The Ship Bridge Simulator
This seafaring simulator features a realistic control deck that lets visitors experience what it’s like to be a ship’s pilot, from barges to speedboats to Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry. Built at a cost of HK$4.7 million, the simulator is equipped with electronic displays, radio equipment, and a steering wheel, and imitates realistic weather conditions like rough seas, fog, and typhoons. The museum’s website claims that it’s ‘so lifelike you may even get seasick.’
The simulator is available for advance group bookings for weekdays, and is open to the public at certain times on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
The Keying Model
The museum also features a scale model of the Keying, a three-masted 19th-century Chinese trading junk. The Keying was the first junk to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa. In addition, the junk sailed to New York, Boston, and London between December 1846 and spring 1848. The vessel had a mixed British and Chinese crew, and was the first example of a Chinese naval vessel to reach the North Atlantic on its own. In London, a medal was made commemorating the Keying’s visit. Currently, the medal is housed in the National Maritime Museum in London.
Sounds of the Sea
The Sounds of the Sea exhibit gives visitors an audial experience of what it’s like to be onboard a seafaring ship. Hear the waves, the sound of the engine, the propeller, and the roar of the wind, along with the gongs, whistles, horns, bells, and sirens that ships use to signal warnings. This is also an opportunity to listen to sea-themed music, including classical, rock, Canto-pop and sailor’s sea shanties, including the classic Chinese song ‘Dai Hai’ (Big Sea) by Taiwanese singer Zhang Yu Sheng.
The Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunk
The museum’s Carrying People exhibit contrasts the plight of South Chinese immigrants – and the arduous, cramped conditions they endured during long sea passages – with a history of luxury passenger liners, and the comforts accompanying those who could afford such travel. Among the objects on display is a 1930s Louis Vuitton antique suitcase made of wood, brass, and the luxury brand’s signature monogrammed canvas. The artifact is sure to inspire some jaw-dropping among the fashion-conscious.
Harbor Viewing Gallery
Witness the evolution of Victoria Harbor from a humble village port to the bustling metropolis of today through the museum’s specially fitted binoculars. This exhibit will take you back in time, with images of the harbor dating from the mid-19th century. You can see history go by, not just through the evolution of the buildings, but also by the types of vessels on the harbor, from junks and ferries to cargo vessels and warships.