Leading the recovery of cruising to attract new and younger passengers

Hong Kong Tourism Board is working with cruise lines to drive demand for cruises from the city

Leading the recovery of cruising to attract new and younger passengers
In November 2021, HKTB collaborated with Royal Caribbean International and Dream Cruises for its Hong Kong Wine & Dine event

By Rebecca Gibson |

Cruise-to-nowhere itineraries from Hong Kong have received rave reviews for offering guests peace of mind and enjoyable travel experiences since cruise services resumed in summer 2021. To maintain this strong momentum, both cruise lines have developed various unique and exciting offerings to enhance the guest experience and attract younger passengers and first-time cruisers. 

One of their major initiatives has been to collaborate with both celebrity guests and social media influencers to elicit positive engagement for onboard activities and widespread brand awareness. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched a similar social media campaign to support the cruise lines’ efforts, working in partnership with a well-known local celebrity with a vibrant personality to reinforce the notion that cruising is an enjoyable holiday option.  

The cruise operators have also created themed cruises inspired by Hong Kong’s local festivals and other well-known celebrations. In October, for instance, Dream Cruises offered ‘Oktoberfest at Sea!’ sailings onboard Genting Dream to enable guests to celebrate the world’s largest beer festival with German-inspired food, music, games and activities. Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean International hosted an art-themed programme, offering guests the opportunity to participate in various art, craft and photography workshops on Spectrum of the Seas.   

In November, HKTB collaborated with both Royal Caribbean International and Dream Cruises to extend its annual, month-long Hong Kong Wine & Dine event to cruise vessels. Billed as Hong Kong’s most anticipated annual culinary event, the festival enables people to attend exclusive beverage-tasing sessions and benefit from exclusive discounts at around 50 bars, restaurants and wine merchants throughout the city.  

Echoing this, both cruise operators curated special dining packages and unique food and beverage-based experiences for their guests. Dream Cruises, for example, offered a ‘Wine & Dine C’est La Sea!’ programme to enable guests sailing onboard Genting Dream to enjoy live entertainment, alfresco screenings of films focused on wine and champagne, mixology workshops, and tapas, wine and cocktail tastings hosted by experts. Meanwhile, guests onboard Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas were able to enjoy a full spectrum of ‘Wine & Dine’ delights, including wine-pairing menus at speciality restaurants and a deluxe drink package offering unlimited drinks and options at any restaurant or bar. 

Buoyed by the success of these initiatives and promotional activities, HKTB will continue to adopt new marketing approaches and introduce more diverse and engaging campaigns to drive further consumer demand for cruising and industry recovery.

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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