How Hong Kong offers new heights of discovery

Cruise visitors to the city can immerse themselves in an array of cultural events, sports and attractions 

How Hong Kong offers new heights of discovery

Hong Kong Tourism Board

By Alice Chambers |

Just when seasoned cruise professionals think they know all about Hong Kong, the city continues to deliver immersive festive and cultural events, and attractions to create more new and exciting onshore experiences.  

This East-meets-West metropolis gives international cruise brands countless more reasons to make it a must-see port. 

Spectacular events  

Hong Kong hosts spectacular events throughout the year. While international and Western festivals such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas are widely celebrated in the city, it also retains traditions such as the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races that are held on the waterfront of Tsim Sha Tsui East every June. 

“The integration of these onshore mega-events with onboard activities and excursion programmes brings twice as much fun to cruise passengers,” says Hong Kong Tourism Board.  

For example, 2,000 AIDA Cruises guests were treated to a display of Victoria Harbour fireworks and an exclusive New Year Party when AIDAbella docked in prime position at Ocean Terminal on 31 December 2023. The Hong Kong Tourism Board made the onboard countdown party all the merrier by organising traditional Chinese craft demonstrations and performances.  

In addition, the city hosts major events to inspire onshore programmes cruise passengers can partake in every month throughout the year. Festive celebrations like Cathay International Chinese New Year Night Parade, which is the first of the Chinese New Year celebrations in February, followed by the Lunar New Year Fireworks display on the second day, allow cruise guests to experience the energy of traditional festivities.  

Alongside historic festivals like the Chinese New Year, Hong Kong also celebrates international cuisine during the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival, which is hosted in October every year. This event allows cruise passengers to explore the city by night and try samples from a wide range of wine and food booths representing countries and regions from around the world. 

Hong Kong hosts numerous other events that await discovery by passengers, such as a variety of art fairs and exhibitions, and sporting events like the Hong Kong Sevens in April and Cylcothon in October. These, alongside tailor-made hospitality by Hong Kong Tourism Board, are designed to make all guests feel welcomed. 

Attractions for everyone  

As well as vibrant events, the city offers a range of attractions and experiences for every type of passenger. Among its newest attractions is the recently renovated Temple Street, which is known for its night markets. Here, visitors can sample iconic local snacks and street food while experiencing the authentic atmosphere in a street adorned with decorations that provide perfect photo opportunities. 

Temple Street, Hong Kong

Visitors can sample local snacks and street food at Temple Street (photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

More authentic neighbourhood experiences can be discovered in the West Kowloon Cultural District, a complex for art and cultural facilities such as the Xiqu Centre, M+, and the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Similarly, the charm of Old Town Central with its sloped streets and hidden alleys, encapsulates the rich and diverse spirit of Hong Kong.  

The city’s flagship theme parks also offer unparalleled adventures. They include Hong Kong Disneyland, the world’s first World of Frozen-themed land, and Ocean Park Hong Kong’s Water World, which is open year-round.  

“The city provides cruise operators with a plethora of attractions and experiences to weave into their itineraries, all of which are easily accessible from both cruise terminals,” says Hong Kong Tourism Board. “With so much happening in Hong Kong, we look forward to welcoming visitors to our new destinations and for them to experience our world-class events.” 

Endless opportunities 

Hong Kong has an extensive international flight network connecting 220 destinations in the world, as well as an air-land-sea transportation network covering all parts of mainland China. This makes Hong Kong an ideal destination for cruise operators wanting to capitalise on the possibilities for developing fly-cruise turnaround itineraries for both short- and long-haul markets.  

“Without a doubt, the cruise scene will continue to thrive, along with Hong Kong’s development as a world-class destination for cruising,” says Hong Kong Tourism Board.  

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.      

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