Luxury liners make HK their home port
Hong Kong has become a popular stopover on the luxury itinerary with 420,000 cruise passengers dropping by last year. Now, Costa Crociere and Star Cruises are making the Fragrant Harbour their home port in Asia.
Costa Crociere brought a second ship to Asia last April by relocating Costa Classica to join the Costa Allegra.
The 53,000 gross-tonne Costa Classica has a guest capacity of 1,680 and features 1,304 lower berths. There are 654 cabins including 10 suites, two swimming pools and four jacuzzis.
Both vessels will host four- to six-night itineraries from Shanghai and Tianjin to Japan (Kagoshima, Fukuoka and Nagasaki), and South Korea (Cheju) this summer. The six-day package starts from HK$4,099 per person (available from Hong Thai Travel in August and excluding tax), and includes a roundtrip airfare from Hong Kong to Shanghai and one-night's accommodation at a five-star hotel in the city before boarding the Costa Classica.
A similar itinerary by Costa Classica is being promoted by Wing On Travel in the form of a six- to seven-day itinerary from Shanghai to Tianjin, Cheju, Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Shanghai, starting at HK$7,399 per person.
To tap the lucrative family market, Costa Crociere is offering complimentary cruising for children under the age of 18, who will share a cabin with two adults. It also has Squok Club, a dedicated play area for children. Next year it plans to launch 'Family Plan' deals for two adults and two or three children (under 18 years) who can travel in two different cabins.
Costa Crociere, which originated in Italy, started in China three years ago. However, the fleet in Asia has been refined to suit Asian tastes with more shopping facilities on offer, and Chinese, Indian and Japanese cuisine served on board. Star Cruises is renowned for onboard entertainment programmes and guarantees a spectacular cruising experience for families, youths and couples.
Its SuperStar Aquarius is doing a special HK$888 package promotion for a one-night getaway cruise to the South China Sea, inclusive of passenger handling charge and surcharge, with a free entertainment voucher valued at HK$300 that can be used for such things as karaoke, massage and spa service.
For family travellers, SuperStar Aquarius offers a six-day, five-night Hong Kong-Taiwan special cruise on Sunday, August 2, with destinations to Tainan City, Taichung and Keelung.
Fly-in cruise packages from Singapore on its SuperStar Virgo, and from Taiwan and Japan aboard SuperStar Libra are also available.