A vast fleet of ferries operate between the many islands of Hong Kong. The most famous, the Star Ferry, provides stunning views of the city’s skyline and has been rated as one of the most picturesque ferry crossings in the world. The ferry connects 53,000 passengers everyday between Central and Wan Chai in Hong Kong Island to Tsim Sha Tsui and Kowloon in less than 10 minutes. Ferries operate every 5-10 minutes, and adults pay HK$2.50 for upper deck seats (HK$3.40 on Sat, Sun and public holidays) and HK$2.00 (HK$2.80 for Sat, Sun and public holidays) for the lower deck. Patrons over the age of 65 years ride for free and there are discounted fares for passengers with disabilities and children under the age of 12. The majority of ferries in Hong Kong accept Octopus but there are one or two exceptions so it is worth checking in advance.
The other main ferry companies that operate in Hong Kong are the New World First Ferry and the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Holdings Limited which provide access to outlying islands like Lantau, Cheung Chau and Lamma. Fares vary, but the faster ferries (which take half the journey time) generally charge between HK$18-$35, while the slower ferries charge around HK$8-$20. Not all destinations are connected by both types of service, though.
Aside from these main ferry companies, many smaller ferry companies have routes between Hong Kong Island and the outer islands like Po Toi and in the Eastern part of the New Territories.
In addition, regular ferries are supplemented by kaitos, local village ferry services licensed to serve remote coastal settlements. Fares for these journeys differ according to their various destinations. See http://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/service_details/index.html#kfsfor more information.
These ferries can also be hired to take you island hopping for a weekend excursion, but beware that prices are extremely variable depending on the day of the week, number of passengers and to a large extent, how many other boats are in the vicinity at the time. It is perfectly acceptable to negotiate for a lower fare.
The majority of ferries do permit pets although you may be asked to sit in a reserved area.
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The hiring of ferries, catamarans and old world Chinese Junks for parties and corporate events is extremely popular in Hong Kong and there are various charter companies that specialize in the hiring of these vessels. These companies also offer catering for these events.
Two reputable companies include:
Cross Border Ferry Services
Hong Kong is also equipped with several cross border ferry services. These ferries and turbo jets operate from the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal which is located on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon and the Shun Tak Center( Macau Ferry Terminal) in Sheung Wan.
The Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal hosts various ferry services like the New World Ferry Services to Macau, the Chu Kong Passenger transport service that provides ferry services to cities in Guangdong, the Xunlong ferry service to Shekou in Shenzhen and the Cotai Jet which provides service to the Tapia Ferry Terminal in Macau. Similarly the Macau Ferry Terminal, which is also equipped with a heliport, hosts the Turbo Jet ferry services to Macau along with the Cotai Jet services and several other services that provide transport links to Macau and ports on the mainland.
The cross border ferry services require you to pass through passport control so even if you plan a day trip to Macau or to a port on the mainland you should carry your passport and Hong Kong ID card with you.
Details of the various cross border ferries can be found at http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/transport/crossboundary/ferryservices.htm.
The world’s last fleet of double-decker trams, in service for more than a century, offers probably the best travel bargain in Hong Kong. The electric trams take passengers along the length of Hong Kong Island’s north shore. This leisurely, but slower, mode of transport is best avoided during rush hours or if you are in a hurry, as the lack of air-conditioning can be uncomfortable in Hong Kong’s hot and humid summer.
The fare for adults are HK$2.30, while for children are HK$1.20 and the elderly are HK$1.10.
Trams operate between 6am and midnight at 2- to 7-minute intervals. There are six main routes from Kennedy Town and Happy Valley to Causeway Bay, North Point and Shau Kei Wan, with the longest, Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan, taking about 90 minutes. Passengers enter via the back doors and exit at the front, paying their fare with coins or the Octopus card when exiting.
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