Syfa & Ganjar

How to Ride Hong Kong's Famous Star Ferry

Written by Ganjar

Hong Kong is made up of several islands, so it relies heavily on ferries for transportation. So, taking a ferry ride is a must-do for tourists visiting Hong Kong.

The Star Ferry is a legendary name in Hong Kong's ferry services. It started in 1888 and operates various routes connecting Hong Kong's ports. The Star Ferry is famous for its green and white ships, a classic look it has kept over the years.

Presently, Star Ferry boats travel between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, and back. The ride may be short, but it offers a stunning view of the skyscrapers lining Victoria Harbour.

If you're thinking of hopping on the Star Ferry during your Hong Kong trip, keep reading! I'm going to share all you need to know to enjoy this classic ferry ride. Let's dive in!

1. Head to the Harbour

pelabuhan star ferry
Central Ferry Pier front area

Your adventure begins at the harbour where the Star Ferry sets sail. Right now, Star Ferry uses three main harbours:

  • Central Ferry Pier: This is where you catch the ferry for the Central to Tsim Sha Tsui route. It's near the Hong Kong MTR station.
  • Wan Chai Ferry Pier: From here, you can travel between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. This pier is close to the Exhibition Centre MTR station.
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier: This pier connects Tsim Sha Tsui with Central and Wan Chai. It's accessible from the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.

For this guide, let's focus on the Central Ferry Pier for the Central - Tsim Sha Tsui route. Once you're at the harbour, you can choose to ride on either the lower deck or the upper deck of the ferry. Just follow the signs to get there.

If you're after great views and don't mind spending a bit more for comfort, go for the upper deck with its air-conditioned space. But if you're looking for a breezy ride and a more budget-friendly option, the lower deck is the way to go.

2. Get the Payment Method Ready

Before boarding the Star Ferry, let's sort out how you're going to pay. You've got two easy options:

  • Octopus Card
octopus card

The Octopus Card is a big deal in Hong Kong. It's an electronic card you can use for almost everything - riding the MTR, buses, trams, and yes, the ferry we're taking.

You can grab one at any MTR station customer service center or at convenience stores like 7-Eleven. Check out the article below for a step-by-step guide on getting an Octopus Card:

  • Token Tickets
vending machine star ferry
Vending machine for buying the token tickets

You can also buy one-way token tickets right at the harbour. These tokens are pretty neat – they look like the coins used for the LRT in Kuala Lumpur. Just find a vending machine and you're set.

The cost is the same whether you use an Octopus Card or a token. But remember, ferry prices are different on weekends and public holidays compared to weekdays. Also, riding on the upper deck costs a bit more than the lower deck.

3. Enter the Waiting Area

gate ferry
Entry gates
gate star ferry
Tap your card at the gate
ruang tunggu star ferry
Ferry waiting area

Once you have your Octopus Card or token, head over to the entrance gate. Make sure to look at the signs above each gate – there are separate ones for Octopus Cards and tokens.

For token users, pop the token into the slot on the gate. If you're using an Octopus Card, just tap it on the card reader, much like you would at an MTR station.

After you're through the gate, you'll find yourself in the waiting area. It's a roomy space with plenty of seats. Plus, it's right by the water, offering a great view of Victoria Harbour while you wait for your ferry.

4. Get on the Ferry

kabin star ferry
When in the ferry
kursi star ferry
Enjoying the view spanning in Victoria Harbor!

When the ferry arrives, a staff member will open the gate and it's time to hop on. Watch your step – the walkway between the pier and the ferry moves a bit.

Once you're aboard, pick any open seat. The Star Ferry has long benches sectioned into different areas. The seats aren't assigned, so feel free to choose.

There's a cool feature here: the seat backs can be shifted forward or backward. So, if you find your seat facing the wrong way, just slide the backrest around.

While on the ferry, it's best to stay seated. If you want to check out the view from the edge, be sure to hold on tight, especially when the waves get choppy. And remember, no smoking is allowed during the trip. Enjoy the journey and the beautiful sights of Victoria Harbour!

5. Disembark the Ferry

kelaur star ferry

The ride from Central harbour to Tsim Sha Tsui is a swift 15-minute journey. Once the ferry docks, a crew member will open the gate, and you can step off the boat.

After leaving the ferry, you can walk straight out of the harbour. There's no need to go through any gates again since you've already paid. And there you have it – a short but sweet ride on the Star Ferry. Ready to give it a try?

Besides island-hopping in Hong Kong, you can also take a ferry to Macau. Interested? Check out this article for details on how to make the ferry trip to Macau:

We are a newlywed couple who loves to eat and travel from one place to another. In this blog, we will share our favorite experiences when visiting various tourist attractions and tasting the delights of good food!

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We are a newlywed couple who loves to eat and travel from one place to another. In this blog, we will share our favorite experiences when visiting various tourist attractions and tasting the delights of good food!

More about Syfa & Ganjar →
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