Hong Kong reclaims its title as Asia’s cruise center

Spectrum of the seas in Hong Kong
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After a turbulent three years marked by temporary cruise suspensions and COVID-19 restrictions, Hong Kong is poised to re-establish itself as Asia’s premier cruise hub. The Hong Kong Tourism Board said the city has secured over 160 calls from 16 cruise ships for 2023, signaling a full recovery.

As the city’s tourism sector recovers, Hong Kong will take advantage of its strategic location and once again attract cruise ships and tourists from around the world.

Cruise industry resumes operations in Hong Kong

Cruises have faced numerous challenges in Hong Kong over the past three years, including the temporary cessation of Spectrum of the Seas operations due to COVID-19 concerns. However, recent developments point to a resurgence in the city’s cruise industry.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board announced that the city received over 160 ship calls from 16 cruise lines in 2023, marking a full recovery of Hong Kong’s cruise scene.

Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

“With the lifting of the mask mandate, Hong Kong shines once again as one of the most exciting port cities and most desirable destinations for cruise travelers from around the world. In 2023 we secured over 160 ship calls from 16 cruise lines.”

“This means a full revival of the Hong Kong cruise scene. The rapid recovery of the Hong Kong cruise industry is due to the trust and relationships we have built with cruise lines.” said Kenneth Wong, Hong Kong Tourism Board’s MICE & Cruise General Manager.

Strong relationships with cruise lines

Kenneth Wong attributed the quick recovery to the strong relationships built with cruise lines over the years. Silversea Cruises, for example, marked the start of the cruise season with silver spirit Return to Hong Kong in mid-January.

Adam Radwanski, Silversea’s Managing Director Asia Pacific, underscored the cruise line’s long-term commitment to Hong Kong:

“Hong Kong is one of the most important ports in Asia for Silversea Cruises and our discerning guests who appreciate the enriching experiences, welcoming people and spectacular cityscape that awaits them every time they call at their destination.”

“In January 2023, Silversea returned to Hong Kong waters as the first international cruise line in almost three years – made possible through the invaluable cooperation of the local government, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and port authorities.”

Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Hong Kong
Credit: LO Kin-hei/Shutterstock

Hong Kong and Asia in general are an important part of Silversea’s operations. As Hong Kong reopens to cruises, the company can continue with its planned itineraries and capitalize on the Chinese market.

“With four ultra-luxury ships sailing Asia Pacific waters in 2023, Silversea is investing heavily in the region and seeing tremendous growth in this market. We look forward to expanding our close working relationship with Hong Kong over the coming years as we continue to offer our guests unique experiences in this iconic destination.” Radwanski continued.

In addition to Silversea, cruise ships from various shipping companies will call at Hong Kong in 2023. These include Mein Schiff, Viking, Royal Caribbean InternationalAzamara, Holland America Line and Windstar.

Tapping into the huge cruise market in China

The revival of cruise activity in Hong Kong opens doors for the cruise industry open up the huge market in mainland China.

Strategically located in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area with a population of 86 million, Hong Kong is easily accessible via the high-speed rail and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the world’s longest sea bridge.

This connectivity enables cruise lines to develop new offerings and attract a diverse clientele from the extensive mainland market. Before the pandemic, the Chinese cruise market saw significant growth and was estimated to be the largest in the world.

In 2019, China had approximately 5 million outbound cruise passengers, making it the second largest cruise market after the United States. China’s cruise potential is huge given its large population, growing middle class and rising disposable income.

As Hong Kong reemerges, the city is perfectly positioned to unlock the immense potential of China’s cruise market and welcome millions of international visitors.

As the city continues to recover and revitalize, Hong Kong will once again be able to offer its guests unique and unforgettable experiences as it did many years ago.
Cruise ships in Hong Kong

Source: News Network

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