Star Ferry Hong Kong

Posted by on Jul 16, 2012 in Blog | 3 comments

Last week we visited the Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.  The only way to get from Hong Kong to Kowloon is via the Star Ferry.

Star Ferry And Causeway Bay Skyline At Dusk, Hong Kong

Star Ferry And Causeway Bay Skyline At Dusk, Hong Kong

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The Star Ferry Company began in 1898 when businessman Sir Catchick Paul Chater bought all the boats from Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala, a Parsee merchant (some sources say he was a cook) who had began a ferry service across Victoria Harbour in 1880.  The service at that time was known as the Kowloon Ferry Company.  It had 4 single deck steamboats, one of which was purchased from an even earlier ferryman, Grant Smith, who began his service in 1870.  The addition of the second deck came later.  The Star Ferry Company, as the company was renamed shortly before Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala sold the company and retired to India, derives from the ferries, which all bore the name “Star” – Morning Star, Evening Star, Rising Star and Guiding Star.  It is said the company name was inspired by his love of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Crossing the Bar“, of which the first line reads “Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me!

In the more than 100 years since its beginning, the Star Ferry Company has gone from a few single-deck coal-powered ferries to a fleet of 12 diesel-electric vessels, some that hold up to 750 passengers. All have air-conditioned upper deck cabins where passengers can ride in comfort, despite the weather.

The ferry service offers routes from Wanchai to Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon and from Hong Kong’s Central district to Tsim Sha Tsui.  The ferries depart frequently – usually less than 20 minutes apart and as close together as every 8 minutes.  The fares are very affordable and a ride on these historic ferries is a must-do for all Hong Kong visitors.

Both of the images are of the Celestial Star which was built in 1956 and is currently the oldest vessel in service.

Star Ferry Crossing Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

Star Ferry Crossing Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –


  1. Love the composition of the first photo Mark.The ferry seems to anchor the city. Well done.
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Vanishing PointMy Profile

  2. Ahhh you’re post brings back memories of when I was in Hong Kong. Love the first image. Beautifully composed.
    Edith Levy recently posted..The Pier at Bar Harbor InnMy Profile

  3. Ferries are fun, because it’s a fun boat ride that doesn’t last but a short time and you don’t need to book passage ahead of arrival. These are my kind of shots; large and picturesque.

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