Star Ferry: The century-old cross-harbour transport

Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour was instrumental in the city’s development into a global financial and commercial hub, as it attracted the attention of the British empire.

The natural harbour separates the Hong Kong island from Kowloon. Prior to the construction of a cross-harbour tunnel in 1972, the Star Ferry was the principal means of crossing the harbour.

Video: A ride on Hong Kong’s world-renowned Star Ferry service. Video: Eric Cheung.

The Star Ferry was first founded in 1888, and currently operates two main ferry routes: Tsim Sha Tsui-Central and Tsim Sha Tsui-Wan Chai. Each ride takes around 5-8 minutes.

On board the ferry, one can enjoy the scenic view of the Victoria Harbour at a low cost.

star ferry scene

Oscar documentarian James Longley enjoying the scenic view on board the Star Ferry. Photo: Eric Cheung.

The ferry has received international recognition as one of the best in the world. In 2009, the Society of American Travel Writers rated Hong Kong’s Star Ferry as the most exciting ferry rides in the world.

Star Ferry route

The Star Ferry connects Hong Kong island with Kowloon. The blue line indicates the Central-Tsim Sha Tsui route. Photo: Google Maps.

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