Star Ferry

Hong Kong Star Ferry, Hong Kong Attractions, Hong Kong Travel GuideOne of the must-do's in Hong Kong, the small distinctive green and white ferries of the Star Ferry Service are transportation means on sea which have linked the Central District on Hong Kong Island with Tsim Sha Tsui over the past 100 years. It is the cheapest way to make the journey. The ferry has two decks. The bottom deck is cheaper, but even the upper deck only costs just 30 cents US to ride. The bottom deck is not as nice and if you don't like diesel fumes, upper deck is your choice.

The journey takes about 10 minutes. On board the Ferry, one can enjoy the grandeur on both banks of Victoria Harbor, the Commerce Tower with its unique design and special architecture, the Bank of China looked like a sharp file, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in the shape of geometric figure, the Exchange Square of Bond Centre and Stock exchange, and the Legislative Council Building in the structural style of the Victorian Era. Far away, the Hong Kong Conference Exhibition Center in which the grand ceremony for the restoration of sovereignty of Hong Kong to the motherland and the Central District Center where the outer wall of the first Hong Kong Commercial Towering computer to control the illuminating system are all visible. A few Rickshaws, extremely rare historic objects are displayed at the Star Ferry Harbor. (a few two wheeled vehicles drawn or pushed by man customarily known as rickshaws.) It was once Hong Kong's main transportation means.

The history of the Ferry service

The ferry service was originally founded by a prominent Parsee, Dorabjee Nowrojee, under the name of the Kowloon Ferry Company. Some reports say it was about ten years later, upon acquiring the total assets from Nowrojee, which the Star Ferry Company as we know it today came into existence. Despite the lack of detailed documentation, it would seem appropriate that the new company took its name from the vessels it acquired, which all bore the name "Star". Some of the original names like "Morning Star" and "Night Star" have indeed remained to the present day. In 1933, the company introduced the first diesel engine ferry called "Electric Star".

Plying across the heart of Victoria Harbor, the ferry service in its early days charged five cents per person. The fare is still comparatively inexpensive when considering other methods of cross-harbor transportation. The history of the great Star Ferry has by no means been crisis-free. Its service was hit hard in September 1906 by an almost unexpected typhoon which took away two vessels and left the Kowloon pier beyond repair. The devastation subsequently led the company to reconstruct the ferry wharf using a new design – being parallel instead of perpendicular to the praya. The new layout allowed ferries to berth without loss of time and unnecessary wastage of coal.

From the original four single-deck vessels propelled by a single coal-fired boiler, the ferry fleet has evolved to comprise twelve diesel-electric vessels. The two newest additions in 1989, the 750-seat "Golden Star" and "World Star" can accommodate two hundred more passengers than the traditional ferries and has an air-conditioned upper deck cabin. Now, all ferries in the fleet have an air-conditioned upper deck cabin.