Edited by Mike Aquino.
The ferry between Hong Kong and Macau is the only practical way to travel between the two sister SARs. Below is all the information you need to catch the ferry between Hong Kong and Macau, including direct connections to the Cotai Strip.
Where can I Catch the Ferry?
Travelers going to Macau from Hong Kong have four different alternatives, located on Hong Kong Island, Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, the New Territories and the Hong Kong International Airport.
From Hong Kong Island: take the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal (3/F Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan; Google Maps). This is one of the best-connected terminals, with links to the tram, the Sheung Wan MTR station, bus and minibus terminals (including the bus that connects to the airport).
Shun Tak Centre also houses reservation offices for select Macau hotels and the Hong Kong office of the Macau Government Tourism Office.
From Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon: take the China Ferry Terminal (33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; Google Maps). This ferry is immediately accessible from the MTR Tsim Sha Tsui and Austin stations, and the Star Ferry Terminal.
From the New Territories: take the Tuen Mun Ferry Terminal (148 Wu Chui Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories; Google Maps). Only Turbojet runs ferry services to Macau from Tuen Mun; for more information, visit Turbojet’s Tuen Mun page.
From Hong Kong Airport: go to the Skypier, where you can transfer to a Macau ferry without clearing Hong Kong immigration, instead exiting right at Macau. Some participating airlines will let you check your baggage in without having to recheck it through HKIA.
The Skypier – and thus the HKIA-Macau ferry option – is only available to arriving passengers; otherwise, you should take the three other options listed above. Both Turbojet and Cotai Waterjet run ferry services to Macau from HKIA. For fares, schedules and other information, visit the respective Sheung Wan pages for Turbojet and Cotai Waterjet.
Which Ferry Service Should I Choose?
Services to downtown Macau, known as the Outer Terminal, are run by Turbojet. This is the best destination for most hotels, restaurants and Portuguese parts of Macau.
Services to the Cotai Strip, where many of the casinos can be found, are run by Cotaijet. The services at Cotai are met by complimentary casino shuttles to the Venetian and Sands Cotai.
How often do ferries leave Hong Kong for Macau?
The most frequently-traveled route comes from Sheung Wan and disembarks at downtown Macau. This is also the only route that has regular night services.
- From Sheung Wan to downtown Macau: Every fifteen minutes from 07:00am until 23:59pm with seven additional sailings throughout the night. During peak hours, holidays and festivals Turbojet lays on extra ferries to cope with demand.
- From Kowloon to downtown Macau: Every one and a half hours from 07:30am until 6:30pm. There are no night sailings on this route.
- From Tuen Mun to downtown Macau: Six sailings from 7:40am to 21:50pm.
- From HKIA to downtown Macau: Four sailings every two hours from 11am to 6pm.
- From Sheung Wan to Cotai: Every thirty minutes from 7am until 23:30pm. There are no night sailings on this route.
- From Kowloon to Cotai: Five sailings through the morning from 8:15am until 13:15pm.
From Sheung Wan and TST the journey time is between 60-75 minutes, depending on sea conditions and whether you are on a standard ferry or faster catamaran.
Where can I Get Tickets?
At the ferry terminals. Some hotels and casinos also offer ticketing options.
With so many sailings there really is little need to book ahead from Hong Kong, and ferries are rarely full. Generally, tickets can be bought for the next sailing up to thirty minutes before departure.
Rush hour services on Friday to Macau and late night services to Hong Kong on Friday and Saturday night can be busy and it is worth booking in advance which you can do online. This is especially true on weekends and during public holidays or major events, such as the Macau Grand Prix.
What About Staying in Macau?
Macau has plenty of attractions to keep you interested for a couple of days but accommodation options are limited. The big casino hotels are some of the best in Asia, but that's reflected in the prices. There are some cheap Macau hotels, but they aren't as comfortable as options in Hong Kong.