Star Ferry

From Academic Kids

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Hkstarferry.JPG
Meridian Star (午星號) of Hong Kong Star Ferry.

The Star Ferry (天星小輪) in Hong Kong is a passenger ferry service operator whose principal routes take people across Victoria Harbour, between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The company has been operating since the late 1880s. It was founded by Parsee Dorabjee Nowrojee as the Kowloon Ferry Company in 1888 and renamed Star Ferry in 1898.

The fleet of nine ferries operates four routes across the harbour, carrying over 70,000 passengers a day, or 26 million a year. The ferries were built in the 1950s by the Wharf dockyard, and the company is still owned by Wharf today (even though they have since redeveloped their dockyards), which also own Hong Kong Tramways.

Even though there are now more modern ways to cross the harbour by MTR and road tunnels, the Star Ferry continues to provide an efficient, popular and inexpensive mode of crossing the harbour. The company's main route is that between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, which is what most people mean by "the Star Ferry" in common parlance. This route is also popular with tourists, becoming one of the icons of Hong Kong heritage in the eyes of tourists. From the ferry people can see the famous view of the harbour and the Hong Kong skyline.

Contents

Cross-harbour routes and fares

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Star_Ferry_Pier_in_Central,_Hong_Kong.JPG
Star Ferry Pier in Central, Hong Kong.

The Star Ferry charges HK$1.7 for the lower deck between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, and HK$2.2 for the upper deck between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. The route between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui charges HK$2.2. The two Hung Hom routes charges HK$5.3.

History

  • In 1966, a fare increase of 10 cents of the ferry sparked important unrest in Hong Kong
  • Until the opening of the Cross Harbour Tunnel in 1972, the Star Ferry was the main mean of public transportation between Hong Kong Island and the mainland.
  • In 2003, the Star Ferry began a tourist cruise, making an indirect, circular route to all the stops.

The Star Ferry makes a "star turn" in the 1950s film The World of Suzy Wong. In the beginning of the film, William Holden debarks from the USS President Harrison (an old American President Line transpacific passenger vessel) and takes the Star Ferry to Hong Kong island, and on the ferry meets Suzy Wong, who scorns his attentions as unwanted.

The ferry itself is completely recognizable, and the layout of the pier where William Holden debarks in Kowloon is familiar to the resident or denizen of Tsim Sha Tsui, but missing are the giant shopping malls of today.

Fleet

  • Morning Star (曉星號)
  • Day Star (晨星號)
  • Night Star (夜星號)
  • Electric Star (電星號, 1933, retired)
  • Golden Star (金星號, 1989)
  • World Star (世星號, 1989)
  • Celestial Star (天星號, 1956, currently the oldest "Star" Ferry)
  • Twinkling Star (熒星號)
  • Silver Star (銀星號)
  • Glowing Star (耀星號)
  • Nothern Star (北星號)
  • Meridian Star (午星號)
  • Solar Star (日星號)
  • Shining Star (輝星號, now used as Star Ferry Harbour Tour)

Piers

  • Hung Hom
  • Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Central
  • Wan Chai

Routes

  • Wan Chai to Hung Hom - purple
  • Central to Hung Hom - green
  • Central to Tsim Sha Tsui - orange

Ongoing events

The Star Ferry Pier at Edinburgh Square, Central, together with Queen's Pier, will be demolished as a result of land reclamation along the north shore of Hong Kong Island. Both piers will be re-provisioned further out into the harbour on reclaimed land. Part of the new pier for the Star Ferry will be an existing pier built at the time of the reclamation on which the Hong Kong Station of the Airport Express MTR line and the International Finance Centre are built (i.e. no.7 of the outlying islands ferry piers). This pier is being rebuilt and expanded to resemble the pier that was used for the Star Ferry before the existing, soon-to-be-demolished pier was built.

See also

External link

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