BY TTT NEWS NETWORK
HONG KONG, 27 JANUARY 2023:
Hong Kong is greeting international cruise liners again! Fostered by the Tourism Commission and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), the Silver Spirit, of international cruise line Silversea, arrived in Hong Kong today (18 January), making it the first international cruise to visit Hong Kong since the Government relaxed the inbound control measures. The arrival of the Silver Spirit marks a new start for Hong Kong’s cruise tourism, as HKTB has already lined up at least 82 ship calls from at least 16 cruise lines in 2023.
Welcoming Silver Spirit, 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.
Mr Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, said, “Hong Kong is a unique and not-to-be missed destination of cruise itineraries in Asia. As normal travel resumes, our new and upgraded tourism offerings of diverse nature are ready to give new excitements and fond memories to our friends from around the world.”
Dr Pang Yiu-kai, Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Chairman, described the return of international cruises to Hong Kong as “a milestone in Hong Kong’s tourism revival”: “I’m excited to welcome the Silver Spirit and its passengers to Hong Kong, as it 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.”
Close-knit partnership with cruise lines to secure calls to Hong Kong :
During the pandemic, the Tourism Commission and the HKTB have maintained close communication with various cruise companies to ensure operators are kept abreast of Hong Kong’s latest situation to foster resumption of cruise itineraries to Hong Kong as soon as possible. The HKTB has successfully secured cruise calls from at least 16 cruise lines for 2023, including world-famous cruise brands such as Silversea Cruises, TUI Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, HapagLloyd Cruises and Windstar Cruises, with a total of at least 82 ship calls.
Among the cruise calls, luxury cruise liner Mein Schiff 5, of German operator TUI Cruises, will visit Hong Kong four times and 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 will bring more than 5,000 travellers to Hong Kong in total.
HKTB will drive the revival of cruise tourism with five strategic initiatives:
- Providing greater support and incentives to cruise companies and allocating resources to launch various promotions to attract more customers for cruise tours;
- Maintaining close liaison with cruise lines to ensure that operators are kept abreast of the latest situation in Hong Kong and actively approaching different cruise lines to encourage them to choose Hong Kong as a homeport or port of call;
- Capitalising on Hong Kong’s inherent geographical advantage and its diverse travel experiences to promote Hong Kong as the regional gateway for cruise tourism, together with travel agents, neighbouring ports and other industry partners;
- Promoting the Hong Kong cruise experience to visitors from the Guangdong-Hong KongMacao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and collaborating with other ports in the region to promote cruise itineraries around the GBA;
- Participating in major international cruise shows around the world, such as Seatrade Cruise Global, to further strengthen Hong Kong’s position and influence in the international cruise market.
Silversea cruise ship Silver Spirit arrives at Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui. It is the first international cruise ship visiting Hong Kong after the relaxation of inbound control measures.
Mr Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism (1st from left), Mr Joe Wong, Permanent Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism (middle), Ms Vivian Sum, Commissioner for Tourism (2nd from right), and Dr Pang Yiu-Kai, HKTB Chairman (2nd from left) and Mr Dane Cheng, HKTB Executive Director (1st from right) hand out gift packs to the arriving cruise passengers.
The arriving passengers crack a smile as they receive the welcoming goodie bags.
The dancing lions and dragons welcome the return of the cruise ship with lively performance in a joyful atmosphere and vitality.
Fireboats perform a water fountain courtesy along the way to welcome the “Silver Spirit” into Victoria Harbour.