The Star Ferry started in 1888 when a Parsee cook launched a steamboat service on the Morning Star. Sir Catchick Paul Chater bought the company and launched as the Star Ferry Company in 1898. 9 ferries now serve 2 routes between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The harbour has changed significantly since then, with reclamation pushing the Hong Kong Island piers further out, and away from their customers.
These ferries played a big role in some of Hong Kong's most important historic events. In 1941, the British Governor rode it to Kowloon to surrender to the Japanese. In 1966, riots began when the company proposed a 5 cent fare increase, which eventually led to social reforms and cleaning up the corrupt police force.