Whether you would like to go to the other side of the land or not, you MUST use Star Ferry to go across at least once. It's a very short 5 minutes journey but such a beautiful journey. It allows you to take great photos of both sides (Hong Kong island side is prettier with the bank buildings) and it's amazing to see the pier workers standing on the pier, waiting for the ferry to dock, then manually hook the rope up and keep the ferry steady. You have to see to understand. :) Also getting on and off the ferry can be exciting if the sea is wavy. :)
Last but not least, it's much cheaper! To cross the harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) to Central is HK$3.4 and with MTR (the tube, underground, metro) is about HK$11 (I think!) Bargain!
The Star Ferry is definitely a tourist attraction. I warn you to be aware to avoid it during rush hour if you want to have choice of seats and take lots of pics though.
The views from the ferry, especially heading toward Hong Kong Island from TST are amazing. This is your best place to view the city from in my opinion.
Probably the cheapest and most scenic way to get to Hong Kong Island from Kowloon is aboard the iconic Star Ferry. And when I say the cheapest, I do indeed mean that, as a one way trip will cost you only $5HK which is less than $1AUD!!! The trip across Victoria Harbour will only take maybe 5-10 minutes, but it is indeed a very scenic and interesting trip, and well worth doing, if only once while in HK. You just use your Octopus card to purchase your ferry ticket, which makes it very easy. And Ferries leave frequently from both ports. One of the best views you can get of Victoria Harbour and both Kowloon and HK Island skylines is from the Star Ferry.
The Star Ferry shuttles across from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui in the matter of minutes but on a sunny day, you will get a great view of both harbours.
With tunnel and the MTR subway, you probably would not have to use the ferry anymore but you'd missing out a great experience.
A little less well known is their Harbour Tour which does a loop of the harbour -- going as far West as Sheung Wan and to Hung Hom, Causeway Bay Fortress Hill to the East.
The "Shining Star" can be boarded at one of three piers -- in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, or Wan Chai (next to the Convention Centre). There is a number of fares starting at ~HK$60 for single one-hour ride (daytime) to ~HK$190 for a full-day of unlimited hop on / hop off rides.
May I make a confession? I don't understand why my guide book mentioned Star Ferry as a great attraction
I understand that in an extremely well organized city, with hi-tech solutions in mass transport, the “old” ferries may be considered a piece of museum, kept in action for cultural reasons. I know that, this line, created in 1888 has a very rich story, but I must confess that, for me, it was rather common, matching the conditions of many ferries regularly used in Europe (and still a dream in many third world countries).
And Yes, it is a cheap and nice way to cross (and see) the bay. Maybe that will be enough to the recommendation in the guide book.
Hong Kong is expensive, but this is probably the cheapest thing you will ever do in Hong Kong, the Star Ferry. The Star Ferry has been around for about 100 years. They have kept the same price for just about all that time also ... for .35 US cents you can cross Victoria Harbor on the top deck. it's not the fastest but it is the cheapest. It takes about 15 minutes to load, cross, and unload. A MUST DO !!!!!
The Ferries come and go just about every 10 minutes so don't worry if you miss one, they run often.
Even if the underground is so much easier way to travel between main island and Kowloon, try the legendary Star Ferry at least ones!
It's easy to find, just follow the signs in Kowloon and Hong Kong Harbours.
As much a part of HK as the red double decker is of London. The ferry plows the waters between HK Island and Kowloon throughout the day and night, leaving the moorings every few minutes, contributing to making the harbour the busiest in the world.
Surprisingly, there are only 12 ferries in service - but so frequent (and very short journeys), there seems a lot more. Between them they carry some 70,000 passengers a day!
Two piers on HK Island and two on Kowloon. The Central to Tsim Sha Tsui is the shortest and most popular, but Wan Chai (HKI) and Hung Hom (Kowloon) further to the east are also served.
Two levelled decking, with lower decking the cheapest. But top deck provides the views of those skylines...
26 million passengers make use of the Star Ferry to cross Victoria Harbour every year. Although there are four different routes the one from Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon to Central, Hong Kong Island is the route most often associated with the Star Ferry.
Before 1870 people had to use sampans to cross the harbour. In that year a single steam ferry started to run an irregular service. In 1888 the Kowloon Ferry Service started with the original vessel and two more – the Morning Star and Evening Star. The service was so popular it soon had 4 ferries all of which had names ending in ‘Star’. The business became the Star Ferry Company Limited in 1898. After some changes in fortune and surviving WWII the service now operates 12 ferries. Until 1972, when the harbour tunnel was built, Star Ferries were the main way to cross the harbour.
