Victoria Harbour is one of the world’s busiest harbours and what could be more natural than taking a Harbour Tour to enjoy Hong Kong’s impressive skyline and coastal lines? Taking a Harbour Tour will take you right in between the hustle and bustle of containerships, cruise ships, traditional sampans and Chinese Junks, boats and vessels of all kind. In addition, you are able to enjoy Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong’s stunning skyline from a different perspective and depending on which tour you decide to take you can dream and imagine how the first European settlers and traders must have felt when they arrived in the “Fragrant Harbour”. In the following we would like to provide you a comprehensive overview of the most popular Harbour Tours categorized by operators and/or specialties:
All-Day Harbour Tours
Taking the iconic Star Ferry is actually a no-brainer. It’s the most convenient and cheapest Harbour Tour available in Hong Kong and we highly recommend taking the Star Ferry at least once to cross Victoria Harbour during your stay in Hong Kong. Strictly speaking it is not a Harbour Tour in the classical sense where you have a tour guide explaining everything and even getting some refreshments. The Star Ferry is the classical public transportation to cross Victoria Harbour. Locals and tourists enjoy and use this Harbour Tour alike. Fare for an adult single-journey on the upper deck is just HK$ 2.5 on weekdays (weekends are a little bit more expensive HK$ 3.4 please read our related article about the fare increase) and you either can go from Tsim Sha Tsui to Wan Chai or Central and vice versa. The only drawback is that the journey only last 8-10 minutes.
In case you want to spend more time on the water, the Star Ferry Company also offers several Harbour Tours with their special double-decker air-conditioned Star Ferry “Shining Star”. The Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour runs on a circular route around Victoria Harbour including Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Wan Chai Pier. The Harbour Tour takes approx. one hour and you can see, enjoy and experience Hong Kong’s most famous skyscrapers and harbor views. If you are interested to take the Star Ferry “Shining Star” Harbour Tour, there are currently five different options you can choose from such as Day Hopping Pass (which entitles the pass holder to hop on and off the Star Ferry “Shining Star” as often as he/she wants and enjoy unlimited rides plus includes a refreshment coupon. Adult tickets are available for HK$ 200 and kids for HK$ 180), Half-Day Hopping Pass (which entitles the pass holder to hop on and off within the specified operating hours, adult tickets are available for HK$ 95 and kids for HK$ 86), Single-Ride-Day-Round-Trip-Ticket (adult tickets are available for HK$ 70 and kids for HK$ 63), Single-Ride-Night-Round-Trip-Ticket (adult tickets are available for HK$ 140 and kids for HK$ 126) and last but not least the A-Symphony-of-Lights-Harbour-Cruise (adult tickets are available for HK$ 170 and kids for HK$ 153).
Tickets can be purchased at all of the three Star Ferry Piers until 10 minutes before each departure. Please note that tickets for the A-Symphony-of-Lights-Harbour-Cruise can only be purchased at the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier. Furthermore, there are no night sailings from the Wan Chai Star Ferry Pier. For more information about the different tours, fares and departing times please refer to the Star Ferry’s Homepage (http://www.starferry.com.hk/) or simply contact them by phone : +(852) 2118 6201.
Harbour Cruise – Bauhinia Ltd.
Operated by the Hong Kong Ferry Group, the Harbour Cruise – Bauhinia is another tour operator offering Harbour Tours in Victoria Harbour. Currently, the Harbour Cruise – Bauhinia Company has four vessels with each one accommodating about 300 passengers.
For visitors one of the most interesting Harbour Tours is the two hours “A Symphony of Lights” Dinner Cruise which will take you on a circular Harbour Tour starting and ending at North Point passing Tai Koo, Shau Kei Wan, Lei Yue Mun, Cha Kwo Ling, Kai Tak, Hung Hom, Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. Ticket prices start at HK$ 400 for and adult (HK$ 260 for a kid) plus 10% service charge and includes a dinner buffet. Pickup points and time the North Point Ferry Pier (7:30pm) and Hung Hom Ferry Pier (8:00pm). Please follow the link to the Harbour Cruise – Bauhinia website (http://www.cruise.com.hk) for more details and reservation or simply call their reservation hotline at +(+852) 2802 2886.
Watertours Hong Kong Ltd.
