The Star Ferry is another icon of Hong Kong, ferrying passengers across the Victoria Harbour between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. While nowadays being mainly used by tourists with the many modern harbour crossings by road or rail, the Star Ferry remains popular for tourists for sightseeing and the sailing experience, as well as continuously offering the cheapest way to cross Victoria Harbour among all transport options.
Most tourists would end up on the upper deck of the Star Ferry as the boarding location would be uniform with the linkbridge from Central. However, there is a secret lower deck which many people miss, and it’s on the lower deck that the operations of the Star Ferry can be fully appreciated.
NOTE: The Star Ferry Lower Deck is only open on the Central / Tsim Sha Tsui Service. The Star Ferry Lower Deck is not available on the Wanchai / Tsim Sha Tsui Service.
The Star Ferry Lower Deck boarding location is on the ground floor, one level below the linkbridge.
Heading to Pier 7 of Central Ferry Piers for the Star Ferry service to Tsim Sha Tsui.
The Lower Deck Entrance is on the ground floor.
There are sets of staircases on the sides of the pier to get between the two levels, though these are not so obvious.
Pier 7 of Central Ferry Piers for the Star Ferry.
The Northern Star (北星號) at Pier 7 of Central Ferry Piers.
Heading back to the pier to catch my Star Ferry.
Heading to the pier.
Token machines are available at the entrance to pay for the Star Ferry Lower Deck ride in cash.
The fare table of the Star Ferry Lower Deck. That’s right, the cross-harbour ride on the Star Ferry Lower Deck costs only HK$2.20 (HK$3.10 on Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays).
Heading to the turnstiles.
Tapping my Octopus at the turnstiles to pay for my Star Ferry Lower Deck ride.
The enclosed waiting area for the Star Ferry Lower Deck.
The incoming Star Ferry for my ride to Tsim Sha Tsui.
The view of Kowloon from the enclosed waiting area for the Star Ferry Lower Deck.
A classic warning sign at the gate to the boarding ramp.
Passengers waiting to board the Star Ferry.
Once the Star Ferry is ready for boarding, the gates are opened by a staff member.
Heading down to the floating pontoon to board the Star Ferry.
Boarding the Star Ferry.
The interior of the Star Ferry Lower Deck.
A lot more shipping equipment is found here on the lower deck than the touristy upper deck.
A Star Ferry seaman releasing the ropes as the ferry is ready to sail.
The Star Ferry looks more classic when on the lower deck.
Some ropes around a bollard.
Departing from Central Ferry Piers.
The ride on the Star Ferry Lower Deck is noisier, but provides a better sailing feel.
Heading to Kowloon.
Crossing the Victoria Harbour.
Looking back towards Wan Chai.
A classic hand-painted warning on a frame near the gangway.
The bridge is located on the lower deck too.
Approaching Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier.
The Silver Star crossing the Victoria Harbour.
The Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier together with the clock tower of the former KCR Kowloon Railway Station.
The Northern Star departing from Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier.
The skyline of Wan Chai with the Star Ferry.
The Northern Star passing reciprocal on my starboard beam.
The Shining Star at Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier for the Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour.
Approaching Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier.
The Shining Star sailing off on the Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour.
The double deck floating pontoon on the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier.
The on-board seamen passing the rope to the seamen on the pier, who catches it with a billhook.
Pulling the bight onto the bollard.
Mooring alongside the pier.
Taking turns on the bollard.
The double-deck floating pontoon fits the Star Ferry perfectly.
The seamen on the bow does their ropework too.
The empty interior of the Star Ferry as passengers disembark.
Disembarking from the Star Ferry.
Heading up from the floating pontoon to the main pier.
Looking back at the Night Star from the pier.
Continuing on out.
If heading back to Central, the boarding procedures are the same.
The facade of Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier.
Back the sheltered area, signs for the upper deck ferries are clearly marked out.
The shuttered area presumably for the lower deck Wan Chai ferry.
The exits out from the Wan Chai ferry for the upper deck (stairs) and lower deck (not for passenger’s use).
A separate pier hosts the Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour.
For HK$110 for the Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour versus the HK$2.20 I just paid? Nahhh. I can literally take the Star Ferry Lower Deck for 50 times for that price.
But if you’re interested in the additional frills and sailing route, you can buy your Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour on KLOOK for a cheaper price of HK$102 instead.
The clock tower of the former KCR Kowloon Railway Station.
Resting Star Ferries at Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier.
Overall, a cheap and good ride on the Star Ferry Lower Deck as I can finally see how the Star Ferry works operationally, and it actually feels like a classic ride now that you see all hands on deck rather than just seats and the view of Victoria Harbour on the upper deck.