The Star Ferry is now an icon of Hong Kong and remains popular with locals and tourists alike. One of the best views you can get of the harbour and the famous skyline is from the ferry.
The trip from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central costs $2HK one way for the lower deck. Tokens can be purchased from vending machines at the piers.
A REAL MUST DO WHEN YOU COME TO HONG KONG IS RIDE THE STAR FERRY ACROSS VICTORIA HARBOUR. IN OUR TIME THERE WE DID IT QUITE A FEW TIMES, BUT EVERY TIME IS SPECIAL TO ME...THESE OLD BOATS HAVE BEEN GOING FOR YEARS AND HERE'S HOPING THEY GO ON FOR MANY YEARS TO COME... THE FERRY COMPANY RUNS FOUR ROUTES ACROSS THE HARBOUR BUT THE MOST POPULAR IS BETWEEN TSIM SHA TSUI AND CENTRAl....THE TRIP TAKES ABOUT 7 MINS..YOU CAN RIDE THIS ROUTE AT ANYTIME OF THE DAY BUT I THINK THE BEST TIME TO DO IT IS AT DUSK WHEN THE CITY LIGHTS ARE STARTING TO COME ON.. THIS FOR ME IS THE BEST TIME TO CROSS THE FAMOUS HARBOUR.. GET A GOOD SEAT UP TOP WITH CAMERA AT THE READY AND AWAY YOU GO..
GET A GOOD PICTURE WITH THAT FAMOUS CITY SKYLINE AND REMEMBER IT FOR EVER.
ALSO MAKE SURE TO TAKE TIME TO WATCH THE FERRY WORKERS GOING ABOUT THEIR JOBS..
LIKE THESE OLD FERRIES THEIR ROUTINE AND UNIFORMS HAVE NOT CHANGED FOR YEARS.
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE NAMES USED TO GRACE THESE FAMOUS LITTLE BOATS..
Star Ferry itself is a tourist attraction. Star Ferry carries passengers across the Victoria Harbour between Hong Kong Island and Tsimshatsui in Kowloon. It is operated by the Star Ferry Co. Ltd of Hong Kong. It was founded by Dorabjee Mithaiwala in 1888.
Star Ferry consists of twelve ferries plying four different routes. The main route is between Central in Hong Kong Island and Tsimshatsui in Kowloon.
Star Ferry has a distinction of carrying almost 30 million passengers annually even though there are other means of transportation available between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon!
Like the double-decker trams, the Star Ferry is another of Hong Kong's recognisable trademarks and is one of those "have-to-do things". First operated in 1888, today there is a fleet of twelve ferries that operate four routes across Hong Kong harbour, carrying around 70,000 passengers a day, or some 26 million a year. The Star Ferry operates the following cross-harbour routes:
Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, costing HK$1.7 for the lower deck, HK$2.2 for the upper deck
Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui for HK$2.2
Central to Hung Hom for HK$6.0
Wan Chai to Hung Hom for HK$6.0
Passengers may use Octopus cards, or tokens to pay for the ride which are available in the vending machines at the piers. Coins are also accepted but no change will be provided.
Star Ferry is a passenger ferry service running across Victoria Harbour.
It's popular with commuters traveling to work but is also a convenient and satisfying way to view the sights of the harbour. It's cheap to use and there a number of routes.
The star Ferry offers a harbor cruise that takes one hour to complete.
For a reasonable HK$40 you are provided with a modern ferry that is fully air-conditioned. This is a perfect way to get a fully narrated overview of the city, with a cold drink in hand from the bar.
The "Shining Star" ferry is a re-creation of the ferries that were common on Victoria Harbour during the 1920s and 1930’s.
There are also outside viewing areas at the bow and stern of the vessel for those who wish to enjoy the “outdoors” a little more!
The Star Ferry was a quick trip that took us between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island in approx 5 minutes. Although views were excellent, with the massive skyscrapers dwarfing the container ships, ferries and other water craft, I was a little disappointed with the ferry ride as I thought the ride would go longer! (Just one of those things you picture in your head before traveling to a particular destination.)
Although the star ferry has 2 levels, first and second class, we paid for a second class ticket and sat in the first class seats. Nobody approached us and we simply enjoyed the breeze and the excellent views.