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Hong Kong's Star Ferry Why is it so special

Hong Kong’s Star Ferry: Why is it so special?

I can still remember the first time I hopped on the Star Ferry. It was with my parents, and as we waited to cross Victoria Harbour, we stood on the open deck, just letting the wind soak us in. 

It became my happy place – a spot where I could unwind and reflect!

That’s what makes the Star Ferry special for me. But did you know that for most Hongkongers, it’s so much more than just that?

Why is Star Ferry special? 

Star Ferry is special as a local mode of transportation that has since bloomed into a tourist must-do in Hong Kong. Many locals will even say that culturally, the ferry is practically woven into the soul of the city itself. 

Most of us will even say you can’t claim you’ve truly experienced Hong Kong until you’ve hopped on board the Star Ferry. And it isn’t just some tourist trap. 

Even the big shots at National Geographic have acknowledged its charm, slotting it into their list of 50 places you’ve gotta hit in this lifetime.

Best Time to Take the Star Ferry

The perfect timing for your Star Ferry adventure? Aim for daytime trips – you know, when the sky’s all clear, and the city skyline is putting on its A-game. But if you’re around during winter, heads up – fog can sometimes be a bit of a show-stealer.

Honestly, there’s no “absolutely must-do-it-at-this-time” rule here. Day or night, it’s a ride that sticks with you, no matter your age.

But, here’s a tip: around 8:00 PM, things can get a bit crazy. Travel groups, especially from Korea, Japan, and Mainland China, swarm the Star Ferry piers to catch the nightly A Symphony of Lights show. 

So, if you’re after a more chill experience, maybe steer clear of the crowd during that hour.

Oh, and remember, it’s not just a joyride for tourists. Locals use the ferries to get to work and back, especially during the morning and evening hustle. So, for a quieter trip, maybe plan around those busy commuting hours.

Star Ferry Pricing and Fare Table

Riding the Star Ferry won’t burn a hole in your pocket. There are two options for your journey: Upper Deck and Lower Deck.

The prices vary for weekdays versus weekends and holidays. Check out the latest prices in the table below:

Monday – FridaySaturday – Sunday/Public Holidays
Upper DeckLower DeckUpper DeckLower Deck
AdultHK$ 3.2HK$ 2.6HK$ 4.2HK$ 3.6
Child (3-12)HK$ 1.9HK$ 1.8HK$ 2.5HK$ 2.4
Passengers with disabilitiesHK$ 1.9HK$ 1.8HK$ 2.5HK$ 2.4
Seniors (aged 65 or older) can take the ferries for free

Upper Deck

So, the upper deck on the Star Ferry comes with a slightly higher price tag. But hey, no need to break the bank – a single trip tops out at HK$ 4.2.

Now, why would you consider the upper deck? Well, for starters, it’s a bit comfier up there, and there’s more space to stretch those legs. 

Plus, bonus points for the air conditioning – they’ve got it both in the front and back areas! So, if you’re up for a breezier ride with a bit of extra elbow room, the upper deck is your spot.

Lower Deck

Alright, here’s the lowdown on the lower deck – it’s the budget-friendly option, maxing out at HK$ 3.6. Now, fair warning, there’s no air-conditioning down there, but hey, you’re saving a few cents, right?

What’s cool about the lower deck is that it’s open territory. You’ve got the freedom to stroll around, especially if you’re into snapping some pictures (no windows to mess with your shots). 

Just a heads up, though – keep your nose out for the diesel fumes from the engines. They can be a bit much sometimes, but if you’re cool with a bit of grit, the lower deck might just be your jam. 

Tourist Tickets

If you’re a tourist, there’s a special ticket priced at HK$ 32.0, and you can grab it at the Star Ferry Harbour Ticket Counter in TST Ferry Pier. 

This ticket gives you unlimited rides on the “Tsim Sha Tsui (TST)/Central” and “TST/Wan Chai” routes for four consecutive days.

Now, before you jump on this tourist ticket bandwagon, think about your stay. It only makes sense if you’re hanging out in Hong Kong for a solid four days. With this option, you could ferry around at least twice a day or hit up all the hotspots on Hong Kong Island.

Additionally, there’s a monthly ticket available for HK$ 160. This is a handy pass for tourists planning to make the Star Ferry a regular part of their routine during their stay in the city. You can purchase it directly from the Harbour Tour Ticket Counter at the TST Pier. 

Top Things to Do in Star Ferry

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Star Ferry offers more than just a ride across the water. As you soak in the iconic views of Victoria Harbour, here are a few enjoyable activities to make your Star Ferry experience even more memorable.

Enjoy the harbour ride

Hopping on the Star Ferry might not be your traditional harbor tour with a guide spilling all the details and snacks on deck. But hey, it’s still a pretty sweet harbor ride.

Sure, it’s not an epic saga: the journey only clocks in at 8 to 10 minutes. But for those who are a bit tight on time or not exactly sea warriors, it’s the perfect compromise. 

You get a taste of the harbor vibes without committing to a full-blown hour-long boat tour. Win-win, right? 

Experience the “World Star” harbour cruise

There’s also this cool thing you can do with the Star Ferry – the “World Star” Harbor Cruise. 

Yeah, you heard it right, the Star Ferry is not just about ferrying you around. They’ve got this slick double-deck, air-conditioned vessel called “World Star,” and it’s here to take your Star Ferry experience up a notch.

The “World Star” Harbor Cruise has two options – one in the afternoon/early evening and another called the Symphony of Lights cruise, both of which set sail every single day.

Star Ferry Afternoon/Sunset Harbour Tour

Ticket price: 

  • Adult: HK$ 230
  • Child (3-12) and senior (65+): HK$ 160

In this harbor tour, you’ve got a solid 45 minutes of pure magic on Victoria Harbour, sailing through the heart of Hong Kong’s stunning scenery.

As the sun starts its descent, you’ll be cruising past the iconic landmarks of Central, catching glimpses of the vibrant life in Tsim Sha Tsui, and soaking in the evening charm of Wanchai. 

Think about it – the golden hues of the sunset reflecting on the water, the city lights starting to twinkle, and you are right in the middle of it all.

Star Ferry “A Symphony of Lights” Harbour Cruise

Ticket price: 

  • Adult: HK$ 280
  • Child (3-12) and senior (65+): HK$ 200

Here’s another must-try when you hop on the Star Ferry – the Symphony of Lights Night Cruise. 

What’s the scoop? As night falls, you’re cruising through Central, Wanchai, and Tsim Sha Tsui, catching the Symphony of Lights, a laser show and ICC Light and Music Show right on the water.

Imagine the city lights dancing around you as you sail through the harbor. It’s a simple, awesome way to enjoy the night in Hong Kong.

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