A destination that is coming back stronger than before

Hong Kong’s shore excursion offerings and links to Asia are bringing cruise operators back to the region 

A destination that is coming back stronger than before

Hong Kong Tourism Board 

Built in 1888, Hong Kong’s Peak Tram has recently been refurbished and provides panoramic views of the city

By Alice Chambers |

Hong Kong welcomed Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit for an overnight call at Ocean Terminal on 18 January 2023, marking the end of a three-year hiatus in international cruise ships visiting the city. Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and Ocean Terminal will receive a total of 85 ships. 

The majority of cruise calls will be Resorts World Cruises’ Resorts World One, which is homeporting at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal from March offering itineraries to Kaohsiung, Taiwan.  

“Hong Kong continues to shine as one of the world’s most exciting harbour cities and as a desirable destination for those who love to sail the oceans,” says Kenneth Wong, general manager of meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions, and cruise, at Hong Kong Tourism Board.  

Most cruise operators are drawn to call at Hong Kong due to its location. As a central destination in Asia, Hong Kong is well situated for northwards itineraries towards mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, as well as southbound and eastbound trips to Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. “This provides cruise operators with a wide option of destinations when planning their itineraries,” says Wong.  

The harbour’s proximity to Hong Kong International Airport also means that cruise operators can provide international guests with direct connections from cities around the world. “The ability to take innovative fly-cruise itineraries and extended regional journeys makes the cruise process much more enjoyable for guests,” says Wong.  

Thanks to its geographical location, cruise operators visiting Hong Kong can attract guests from mainland China with connectivity via the Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the high-speed rail network. As part of the Greater Bay Area that has a population of 86 million, Hong Kong proves to be a lucrative home port for cruise lines to enjoy sustainable growth in local, regional and international markets.  

“It is hard to imagine a more spectacular arrival than sailing into Hong Kong harbour, with its dramatic skyline, bright neon lights and mountain peaks beyond,” says Wong.  

Visitors can also experience Hong Kong’s unique East-meets-West culture. From fine dining at Michelin-star restaurants to authentic street food, there is a variety of dishes for cruise guests to try, including traditional Cantonese dishes like Dim sum or Chinese barbecued meats called Siu mei. Due to the diversity of the city, there are also multiple international-style restaurants and cafes to dine at too, offering a variety of other cuisines.  

In addition, Hong Kong has a thriving arts and entertainment scene, as well as lively local markets and sprawling high-end shopping centres.  

Guests can also visit two new attractions including the Hong Kong Palace Museum, which is home to over 900 treasures from the Palace Museum in Beijing, China, and the new M+ venue, which is Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture. The latter focuses on showcasing Hong Kong’s historical balance of local and international influences.  

Long-beloved attractions have also been updated to enhance the city’s appeal to tourists. The Peak Team, for example, which was built in 1888 and provides panoramic views from Victoria Peak, has undergone refurbishment work on its terminals and tram cars to provide a more enjoyable, efficient and comfortable experience. 

“The city provides cruise passengers with an action-packed shore experience,” says Wong. “With so much happening in Hong Kong, its growing statue as the commercial and cultural epicentre of the region, and support from the Hong Kong Tourism Board, we are set to make a strong comeback from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the international cruise market.” 

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

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