It was a series of much-anticipated firsts for Hong Kong's cruise industry on Friday, 10 March 2023, following the return of the first international cruise ship to the city in January this year.
Not only did Kai Tak Cruise Centre welcomed the resumption of international ship calls with Resorts World Cruises' inaugural sailings from Hong Kong, Resorts World One's year-round homeport deployment is also Hong Kong's first in three years.
From 10 March until 31 March 2023, the 13-deck Resorts World One will offer a series of two- and three-night high sea cruises from Hong Kong. From 2 April 2023, she will be dual-homeporting from Hong Kong and Taiwan's Kaohsiung.
To commemorate the launch and inaugural sailing of Resorts World One from Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) performed on the ship's helipad during her maiden voyage out of Victoria Harbour, which was broadcasted live online via Resorts World Cruises’ Facebook for the Hong Kong and international audience worldwide (yet another first for the event).
In a first, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra performed on Resorts World One's helipad during her maiden voyage out of Victoria Harbour [screengrab from live video].
The inaugural sailing of the Resorts World One from Kai Tak Cruise Terminal was officiated by Resorts World Cruises president Michael Goh and COO Raymond Lim; alongside over 400 attendees including local travel and business partners, the media, as well as key influencers.
“Resorts World One’s maiden voyage today from the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal signifies an important step forward in reigniting Hong Kong’s cruise tourism. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Tourism Commission of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the relevant authorities for their support as we pioneer the restart of the Hong Kong year-round cruise deployment,” said Goh.
“Resorts World One will open-up new opportunities for the inbound and outbound travel in Hong Kong for cruising and fly-cruise guests, which will have a positive spill over effect beyond the cruise tourism sector in Hong Kong."– Michael Goh, president, Resorts World Cruises
“Resorts World One will open up new opportunities for the inbound and outbound travel in Hong Kong for cruising and fly-cruise guests, which will have a positive spill over effect beyond the cruise tourism sector in Hong Kong,” he added.
Kenneth Wong, HKTB’s general manager, MICE & cruise, said, “ Resorts World Cruise’s establishment of business and homeporting deployment in Hong Kong underlines Hong Kong’s undiminished strength as a regional cruise hub and international tourism destination."
According to Wong, the arrival of Resort World One on 8 March itself has already brought over a thousand cruise visitors from various Southeast Asian countries to Hong Kong. The HKTB, he added, will look to collaborate with international cruise lines as well as trade partners to promote the growth and opportunities in the Asian cruise market.
Resorts World One’s inaugural call at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on 8 March marked the return of international ships the terminal for the first time in three years. Photo Credit: Worldwide Cruise Terminals
Jeff Bent, managing director for
Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which manages and
operates the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, added, “The future for cruising is bright again as Hong Kong is set to receive calls
from at least 16 cruise lines for over 150 calls in 2023. Hong Kong has done much to
improve the attractiveness and infrastructure for cruising over the last few years, with
new attractions in the West Kowloon Cultural District, a new one-stop boundary
crossing, and closer to the cruise terminal, a new Kai Tak metro station, a new road
connection, and new bus routes and services.
"All these, in addition to
recently-added transportation links such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and
the High Speed Rail, will boost Hong Kong’s international connectivity for cruise
passengers, provide more options for pre- and post-trip excursions in the Greater Bay
Area, and make Hong Kong a more attractive destination and homeport."