The harbor is one of Hong Kong’s key attractions and cruises are one of the best ways to experience it. There are a variety of different operators, ranging from the Star Ferry to genuine junks, new and old. Note that Queen’s Pier in Central where some of the boats board is due to move to Pier 9, next to the recently relocated Star Ferry Terminal.
Aqua Luna (www.aqualuna.com.hk). One of the most luxurious and stylish options is the traditionally styled junk, Aqua Luna, whose red-lit sails are easily identifiable across the harbor. Owned by the same company as the excellent Aqua bars and restaurants, the Aqua Luna is comfortably decked out in dark wood and sofas and the HK$150 tariff includes a free cocktail aboard.
Duk Ling (Thurs & & Sat 10 am & from Tsimshatsui Pier; Thurs & and Sat 11 am&1pmfrom Queen’s Pier, Central; free). For a cheaper alternative, you can join the tourist office’s Duk Ling hour-long cruise. The Duk Ling is the last authentic Chinese junk in the harbor and, after 25 years at sea, was restored in the 1980s and has been used as a tourist boat ever since.
The cruise is free, but you may be asked for your passport to prove that you are a genuine tourist. You should book your place in advance at the tourist office in the Star Ferry terminal in Tsimshatsui.
Star Ferry Harbor Cruise ( www.starferry.com.hk/harbourtour). If you enjoyed your brief trip across the harbor on the Star Ferry then their harbor cruises, which stop at all the terminals (Central, Tsimshatsui, Central, Wanchai and Hung Hom) might appeal. The hourlong trips cost HK$40 during the day, HK$85 at night or HK$120 during the evening light show. Alternatively, you can buy a half-day (HK$65) or one day (HK$150) hopping pass which allows you to travel between the piers at your leisure.
♥ Dolphin Watching
The discovery of these creatures in the early 1990s came as a surprise to the world, and since then research into their dwindling numbers has continued. These dolphins, actually called Chinese white dolphins, have unique coloration. But, despite their name, they have a pink complexion and are born almost black.
Hong Kong’s economic development and expansion has left them living between power-plants, factories and the airport and has seen their population dwindle to about 1,000. Hong Kong Dolphinwatch (www.hkdolphinwatch.com) was established in 1995 and has been working hard to promote awareness and the protection of these beautiful mammals ever since.
To catch a glimpse of Hong Kong’s endangered dolphins, there are tours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8:30 am from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Central, or at 9 am from the Kowloon Hotel, Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, all arranged by Hong Kong Dolphinwatch. Their staff is extremely knowledgeable and, if you’re unlucky enough not to see any dolphins, you can go on the next trip for free. The half-day trips cost HK$320.