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Eastern Han Pottery Boar
Eastern Han Pottery Boat


The Hong Kong Maritime Museum has been committed for over a decade to helping our community and visitors explore Hong Kong’s unique maritime heritage. It is through exhibitions, research, publications, public and education programming, collections, displays and preservation that the Museum unpacks more than 3,000 years of maritime history and culture about Hong Kong, the South China Sea and the Pearl River Delta.

  • The early history of the Hong Kong islands and the Pearl River Delta when the region was sparsely populated by fishermen and villagers that supported the Chinese coastal trade. New knowledge continues to emerge about this era from archaeological investigations both on land and under water;
  • The role of Hong Kong waters as a point of departure for Chinese vessels involved in the Chinese Maritime Silk Route and the trade that emerged in the Qin and Han Dynasties, gaining prominence from the late eighth century;
  • The convergence of Eastern and Western maritime traditions in the seventeenth century and the emergence of Macau;
  • Regional piracy which reached its peak in the early nineteenth century when an estimated 70,000 pirates were based in southern Chinese waters and led by Cheung Po Tsai who was ultimately defeated by imperial forces off Lantau;
  • The creation of the Port of Hong Kong in the nineteenth century and its consolidation up to World War 2. This story draws on the introduction of Western technology and modern maritime services such as light houses, charting, ship building and servicing, and documentation associated with imports and exports; and
  • The birth of modern Hong Kong as a key trade bridge between an emerging China and the world in the 1950s through the 1980s. This period saw the introduction of containerization and the relocation of all port facilities to Tsing Yi.

The Museum is a chronicler of the critical nature of trade, commerce, internationalism, and the important role shipping has played transforming Hong Kong and its people. A visit to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is an opportunity for the community of – and visitors to – Hong Kong to know the importance of this heritage.