The museum's exhibits illustrates how China, Asia and the West have contributed through the ages to the development of boats, ships, maritime exploration and trade, and naval warfare. While concentrating on the South China coast and its adjacent seas, it also covers global trends and provides a comprehensive account of Hong Kong's growth and development as a major world port and maritime centre.
The museum includes semi-permanent and special exhibitions, dynamic displays, educational events and a museum shop.
The museum is divided into two galleries, the ancient gallery and the modern gallery, displaying more than 500 exhibits including models of ancient and modern ships, paintings, ceramics, trade goods and ships manifests. A model of a 2,000-year-old boat made of pottery from the Han Dynasty is one of the highlights of the Museum. Another treasure is the early 19th century, 18 metre long, ink-painting scroll, Pacifying the South China Sea, showing how the Viceroy of the Two Guangs, Bailing, solved the problem of piratical lawlessness on the Guangdong coast in 1809-1810. A featured highlight is the Battle of Lantau in which imperial naval forces battled Hong Kong's most famous pirate, Zhang Baozai.
The ancient gallery portrays the fortunes of Chinese shipping during ancient and dynastic times. It also illustrates how China's overseas neighbors and Western trading nations together shaped the maritime history of Asia and the regions beyond. The modern gallery explores the historical factors and the Chinese entrepreneurship that have made Hong Kong a maritime success. It covers developments in motive power, shows how bulk carriers, tankers and containerization have changed the face of world's shipping industry, and previews experimental craft of the future.
Visitors can also explore the history of the seafaring in Hong Kong via a video about the ship of the future and interactive games for both kids and adults. For example, an interactive computer simulation allows the visitor to take control of a modern container ship and guide her into the Port of Hong Kong.
Admission to the museum if free. Opening hours: Tue to Sun, Public Holidays : 10am - 6pm; Closed on Mondays, 1st and 2nd days of Lunar Chinese New Year
How to get there:
1. MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D and take Bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Central Exchange Square Bus Terminus.
2. MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit B, walk to Tang Lung Street then take green minibus 40.
3. Bus 973 from Canton Road outside Silvercord Centre.