Hong Kong Opening Up Bigger Cruise Source Markets

World Dream in Hong Kong

Major development projects will help make it easy for cruise guests to get to their ships at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong.

New rail, bridge and road links will better connect Hong Kong with mainland China.

“The high-speed rail will bring 270 million people within a four-hour ride of Hong Kong, and will also allow pre- and post-tours to major attractions like Guilin,” said Jeff Bent, managing director, Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which runs Kai Tak.

In addition, the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge will open up more opportunities in conjunction with a cruise trip.

In June the port celebrated a major milestone as it marked a passenger record with 15,307 guests in a single day as the World Dream and Ovation of the Seas both docked, coinciding with the modern facility’s fifth year anniversary of being in operation.

That came just after a busy month of March, with six inaugural calls which saw the Viking Sun, Star Legend, Silver Discoverer, Columbus, Norwegian Jewel and Queen Elizabeth tie up at Kai Tak.

Traffic at Kai Tak will be slightly down year-over-year, with headwinds in North Asia, Bent said.

“South China has benefited from both a more diverse and sustainable distribution model, and increased attention to the Philippines’ newly-rediscovered port-of-call destinations for locally-based ships,” he said.

Near the terminal in Hong Kong, more land is set to be developed as road and other infrastructure improvements are expected to be conducted in the next year.

“Hong Kong has already met the government’s goals for passenger throughput in 2023,” Bent said, noting the just under one-million cruise guests the city served in 2017.

“For significant growth to happen, we need to help make the source market pie bigger. China has been the world’s largest outbound travel market for a number of years, but penetration for cruise is still only a fraction of a per cent. The better we grow the Chinese source market, the more the entire world will benefit.”

Costa neoRomantica to Host Fashion Show

Jessica Minh Anh on the Costa neoRomantica in Tokyo

Tianjin Targeting 800,000 Passengers in 2017

The Ovation of the Seas in Tianjin

With four berths, Tianjin expects around 800,000 passengers this year, and through the first six months of 2017, traffic was up some 102.4 percent.

Customs and border protection has been further refined, reducing clearance times to 10 seconds in some instances with automated terminals.

Earlier this year, the port signed a MOU with Costa to build a supply and distribution center, with Costa committing to year-round voyages from Tianjin through 2019.

Also of note, the MSC Lirica sailed from Tianjin in February, offering a new “Around China” itinerary with interporting in Zhoushan, Hong Kong and Xiamen, as well as calls to South Korea and Japan, according to Da Wu, vice general manager of Tianjin International Cruise Terminal.

Wu hopes his port will offer more diversified products, including cruises to nowhere, to attract new passengers

Zhengdong Zhang, general manager, added: “Similar to MSC’s model, we are exploring opening domestic routes to Dalian, Yantai, Qingdao, Rongcheng and Weihai, creating a product in which passengers only need their national identification card to travel.”