Hong Kong’s cruise sector effectively restarted on 18 January with
the arrival of Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit, the first international
cruise ship to sail from the city in three years.
Authorities in Hong Kong marked the momentous occasion with a water
salute in Victoria Harbour, and a dragon and lion dance performance at
the Ocean Terminal, presenting gifts to welcome arriving passengers on
The Silver Spirit had sailed from Singapore on 5 January, stopping in
Thailand and Vietnam before heading over to Hong Kong on 18 January for
Describing the return of Hong Kong’s cruising as “a milestone in Hong
Kong’s tourism revival”, Pang Yiu-kai, Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB)
Chairman said that the Silver Spirit’s arrival “not only marks the
resumption of Hong Kong’s cruise tourism development and its return to
the international cruise tourism market, but also enables the industry
to develop a wide range of tourism products to enrich the visitor
experience, further stimulating them to visit Hong Kong.”
The resumption of Hong Kong’s cruise sector is a definite cause for
celebration among local cruise and travel industry players, observed
Jeff Bent, managing director of Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which
oversees Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in the city.
"We are delighted that Hong Kong is again hosting cruise ships for
the first time in a year, and international cruises for the first time
in three years," he said. “We eagerly anticipate more regular
interactions with our industry partners, and seeing cruise visitors
return to our shores.”
The ships are calling again
On 18 January, Silver Silver became the first international cruise ship to call at Hong Kong in three years.
Following Hong Kong's successful cruise restart, Bent is anticipating
"a pick-up in future berth bookings by international lines over the
Among the cruise calls, German operator TUI Cruises' luxury cruise
liner Mein Schiff 5 will berth at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in early
March, making it the first ship call at the terminal in 2023. Mein
Schiff 5, which will call in Hong Kong four times, is expected bring
more than 5,000 travellers to the city in total.
The HKTB already plans to receive more than 82 ship calls from at
least 16 cruise lines in 2023, including Resorts World Cruises which
from 10 March will be sailing from Hong Kong on its new Resorts World
other 15 cruise lines sailing to Hong Kong in 2023 thus far are AIDA
Cruises; Azmara Club Cruises; Celebrity Cruises; Fred. Olsen Cruise
Lines; Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Holland America Line; MSC Cruises’ Oceania
Cruises; Princess Cruises; Royal Caribbean International; Silver
Cruises; TUI Cruises’ Vantage Cruises’ Viking Ocean Cruises’ and
The Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, the Tourism Commission and HKTB handed out souvenir goodie bags to arriving passengers at a welcoming ceremony held at Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui.
Cruise infrastructure revamped
Hong Kong has greatly enhanced its transport and tourism
infrastructure in the past three years. Passengers disembarking at Hong
Kong can discover the new West Kowloon Cultural District, a seventh
boundary crossing to Shenzhen, and a new rail connection between Hong
Kong and China.
Bent also reveals that passengers will be able to access different
parts of Hong Kong from Kai Tak Cruise Terminal more easily this year
with the new Kai Tak MTR station on the Tuen Ma line, a new road
connection, and the launch of several new bus services.
believe our guests will make full use of these and help to build
traffic on some newer transport links that had opened shortly before the
pandemic, such as the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge and the
high-speed rail terminus,” said Bent.
“The three-runway system at Hong Kong International Airport,
scheduled for completion in 2024, will also add a boost to Hong Kong’s