Terminal will give HK capacity to host five liners simultaneously

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 August, 2007, 12:00am

When the first phase of Hong Kong's new cruise terminal opens at the former Kai Tak airport site in 2012, Victoria Harbour will be capable of accommodating up to five cruise liners at any one time.

Tourism commissioner Au King-chi said yesterday that the successful bidder for the project would be required to build two berths with a combined length of 850 metres. The first, which the government expects to bring into service in February 2012, should be able to accommodate one mega-liner and one small one, or three small liners, she said.

If three liners were berthed there, and two more were docked at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, the city would host five cruise liners simultaneously.

Crociere's Hong Kong-based Allegra, which weighs 28,430 gross tonnes and is 187.7 metres long, is considered a small vessel.

The terminal is being designed to accommodate the biggest ship the world expects to see for several years to come, the Royal Caribbean line's Project Genesis. That means having berths and other facilities big enough to handle a ship of 220,000 gross tonnes, carrying 5,400 passengers and 1,200 crew.

Those requirements match the expected size and capacity of Project Genesis, the as yet unnamed mega-liner due for launch in 2009.

Joseph Lam, Royal Caribbean's international representative for Hong Kong, said it was not expected that vessel would be surpassed for several years after its launch.

The liner was also unlikely to visit Hong Kong until several years after its launch, he said.

The government will invite tenders for the project late this year or early next year. The winning bidder is likely to have to spend at least HK$3.2 billion, on top of the land premium, to develop the 7.6-hectare site.

About 60 per cent of the site will be built on - facilities will include shops and a hotel. A 35-metre height limit will be imposed.

A third berth, protruding into the harbour, may be built later.