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A Deck 
Maritime Science and Technology  

Maritime Communications


For those of us on land, communications have long been a matter of picking up a telephone.  Until very recently it has been anything but as simple for a seafarer, who went to sea knowing that there would be no contact with family and friends for the duration of a voyage. However, a ship had to make contact with other ships and land somehow, whether to send or receive danger signals, ask for advice or keep abreast of the news.  The K C Maritime Gallery illustrates just how ingenious mankind could be. 

Before radio and electronic contact became the norm, ships communicated with other ships and shore by flashing lights, hoisting flags and even by pigeon.  For close-by communications bells, gongs, sirens, whistles and horns were the signals of choice, each delivering a different message according to its special pitch and pattern. Later, radio contact and the invention of Morse Code revolutionized communications at sea and there are many examples of momentous events that were signalled in this way, such as the distress calls of the Titanic. 

Cables laid under the sea spawned companies offering a cable service with a cost for every word, prompting an enterprising Norwegian firm of shipbrokers to develop the BOE code, in which groups of five letters could mean a sentence.  This code, enshrined in an enormously fat volume, provided short-hand for every kind of message, ranging from details of events at sea for which a captain sought advice to fixing cargoes.

Today`s generation, so used to instant contact, can come and marvel at the inventiveness of their forbears and even try out some of the old methods of communication for themselves.  The gallery perfectly tracks the fascinating history of staying in touch. 

The K C Maritime Gallery is sponsored by KC Maritime Limited in honour of the company`s founder, Lokumal K Chellaram . 

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Navigation and Meteorology

The navigation bridge is the eyes and brain of a ship.   The Frank Tsao Gallery presents early and basic methods of navigation, explaining how they worked, how a ship steered and how distances were logged. China’s pioneering invention of the compass is a highlight in this gallery and the history of navigation is traced through to the modern, computer-based integrated bridge systems of today.

Discover how seafarers have used sun, moon and stars to find a ship`s position and the central role that time-keeping has played at sea. Learn about today’s artificial navigational stars: GPS (Global Positioning System); GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System); Galileo and BeiDou (北斗導航系統). Study the development of marine charts from the Mao Kun maps of the Wu BeiZhi (武備志) to Chart HK0801. See how predicting the weather at sea progressed from rhyming lore to computer modelling.

The Frank Tsao Gallery is sponsored by the IMC Group in honour of the Group`s founder, Tan Sri Frank Tsao Wen-king.

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Ship Bridge Simulator


Sponsored by Valles Steamship Company Limited, the HK$4.7 million KM Koo Ship Bridge Simulator now installed at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum boasts the city’s most state-of-the-art control deck for ocean-going vessels. 


This new facility is located on A-deck of the Museum, which has been officially launched on 29 April 2016. It allows visitors to steer a variety of ships including container barge, high-speed boat or even the famous historic Star Ferry, and learn the various roles of seafarers in the simulator to experience an immersive and authentic ‘sea journey’ through Hong Kong waters and the Victoria Harbour waterfront!


In this professional-grade simulator, one can experience seafaring like never before. Guided by the museum staff or maritime services students from the Maritime Services Training Institute (MSTI), visitors can track the ship’s location and trajectory on the Electronic Chart Display, listen to real-time radio communications from a transceiver, view traffic information using the radar, and last but not least, steer at the vessel’s helm. The Simulator is capable of creating a variety of realistic immersive weather conditions such as typhoon, rough seas, fog, rain and even snow.


Special acknowledgement to Valles Steamship Company Limited, Dalian Maritime University, The Star Ferry Company, Star Cruises, and Museum Advisor Captain Tung Yan-Tung.

Simulator .JPG
simulator .JPG

Latest Arrangements on HKMM Services

Bridge Simulator sessions are suspended until further notice.

Advance group bookings for the simulator are available on weekdays.

Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays are open to the public visitors

at 14:00, 14:45, 15:30 and 16:15, each in a 30-minute session

(maximum 15 persons per session). 


  • Admission to this activity is by free ticket. Tickets for all sessions will be distributed from 1pm onwards at Visitor Service Counter, on a first come first served basis while stocks last.

  • Every visitors who wishes to enter the Simulator must have a simulator ticket. Each visitor can only collect one ticket for one session.

  • All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

  • The final arrangement for the Simulator experience is at the decision of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and its representatives.

Maritime Communications
Navigation and Meteorology
KM Koo Ship Bridge Simulator
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