As the first global cruise line visiting and sailing out of Hong Kong since 2020, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit’s sailing on January 19 sent a strong signal of recovery and a sense of normalcy for cruise business.
In fact, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has secured 82 ship calls from at least 16 cruise lines for 2023, including brands such as Azamara Club Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Windstar Cruises.
Throughout 2023, Silversea will also offer another seven voyages to Hong Kong on Silver Spirit, Silver Muse and Silver Whisper, ranging from 10 to 16 days in duration.
Silversea’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, Adam Radwanski, told TTG Asia: “We contribute to the tourism sector by buying high-end hotel accommodation for our guests (and) buying experiences, tours, and transfers from local operators as well as (flights) from Cathay Pacific.”
With seven calls in town next year, including the latest Silver Moon as well as Silver Nova, Radwanski said its first cruise will call on Shanghai in April 2024 as part of the line’s Pacific World Cruise “spanning 133 days around key Pacific Rim destinations”.
While Royal Caribbean Cruises has no update or plan on resumption of ‘cruises to nowhere’ at press time, Resort World Cruises’ (RWC) Resort World One will be deployed to the homeport at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal from March 10 onward.
Michael Goh, president, RWC, said: “We are delighted that cruises are gradually resuming in Hong Kong. The homeport deployment will further create employment opportunities from ship to shore and across the various network chain.
“It will also further open up the cruise tourism industry via cross-border travel and the Fly-Cruise sector, as well as rejuvenate and create business opportunities across the related suppliers from the cruise terminal, bunkering, provisioning, etc.”
Goh added that RWC will soon be expanding its two- and three-night high seas cruises with the re-introduction of new itineraries for the Greater Bay, as well as “explore new B2B and B2C platforms to reach a wider market segment”.
According to Worldwide Cruise Terminals (WCT) which operates Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, 2023 will mark the beginning of the cruise market’s recovery in Hong Kong, with full recovery anticipated in 2026.
WCT’s managing director, Jeff Bent, contended that Hong Kong’s reopening provides visiting cruise lines an international air hub with great “longhaul connectivity to the Americas, Europe, and the antipodes”; while homeporting lines can tap into the world’s highest per-capita tourism spending market (pre-pandemic) Hong Kong, and connectivity into the Greater Bay Area.
This year’s line-up includes TUI Cruises, Fred.Olsen, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Viking Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises.
Meanwhile, Azamara, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Vantage Travel, AIDA Cruises, Nicko Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, Ponant, Phoenix Reisen, The World, and Peace Boat will be calling on Hong Kong in the next two years; with inaugural calls by several ships include Mein Schiff 5, MSC Poesia, MSC Bellissima, Viking Orion, and Celebrity Solstice.