Established in 2005 by the Hong Kong Ship Owners association, it was registered as a charity organization and shares its vision of showing Hong Kong, China and the world the many closely related maritime links and the rise of maritime trade through history and also the course of events that turned Hong Kong into an international maritime centre. In close collaboration with a few giants in the shipping industry, national museum and the government, Hong Kong Maritime Museum has become an important icon of Hong Kong and attracts thousands of guests each year.
More than 500 artefacts are displayed in two galleries inside the museum, the ancient gallery and modern gallery. Ancient and modern ships, ceramics, paintings, ship manifests and trade goods from ancient china are among the exhibits within the museum. One of the highlights of the ancient gallery is a model made of pottery of a 2000 year old boat from the Han Dynasty. Another is the 18 meter long ink-painting scroll from the early 19th century pacifying the South China Sea. Battle of Lantau, where Hong Kong’s most famous pirate, Zhang Baozai battled it out with the imperial naval forces is another featured highlight of the museum. The fortunes collected during the dynastic times due to Chinese shipping are portrayed in the ancient gallery.
The museum illustrates how through time, China, the Asian countries and the western worlds contributed to the development of the sea voyages, boats, explorations, naval warfare and technology we see today. The museum also covers global trends and futuristic ideas for the improvement of maritime trade and to develop the relationship of man and sea, which has opened doors to new worlds in the past.
Initially located on the ground floor of Murray House, Stanley in Hong Kong, the museum is currently closed due to its moving to a new location at Central pier 8 which is five times larger and is hoped to improve the facilities offered by the museum and to entertain a larger audience. It will be reopened to the public in January 2013.
For those staying at a Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong and an enthusiast in the art of sailing the shifting of the maritime museum to pier 8 will make it more convenient to visit. A Hong Kong hotel has much to offer its visitors and The Peninsula Hong Kong is one of the more prestigious luxury hotels in the city.