An inflatable rubber duck six storeys high sailed into the Hong Kong harbour on Thursday to the cheers of hundreds of people who gathered to watch the classic bathtime-inspired artistic creation.

The bright yellow 16.5-metre-tall (54-feet) Rubber Duck, conceived by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, dwarfed other craft as it was towed by a tugboat a fraction of its size past the city's iconic skyline to a mooring.

Since 2007 the art installation has travelled to 13 different cities in nine countries ranging from Brazil to Australia in its journey around the world.

Peggy Shieh, 28, made a special trip from Taiwan to see the duck after she learned about it on Facebook. "It takes me back to my childhood memories," she said.

People began queuing from as early as 6 am for a chance to buy a miniature replica. Kathy Cheung, who was second in line, took half a day off work to ensure she got her piece of art history.

"I think it's the first and last time I will see a rubber duck in Hong Kong. It has a message for peace but for me it's just fun," she said.

Watch the video, broadcast by CNN and posted to YouTube on May 2.

[youtube expand=1]