Tourists will be able to explore one of Hong Kong's chief natural assets - Victoria Harbour - by boat next year under a government plan to start a new scenic ferry route. The Harbour Tour Service will run a circular cruise stopping at six points around the harbour, with travellers able to buy a day pass and get on and off to explore as they please. The service is expected to be used by 1,500 people a day and will run at least hourly between 9.30am and 8.30pm. A Tourism Commission spokeswoman said the proposed service would capitalise on Victoria Harbour's sites. 'The magnificent view of the cityscape along the waterfront has long been a symbol of Hong Kong and a famous attraction to visitors,' she said. 'The proposed Harbour Tour Service aims to provide a means for passengers to cruise leisurely within the inner harbour, while having a convenient means of access to key waterfront attractions.' However, an initial tender earlier this year attracted only two bids, neither of which met requirements, and the project is soon to be put out to tender again by the Transport Department. According to the project's tender specifications, ferries operating the route should have outdoor seating - unlike most of the public transport ferries now running to the outlying islands - as well as an air-conditioned indoor cabin. Ferries running the route should provide access for disabled people, sell food, drink and souvenirs and provide a commentary in English, Putonghua and Japanese. The tender also called for other innovative ideas, such as a postcard-mailing or photography service. Compared to other cities around the world, Hong Kong's existing commercial harbour sightseeing cruises are generally more expensive. The least expensive tour offered by Watertours of Hong Kong is $220 for an adult, which includes one beer. By comparison, in San Francisco, Blue and Gold Fleet offers tours for $148; in Cape Town, the Waterfront Boat Company offers a cruise for $45; in Sydney, Vagabond Cruises offer a $108 trip; and in London, a circular cruise on the river Thames costs $92 with Thames Sightseeing Cruises. The tender document for the proposed Harbour Tour Service in Hong Kong does not specify a price but says the fares must not exceed a maximum to be determined by the government.