top deck which will delight adventurous little ones enjoying the voyage.
The romantic atmosphere of a drink at the bar with the sea breeze in your hair is also perfect for dates or anniversaries.
Anyone looking to tie the knot or celebrate a big party should also consider chartering the Mariera for the occasion!
With boarding announcements in English, easy access at Hakata Bayside, wonderful views of the city, and beautiful new facilities, what’s not to love about a cruise around the harbour on the Mariera?
• Open: 9:30 to 18:00 (Mon. Sat.) / 10:30 to 18:00 (Sun.)
• Closed: Irregular
• Address: 13-6 Chikko-honmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-751-7171 (Japanese only) / 092-687-4526 (English available)
• Boarding ticket only: ¥2,160 (lunch and twilight), ¥2,700 (dinner)
• Dining ticket (includes boarding fee): Lunch: ¥5,400~¥9,720, dinner: ¥7,020~¥13,500
• Cruise times: 12:00 (lunch), 16:25 (twilight), 19:00 (dinner)
Original report by Fern Brereton and Fabien Mizart for Fukuoka Now (July 2017).