Star Ferry steams ahead with Disney routeLocal | Flora Chung 16 Nov 2016
Hong Kong's Star Ferry has recently transformed a 27-year-old ferry into an environmentally friendly tour boat - which will sail a new route between Tsim Sha Tsui and Disneyland - in a bid to attract more tourists to explore Hong Kong on the water.
The HK$14 million refurbished "World Star" is expected to start operating daily on the new route by the end of this month, or early December.
It will pass through the SAR's landmarks, including the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals and Tsing Ma Bridge, during its trip, which will take passengers from Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier to Disneyland in Penny's Bay in about 45 minutes.
Tourists who want to join the tour must purchase a HK$180 same-day return ticket, with which they will be able to enjoy the snacks provided on the ferry as well. For about HK$200, World Star will also take tourists on a night trip to enjoy "A Symphony of Lights" - the nightly multimedia show involving more than 40 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour.
Star Ferry estimated the new ferry, which provides charter services, will carry more than 350 passengers per day once it starts operating, and the company expects to break even in six years' time.
General manager Johnny Leung Tak-hing said the new ferry will mainly target foreign tourists, as he believes "they like watching midstream operations and destinations, such as the container terminal."
The World Star was originally the ferry plying the Wan Chai-Hung Hom route.
Co-funded by the Pilot Green Transport Fund of the Environmental Protection Department, it has now been given a new life to become Hong Kong's first diesel-electric powered ferry. The eco- ferry brings about substantial reduction in smoke emission, but higher propulsion efficiency after undergoing the transformation.
With the introduction of the diesel- electric engine, the chimney stack above the roof will be of decorative use to preserve the iconic image of the Star Ferry.
The same section located at the interior upper deck of the ferry has been removed, which creates a larger interior compartment with an uninterrupted view from one end of the boat to the other.