Star Ferry – the most exciting ferry ride in the world

star ferry hong kong

Star Ferry Hong Kong is a famous passenger ferry service operator and tourist attraction. The humble Star Ferry vessels have been carrying passengers across Victoria Harbour, between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsular, since 1888. Nowadays, although the two sides of the harbour are well-connected by cross harbour tunnels and the MTR, tens of millions of visitors and locals still like to cross the harbour by the Star Ferry so as to enjoy the stunning view, convenience and low fares.

In 2009, National Geographic listed the Star Ferry as one of the “50 Places of a Lifetime”; the Society of American Travel Writers rated it as the “Top 10 Most Exciting Ferry Rides” in the world. Another highlight of the Star Ferry is the use of a long hook to moor a ferry. This method has been used since the 19th century.

star ferry sailor moor a ferry

Start Ferry Existing Services

Octopus or tokens is accepted for the ride across the Victoria Harbour. Tokens are available in the vending machines at the piers.

1) Star Ferry Central-Tsim Sha Tsui

  • Service Hours: 06:30 to 23:30 (Mon. – Sun.)
  • Frequency: 6 – 12 minutes
  • Fare:
    • Upper Deck:
  • Adult: HK$2.7 (Mon. – Fri.); HK$3.7 (Sat., Sun. and Public Holidays)
  • Concession: HK$1.6               ; HK$2.2
    • Lower Deck:
  • Adult: HK$2.2 (Mon. – Fri.); HK$3.1 (Sat., Sun. and Public Holidays)
  • Concession: HK$1.5              ; HK$2.1

2) Star Ferry Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui

  • Service Hours: 07:30 to 23:00 (Mon. – Sun.)
  • Frequency: 8 – 20 minutes
  • Fare:
    • Adult: HK$2.7 (Mon. – Fri.); HK$3.7 (Sat., Sun. and Public Holidays)
    • Concession: HK$1.6             ; HK$2.2

3) Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour – Single Ride Night Round Trip

  • Itinerary: Harbour cruise past Sheung Wan, Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Language: Recorded commentary in English and Mandarin
  • Departure Time: 1 February to 30 September: 6:55, 8:55pm
  •                                 1 October to 31 January: 5:55, 8:55pm
  • Pick-up Points: Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central Pier 7, Wan Chai Ferry Pier
  • Duration: approximately 1 hour
  • Price: Adult: HK$180; Concession: HK$162

4) Star Ferry Disneyland-Tsim Sha Tsui

Operating hours:

  • From Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier: Daily: 11am/ 5:15pm
    • Frequency: 2 times a day
  • From Disneyland Resort Pier: Daily: 12noon/ 6:15pm
    • Frequency: 2 times a day

Ticket Purchase:

  • Departure at Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier- Water Tour Ticket Counter
  • Departure at Disneyland Resort Pier- Pay on board

Fare: Adult: HK$180; Concession: HK$160

How to get to the Star Ferry Piers

  • TST Star Ferry pier: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit L6. Walk to the Clock Tower along Salisbury Road; or,
  • Central Star Ferry pier: MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit A2 or MTR Central Station, Exit A. Walk to the pier along Man Yiu Street; or,
  • Wan Chai Star Ferry pier: MTR Wan Chai Station, Exit A1. Take the skybridge to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and get down to Convention Avenue at Harbour Road.
  • Disneyland Resort Pier: MTR Disneyland Resort Station. Take the coach to Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Walk to the pier through the hotel.
  • Official Website: www.starferry.com.hk

Star Ferry History

  • Current Fleet:

All the vessels have the word “Star” in their names. They are all double-decked and double-headed using diesel. These vessels were built by the Whampoa Dock between 1958 and 1965.

  • Pre-war period:

1870-80s, a Parsee merchant, Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala, found the “Kowloon Ferry Company” connecting Tsim Sha Tsui and Central.

1898, the Wharf (Holdings) Limited acquired the Ferry Company and renamed it “Star Ferry Company”.

1916, the nearby Tsim Sha Tsui Railway Station was opened and the number of passenger increased significantly.

1918, a steamboat was first launched, it was commonly known as the “fireboat”.

1933, the Star Ferry took the franchise of running the route between Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. In the same year, it introduced its first diesel engine vessel.

1941, during the Second World War, the Star Ferry decided to maintain the ferry service in order to evacuate refugees, the army and the officers in Kowloon Peninsula. The service was then suspended for three years and eight months until 1949.

  • Post-war period:

1965, the Central to Hung Hom route was put into service.

1966, the fare was increased from 2 cents to 2 cents 5 cents which triggered a riot.

1967, all ferry services were suspended due to the 1967 riots. The route running between Tsim Sha Tsui to Central was resumed after a month, while the Central-Hung Hom route remained closed until the opening of Hung Hom Railway Station in 1975.

1972, 1979, 1989, 1997, Hong Kong Cross Harbor Tunnel, the MTR and other tunnels were opened. The Star Ferry still attracted over 70,000 passengers every day while facing fierce competition.

2003, Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour was launched.

2006, the Star Ferry Pier Central was moved from the original Edinburgh Place Pier to Central Pier 7 and 8 causing a series of protests.

2011, the routes Hung Hom-Central, and Hung Hom-Wan Chai was terminated.

2017, sightseeing service between Tsim Sha Tsui and Disneyland Resort Pier has been launched.

  • In Popular Culture:

In the 1960 film The World of Suzie Wong, Robert Lomax (played by William Holden) takes the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island and meets Suzie Wong (played by Nancy Kwan) on the ferry. It also appears in the 1988 TV miniseries Noble House, in the French films Les Anges gardiens (1995) and La Moustache (2005).

Do you enjoy riding on Star Ferry Hong Kong? Please feel free to leave us comments or contact us if you have any questions.

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