One of the best ways to see Victoria Harbor or Hong Kong is riding a star ferry to cross between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. It gets you the magnificent views of both sides of the harbor. I never miss a star ferry in any of my trip to Hong Kong. It is 3 to 4 times cheaper by riding a star ferry than taking an MTR train to cross the harbor. And you will enjoy the views like no other places in the World.
There are 3 Ferry Piers where you can take a ferry to cross the harbor:
1) Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier : The most popular among the 3 ferry piers. It is walking distant to the MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit L6, HK Cultural Centre, Avenue of Stars, YMCA, The Peninsula Hotel.
2) Central Star Ferry Pier : It is linked by a pedestrian bridge to the Central MTR Station Exit A and Hong Kong MTR Station Exit A2. It is a modern business and shopping district.
3) Wan Chai Star Ferry Pier : It is a short walk to Central Promenade and HK Convention and Exhibition Centre. A distant walk to Wan Chai MTR Station Exit A1.
The fare is around HK$2. 50 per ride. It takes Octopus Card.
I have included this review in the Transportation section however the iconic Star Ferries that ply Victoria Harbour are a massive tourist attraction in their own right.
Ferries run continuously from Tsim Sha Tsui to either Central or Wan Chai giving tourists and locals a more scenic alternative to the often crowded MTR. The travel time is short especially between TST and Central. In fact the walking distance to the ferry pier especially on the Hong Kong Island side seems longer than the trip itself.
If you love ferries or would like more photo opportunities there is a longer tour available. The Star Ferry Harbour tour runs for an hour around a circular route on the Harbour stopping at Central, Wanchai and TST piers. http://www.starferry.com.hk/tour_schedule.html
A one way crossing is amazingly cheap (HK$2.00) and you can use your Octopus card to pay the fare. The upper deck of the ferry costs slightly more (HK$2.50) but offers better access to the views. A day Hopping Pass costs HK$215.
Founded in 1888, these wooden boats still operate to date and is considered a cheaper alternative transport. But more than just a mode of transpo to cross between Hong Kong and Kowloon islands, Star Ferry is an attraction by itself. You can get a sweeping view of Hong Kong skyscrapers while crossing the width of Victoria Harbour.
The star Ferry is connecting Hong Kong island and Kowloon and has been doing so for over a hundred years with little changes made to the boats.
In a spuer modern City like Hong Kong it kinda look like something from the past but because of the speedy way you board and leave the Sta ferry it's actually a very afficient way to transport a lot of people and it's certainly not just a tourist boat, but something the locals use too and they do look great as the Star ferries are crossing the short strait between kowloon and Hong Kong island so let them do that for another 100 years and don't forget to take the ferry as it gives you the best view of the Hong Kong skyline.
The Star ferry is very cheap too costing only a couple of Hong Kong dollars for a single journey.
The Star Ferry, a lot like the double deck trams, is both transportation and a tourist attraction. The views from the ferry are very good. They can make for some of your favorite pictures of Hong Kong.
Do be aware that many people riding the ferry are doing so going between work and home or another job and what not and not on holiday. Because of this I recommend taking your trip outside of common rush hours if you want a good view and to take pics.
But why try night pics from a moving Ferry? I know its possible. But most of them need such a long exposure that you can not do it from a boat.
I truly enjoyed the ferry across the harbor. It was how I first went to the island and was used much more than the MTR. Due be aware though that in bad weather the ride can be a bit rough. If you suffer from motion sickness, a nicer day would be your time to cross.
The ferry runs two main routes. From TST in Kowloon, you can go to either Central or to Wan Chai near the convention center and Hyatt hotel. I usually go to and from Central although on my latest trip I did take the ferry from Wan Chai to TST.
The iconic green and white Star Ferry has been in service for many decades. This was initially the quickest way to get from one island to other but has since been overtaken by the MTR and taxis. It is nonetheless still something people must do while in Hong Kong. The views you get while on the boat are just amazing. Be sure to also try riding on the ferry during the evening as you can see the lights on the skyline.
One of the most famous boat trips in the world only takes a few minutes. The Hong Kong Star Ferry is just one ride you have to take. The service is frequent and regular and is a great way to see the Hong Kong Island skyline as well as the junks and other ships that use the small stretch of water between the island and the main land.
Take at least one, inexpensive travel between Kowloon to Hong Kong island or vice versa by old fashioned 'Star Ferry' - for this ride you'll see how it used to be in past to travel over Victoria Harbour and how it remains untill nowsadays for many local and tourists. It is one of the icons of Hong Kong and has been in service for more than a hundred years.
Those modern ships and ferries cannot beat its charm and it is indeed one of the pleasant ways to ride though we won't make large distances here. And yes, you're grateful they keep them plying, they should not land in museum anytime soon.
Enjoy the views - especially in the night time.
For schedules and fares see this web site:
The ferries started in 1880 with a service across Victoria Harbour. In 1898 businessman Sir Catchick Paul Chater bought all the boats and in May 1898 the Star Ferry Company, as it is known today, became a public company. Its name derives from the ferries, which all bore the name “Star”.
The Company celebrated its centenary in 1998. Its fleet of 12 ferries is now serving two franchised ferry routes between Tsimshatsui and Central, and Tsimshatsui and Wanchai, and two licensed ferry routes, between Hunghom and Central and Hunghom and Wanchai. In addition to ferry services, Star Ferry launched the only licensed harbour tour (Star Ferry's Harbour Tour) in Hong Kong in July 2003. The one-hour journey starts in Tsimshatsui and goes on to Central, Wanchai and Hunghom before returning to Tsimshatsui, allowing visitors to take in a variety of harbour views at leisure.
To take the Star Ferry over to Hongkong Island and back is a very nice and cheap trip with a spectacular view on th sky lines of Hongkong and Kowloon. Make sure you get a first class ticket, so that you can enter the top floor and have the best view.
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. Star Ferry was founded by Dorabjee Mithaiwala in 1888.
The fleet today consists of twelve ferries plying four different routes. The main and most popular route is between Central in Hong Kong Island and Tsimshatsui in Kowloon where many foreign tourists board the ferry for sight-seeing purposes.
Star Ferry has a distinction of carrying almost 30 million passengers per year even though there are other means of transportation available between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon! Please flip through our photos on top to view scenery photos of Victoria Harbour taken from a Star Ferry.
Like the double-decker trams, the Star Ferry is another of Hong Kong's recognisable trademarks. 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.
This is cheapest way to enjoy the great views of both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon skylines. I would suggest all visitors to use the upper deck where there are much less people and you can move from the left to the right/vice versa to take pictures of both the skylines.
Take note though that the boarding point for the upper deck is different from that of the lower deck in TST. Check the signboards to get there.
For the Central Pier, it is easy to get there form the Central MTR as there is a long covered overhead walkway which lead to the piers.
Consider taking the ferry twice too, one in the day, another in the evening to check out the change in the skyline.
An absolute must in HK is to take the Star Ferry across the harbour, a five minute ride from Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon to the island provides some nice views and a chance to unwind. The price is only 2HKD (about 30 US cents).
For 1.70 HKD for the bottom and 2.20 HKD for the top deck, the Star Ferry takes you for about five mins. across Hong Kong Harbour.
The views are great and the breeze feels even better sometimes.
It's the cheapest and certainly one of the most fun tourist things to do.
Star Ferry service is rather prompt and accepts Octopus Card. We, only, realised that after paying for the token tickets.
If you are taking the star ferry, it is probably for the view since MTR should be the faster mode of getting to the destination on main hong kong island or tsim sha tsui.