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Location: Hong Kong

Star Ferry

The Star Ferry is more than just a mode of transportation in Hong Kong. It’s a historic icon and a beloved experience for both locals and tourists. For over 100 years, the Star Ferry has been crossing Victoria Harbour, connecting Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. This blog will guide you through everything you need to know about the Star Ferry, making your visit to Hong Kong unforgettable.

Table of Contents

A Brief History of the Star Ferry

Over 100 Years of Service

The Star Ferry has been operating since 1888. Founded by a Parsee merchant named Dorabjee Naorojee, it began with just one boat. Today, it’s a vital part of Hong Kong’s public transportation system.

A Historic Icon

The ferry service has witnessed Hong Kong’s transformation over the last century. It played a crucial role during the city’s rapid growth and continues to be an integral part of daily life.

Why Ride the Star Ferry?

Scenic Views of Victoria Harbour

The ferry ride offers stunning views of Victoria Harbour. Whether it’s daytime or nighttime, the scenery is always spectacular.

A Glimpse of the Hong Kong Skyline

The ferry provides one of the best views of the iconic Hong Kong skyline. The towering skyscrapers and vibrant city lights create a breathtaking sight.

Planning Your Trip

Routes and Schedules

The Star Ferry runs two main routes: Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and Tsim Sha Tsui to Wan Chai. Each route offers frequent service, making it convenient for travelers.

Ticket Prices

The ferry is one of the most affordable ways to travel between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. A single ride costs just a few Hong Kong dollars.

Boarding the Star Ferry

Star Ferry Piers

There are two main piers: the Star Ferry Pier in Central and the one in Tsim Sha Tsui. Both piers are easily accessible and well-signposted.

Buying Tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the pier or using the Octopus Card, Hong Kong’s convenient electronic payment system.

The Ferry Ride Experience

Upper Deck vs. Lower Deck

The Star Ferry has two decks. The upper deck offers better views and more comfort. The lower deck is cheaper but still provides great views.

Capturing the Perfect Photo

The best photos are taken from the upper deck. Aim for a spot near the front of the ferry to capture both the harbour and the skyline.

Attractions Near the Star Ferry Piers

Central Pier Attractions

Near the Central Pier, you can visit the IFC Mall, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, and various dining options.

Tsim Sha Tsui Attractions

In Tsim Sha Tsui, explore the Avenue of Stars, the Hong Kong Space Museum, and the bustling Nathan Road.

Nighttime Experience

Symphony of Lights

One of the best times to ride the Star Ferry is during the Symphony of Lights. This nightly show features synchronized lights and music, illuminating the skyline.

Night Markets

After your ferry ride, explore the nearby night markets in Tsim Sha Tsui. They offer a vibrant shopping experience and delicious street food.

Connecting to Other Destinations

Easy Access to Hong Kong Disneyland

The Star Ferry makes it easy to reach other attractions like Hong Kong Disneyland. From Central Pier, take the MTR to Sunny Bay and transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line.

Wan Chai Hotels and Attractions

The ferry to Wan Chai is convenient if you’re staying at hotels in the area. Wan Chai also offers a range of dining and entertainment options.

Tips for Riding the Star Ferry

Best Times to Ride

For the best experience, avoid rush hours. Mid-morning and late afternoon provide the best light for photos and fewer crowds.

Weather Considerations

Check the weather before your trip. While the ferry operates in most conditions, clear weather offers the best views.

The Star Ferry’s Role in Public Transportation

Integration with Other Services

The Star Ferry integrates seamlessly with other public transportation in Hong Kong, including buses, trams, and the MTR.

Environmental Initiatives

The Star Ferry is committed to reducing its environmental impact. The company has implemented various green initiatives, including cleaner engines and reduced emissions.

woman in green shirt and black pants standing near green and white food stall
Photo by Derek Tang on Unsplash

Personal Stories and Experiences

A Day in the Life of a Commuter

For many locals, the Star Ferry is a daily commute. It’s a cherished routine that offers a moment of calm in a busy city.

Tourist Adventures

Tourists often share stories of their first Star Ferry ride. The combination of historic charm and modern convenience makes it a memorable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the ferry ride?

The ride takes about 10 minutes, but it’s packed with scenic beauty.

Is the ferry accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the Star Ferry is accessible, with ramps and assistance available for those in need.

Can I take luggage on the ferry?

Small luggage is allowed, but for larger items, it’s best to check with the staff.

Star Ferry as a Cultural Experience

Symbol of Hong Kong

The Star Ferry is not just a transportation mode; it’s a cultural icon. It symbolizes Hong Kong’s heritage and resilience.

Film and Literature

The ferry has been featured in numerous films and books, capturing the essence of Hong Kong’s bustling harbour life.

Dining Near the Star Ferry Piers

Central Pier Dining Options

Around Central Pier, you’ll find a variety of dining options. From high-end restaurants in the IFC Mall to casual eateries, there’s something for every taste.

Tsim Sha Tsui Dining Delights

Tsim Sha Tsui offers a plethora of dining experiences. From local dim sum restaurants to international cuisine, the area is a food lover’s paradise.

Shopping Around the Star Ferry Piers

Central Pier Shopping

The IFC Mall near Central Pier is a premier shopping destination. It features luxury brands, local boutiques, and everything in between.

Tsim Sha Tsui Shopping

Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui is famous for its shopping. You’ll find everything from high-end fashion to unique souvenirs.

a colorful boat is docked in the water
Photo by Cheung Yin on Unsplash

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Chinese New Year Celebrations

During Chinese New Year, the Star Ferry and Victoria Harbour come alive with decorations and festivities. It’s a vibrant time to visit.

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival features lantern displays and mooncakes. The views from the ferry during this festival are especially enchanting.

Exploring Beyond the Ferry Ride

Day Trips from Central Pier

From Central Pier, you can take day trips to nearby islands like Lamma Island and Cheung Chau. These trips offer a peaceful escape from the city.

Cultural Sites Near Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui is home to several cultural sites, including the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Environmental and Community Initiatives

Star Ferry’s Green Efforts

The Star Ferry is committed to sustainability. The company has upgraded its fleet with eco-friendly engines and implements practices to reduce pollution.

Supporting the Local Community

The Star Ferry supports local communities through various initiatives. These include educational programs and partnerships with local charities.

star ferry
Star Ferry, Hong Kong” by David Guyler is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Memorable Moments on the Star Ferry

Romantic Rides

Many couples choose the Star Ferry for romantic rides, especially during sunset. The serene journey across the harbour is a perfect setting for romance.

Family Fun

Families enjoy the Star Ferry for its convenience and scenic views. It’s a fun and educational experience for children.

Practical Information for Travelers

Using the Octopus Card

The Octopus Card is a convenient way to pay for the Star Ferry. It’s a rechargeable smart card that can be used on most public transport in Hong Kong.

Both Central and Tsim Sha Tsui piers are well-signposted. Information boards and helpful staff ensure you can navigate easily.

Final Tips for an Unforgettable Ride

Timing Your Visit

Plan your visit to coincide with special events like Symphony of Lights. This enhances the experience with additional entertainment.

Embrace the Journey

Take your time to enjoy the journey. The Star Ferry is not just a way to get from point A to point B; it’s an experience in itself.


The Star Ferry is more than just a way to cross Victoria Harbour. It’s a journey through Hong Kong’s history, offering stunning views and a unique experience. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a ride on the Star Ferry is a must. Enjoy the views, capture the moments, and immerse yourself in the magic of Hong Kong.