Watertours Hong Kong Ltd. is a subsidiary of Wing On Travel, one of Hong Kong’s most reputable travel agency. The Watertours Harbour Tours have been established in the late 1950s and offer a wide variety of different Harbour Tours. Currently, the Watertours company operates two boats which are quite unique and easy recognizable. You easily can spot and identify them when they cross Victoria Harbour since they are built to a traditional Chinese theme, are very colorful and have the typical Chinese pagoda style roof on top. Both vessels are fully air-conditioned and can fit about 220-250 passengers. Depending which tour you choose, the length and duration of the tours can vary between 90 minutes and up to 3 hours and adult tickets range between HK$ 230 to HK$ 450 including refreshments, drinks or even a dinner.
Below you find a short overview of the daily Harbour Tours offered by the Watertours Company:
-Morning Harbour & Noon Day Gun Firing Cruise
(Duration: 2 hours, HK$ 230 (adult), HK$ 140 (child))
-Western Shoreline & Afternoon Tea Cruise
(Duration: 1,5 hours, HK$ 230 (adult), HK$ 140 (child))
-Pre-Dinner Sunset Cruise
(Duration: 2 hours, HK$ 300 (adult), HK$ 210 (child))
-Lei Yue Mun Seafood Village Dinner Cruise
(Duration: 2 hours, HK$ 450 (adult), HK$ 420 (child))
-Harbour Night Cruise
(Duration: 2 hours, HK$ 290 (adult), HK$ 200 (child))
-Symphony of Lights Cruise
(Duration: 1,5 hours, HK$ 310 (adult), HK$ 220 (child))
Tickets can be either purchased at the Hong Kong Tourism Board Service Center in Tsim Sha Tsui, directly from Watertours Hong Kong Ltd. or through your concierge at several hotels. For more detailed information check out the webpage of HK Watertours (http://www.watertours.com.hk/) or simply give them a call at +(852)2926 3868.
Chinese Junk Harbour Tours
Taking the DUK LING Chinese Junk is not only a rare opportunity to experience and ride aboard on one of the last authentic Chinese sailing junks in Hong Kong, but probably the most authentic and memorable way to enjoy Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong. Crossing Victoria Harbour with this special Harbour Tour will set you back in time and you can almost feel Hong Kong’s history of traders, taipans, fishermen and colonial history. The DUK LING Junk ride can only be booked directly at the Hong Kong Tourism Board for HK$ 100 and takes approx. one hour. The only drawback on this Harbour Tour with the DUK LING is that the HKTB only available operates the DUK LING during the day (no night cruise) and on Thursdays and Saturdays.
For more information and some true insights of the DUK LING Junk ride please read our article “DUK LING – Enjoying an Authentic Chinese Junk Ride in Hong Kong Victoria Harbor”. Last but not least, we also would like to mention that you can private charter the DUK LING for your own and individual Harbour Tour experience (prices start at HK$ 9,000 for a 2,5 hour ride).
The second option to take a Chinese Junk Harbour Tour is a little bit more expensive, but also very attractive. The Aqua Luna junk is operate by the Aqua Restaurant Group and claimed to be the last remaining traditional red-sail junk still in operation in Hong Kong. The advantage to take this junk ride is that you basically have more options to take this ride since it is not only limited to Thursdays or Saturdays (like the DUK LING Harbour Tour) plus you can enjoy the impressive and stunning Hong Kong skyline in a more sophisticated way with cocktails and nestle down in some stylish lounge beds. The Aqua Luna junk can carry about 80 passengers. In case you opt to take the popular “Symphony of Lights Cruise” we highly recommend making advance reservation (either through their website or by phone +(852) 2116 8821).
Ticket prices range from HK$ 150–240 (adult) and HK$ 120–190 (children) depending which time and day you choose. Basically, there are three different Harbour Tours can choose including Afternoon Sailing (available on Tuesday and Friday), Evening Sailing (daily) and the Symphony of Lights Cruise (daily). Duration of the Aqua Luna Harbour Tour is approx. 45 minutes. Pick-up points are right in front of the Tsim Sha Tsui Cultural Center or the Central Pier 9 (Public Pier).
In addition, you also can book and enjoy special day cruises with the Aqua Luna junk to Stanley (Saturdays and Sundays), Aberdeen (Monday), Cheung Chau Island (Wednesday) and to the Tin Hau Temple in Joss House Bay (Thursday). Please refer to the original website of Aqua Luna ( http://www.aqua.com.hk/) for more information about the special day cruises as well as the exact sailing schedule and pick up times.
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