Stretching across the South China Sea between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the sheltered waters of Victoria Harbour were the catalyst for this strategic British colony to be built. It has since gone on to become one of the busiest ports in the world, and cruising along its waters taking in the iconic cityscape of Central is a quintessential Hong Kong experience.
From cruising aboard an authentic Chinese boat to soaking up the sunset views on a luxury yacht, there are so many different ways to experience Victoria Harbour and its islands. Away from the water, the best views across Victoria Harbour are on offer from the top of Victoria Peak, which towers behind the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, as well as along the promenade of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. Each evening, this body of water illuminates with the Symphony of Lights, which sees lasers beamed from the skyscrapers lining the harbour, while during the Lunar New Year celebrations fireworks explode above.
While there are three road tunnels that travel beneath Victoria Harbour in addition to the three Mass Transit Railway routes, if visitors want to soak up the views while getting from A to B then the ferry is the best option. There are numerous routes which depart from both Central and Wan Chai, although the Star Ferry is the most famed, having crossed the harbour from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui since the late 19th century.
What is today known as Victoria Harbour was first mentioned in 15th century sailing maps by Zheng He, with the East India Company preparing the first detailed map of the harbour in the early 19th century. It was originally named Hong Kong Harbour, but this was later changed to Victoria Harbour in honour of Queen Victoria and to assure the British fleet were given shelter.