The enduring boats, which transport locals and vacationers alike between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, have lengthy been one of many metropolis’s most well-known symbols — and fashionable photograph ops.
Named Golden Star, it went up on the market in 2011 after one of many metropolis’s cross-harbor ferry traces (between the neighborhoods of Hung Hom and Wan Chai) was discontinued amid growth of the MTR subway.
Usually, the entrance of a Star Ferry is full of commuters.
Courtesy Ocean Expeditions
The person who purchased it — he doesn’t want to reveal his identify and makes use of an middleman to reply to the press — is reportedly a Hong Kong native who had a deep, nostalgic connection to the ferry system. He labored in Hung Hom and repeatedly commuted through Star Ferry.
Underneath his decade of possession, the ship (generally known as DOT) was transformed right into a floating mansion with 6,000 sq. toes of residing house. That house consists of 4 state rooms, workplaces, an on-board movie show, a proper eating room, rooftop spots for sunbathing and a lounge that’s reportedly house to Hong Kong’s single largest couch. There’s additionally house for a 14-foot-tall Christmas tree yearly.
DOT runs on solar energy (sure, these are photo voltaic panels on the highest) and harnesses waste water, making it absolutely self-sufficient. There’s additionally air con, which anybody who has suffered by means of a damp Hong Kong summer time will admire.
Transport followers will discover one other important change on DOT — its coloration.
Star Ferries in Hong Kong are usually painted white on the higher deck and darkish inexperienced on the decrease. This wasn’t a purely aesthetic resolution. After World Warfare II, the British military nonetheless had a surplus of dark-green paint left over, so it was used on many public works tasks all through town — together with ferries and, later, trams.
Lately, DOT is all-white, but it surely’s exhausting to overlook the acquainted form of the boat in opposition to Hong Kong’s turquoise waters.
Star Ferry’s lengthy historical past
The 120-year-old Star Ferry is Hong Kong’s oldest type of public transport. The origins of this commuter service might be traced again to at least one man.
The primary Star Ferry service throughout Victoria Harbour started in 1888, and the trip took between 40 and 60 minutes relying on water situations.
Lately, due to a mixture of extra fashionable boats and extra reclaimed land shrinking the dimensions of the harbor, a visit on the Star Ferry takes only a few minutes. However these couple of minutes are all it is advisable soak up a few of the metropolis’s lovely waterfront structure, and even probably the most jaded commuter finds themselves gazing on the harbor sundown.
When these common ferries started working, it was the primary occasion of normal, regulated transport between the island and the peninsula. Vacationers may hail non-public boats (kaitos, a low-fi model of water taxis), however there was no consistency or potential to plan a visit prematurely.
Hong Kong’s public trams — nicknamed “ding dings” for the sound of the clanging sign they make — wouldn’t begin till 1904, and the MTR subway system unveiled its first stations within the Seventies.