The Hong Kong government is targeting end-July to restart its cruise sector, giving the green light to two cruise lines to resume short sailings from the city.
“Cruise tourism is an integral part of Hong Kong’s tourism and the resumption of high sea cruises is the first step to the recovery of the cruise sector,” said Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) chairman YK Pang.
Genting Cruise Lines will be offering 2- and 3-night Super Summer Seacations on the Genting Dream, the flagship of Dream Cruises fleet that features accommodation in the Balcony Staterooms and the "all-inclusive, all-suite" The Palace.
“The crucial experience gained as the first cruise line to resume in Asia provides invaluable first-hand knowledge on how to operate cruises in the safest possible environment and it is our goal to also be the first to resume in Hong Kong," said Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines.
Similar to sister ships Explorer Dream and World Dream, Genting Dream will be bringing international experiences and themed festivities for its Hong Kong sailings, lining up the Japanese Festival, Oktoberfest, Night Market, Halloween, and a Nordic Christmas up to the month of December.
Genting Cruise Lines will be offering 2- and 3-night Super Summer Seacations on the Genting Dream.
Then on Spectrum of the Seas — Asia's largest, newest and most innovative ship — Royal Caribbean will be operating 2- to 4-night Summer Ocean Getaways from Hong Kong.
Said Crystal Campbell, managing director of Royal Caribbean Cruises Hong Kong: “Hong Kong residents will be able to get away and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing dearly. This include the Bionic Bar, the North Star, the FlowRider surf simulator, the RipCord by iFLY and more fun-filled activities at sea."
Also gearing up for the cruise restart is Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, which is equipped with anti-epidemic measures in place.
Jeff Bent, managing director at Worldwide Cruise Terminals, operator of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, said the venue boasts purpose-built HVAC and mobile UV-C sterilisation units, advanced temperature and air quality monitoring systems, and touchless restroom facilities among other safety features.
"We anticipate low capacity at this stage and Kai Tak is the single largest freestanding cruise passenger terminal in the world, so we're already at an industry best for space per passenger," said Bent.
Royal Caribbean will be operating 2- to 4-night Summer Ocean Getaways from Hong Kong on the Spectrum of the Seas.
These Hong Kong sailings will be required to comply with a new set of safety and healthy protocols. Ships will sail at a reduced capacity of 50%, and passengers are also required to use the government’s LeaveHomeSafe contact tracing app while on board.
All passengers — excluding those with medical conditions and under 16 — must be fully vaccinated and received a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test 48 hours prior to boarding, while the crew must be fully vaccinated and undergo PCR testing every 14 days.
When cross-border travel resumes, the HKTB will then gradually market cruise experience to Mainland and international visitor sources.