The first tunnel underneath Victoria Harbour was only opened in 1972. The Eastern Crossing was added in 1989, the Western Crossing opened in 1997. For most of Hong Kong’s history, people have been commuting by ferries between the various office and residential centers around Hong Kong. Many of these ferry lines still exist and are delight to take. Some of these lines continue to be popular with locals and tourists, such as the Star Ferry, while others only have a small following to keep them afloat.
With the exception of one link (discontinued in March 2011), it is possible to zigzag forth and back Victoria harbour in almost its entirety from Central to Lei Yue Mun in the east. Here is how:
1) Central -> Tsim Sha Tsui
Service time: 6:30-23:30 Schedule
Cost: From HK$2.2
We being our trip in Central at Ferry Pier No. 7 on the iconic Star Ferry. This first leg is also the shortest of the entire trip.
2) Tsim Sha Tsui -> Wan Chai
Service time: 7:30-23:00 Schedule
Cost: From HK$2.7
The Star Ferry’s second and less popular line takes us to the new ferry terminal near Wan Chai convention center. Be sure to check out its nice sun roof if you have a few minutes!
3a) (Bus) Wan Chai -> Kowloon City
Due to the ongoing suspension of the Wan Chai <-> Hung Hom ferry, we have two alternatives to continue our journey. Option (a) will take us by bus to Kowloon City, while option (b) will take us by bus to Hung Hom. From either of those places we can continue our journey by ferry. Option (a) is considerably longer and more scenic.
Bus 104 takes us from the Wan Chai ferry to the Cross Harbour Tunnel Plaza, from where we can take bus 115 to Kowloon City. This may take up to one hour.
3b) (Bus) Wan Chai -> Hung Hom
If we opt for the shorter route, we can take the same bus 104 to the Cross Harbour Tunnel Plaza, then take the ~20min walk to Hung Hom ferry from there.
4a) Kowloon City -> North Point
Service Time: 7:00-19:00 Schedule
New World First Ferries services the longest route on our trip. It goes roughly twice per hour, and a bit more often during peak times.
4b) Hung Hom -> North Point
Service Time: 7:00-19:00 Schedule
This ferry goes about twice per hour, more often during peak times.
5) North Point -> Kwun Tong
Service Time: 7:00-19:30 Schedule
The little-known Fortune Ferries Company (now owned by CKS) serves this route about twice per hour. Depending on the time of the day, your ferry might make a stopover at the Kai Tak cruise ship terminal.
6) Kwun Tong -> Sai Wan Ho
Service Time: 7:00-21:00 Schedule
The Coral Sea Ferry operates three routes, two of which on our itinerary. It’s about a 15min journey to Sai Wan Ho on Hong Kong island.
7) Sai Wan Ho -> Sam Ka Tsuen
Service Time: 7:00-22:30 Schedule
The last ferry of the day will take us to Sam Ka Tsuen, a wonderful little fishing village at Lei Yue Mun overlooking Victoria Harbour. It is today mainly known for its many seafood restaurants.
Closing the gap
In 2018 the Hong Kong government approved a concept to revive some other older ferry services across Victoria Harbour, primarily targeting tourists. These ‘water taxis’, resembling the old Walla Walla 嘩啦嘩啦 ferry, might enter service in 2020 or ’21. They would allow to extend the Victoria Harbour Ferry Zigzag by two legs and remove the need to take a bus or taxi. A new route could begin at West Kowloon Cultural District, go via Central, Tsim Sha Tsui to Hung Hom and continue on the route proposed above. On the downside, it would also remove both Star Ferry trips.