Kai Tak Cruise Terminal opens doors to public

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 3:30am

The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will open to visitors today, as it hosts the city's first Cruise Holiday Expo featuring the world's most luxurious and exotic cruises as well as trips leaving from the new terminal.

The terminal, at the end of the former Kai Tak Airport runway, received its first cruise vessel in March. It had been out of bounds for locals as construction work had yet to be completed.

Now that all the major features are finished, the terminal will welcome visitors today and tomorrow. For HK$10, visitors can go into the building and see an exhibition of cruise products.

But the water seepage that has plagued the terminal during the typhoon season remains a problem, and yesterday, water dripping into buckets could still be seen.

Seventeen cruise companies and more than 30 local tour agencies have set up booths in the exhibition, introducing their packages which range from the highest-priced holidays to the bargains.

Luxury cruise line Seabourn, whose vessels carry 200 to 400 passengers, charges US$1,000 a night.

"All cabins are suites. You can eat and drink without paying extra, even caviar is available any time. They use Gucci soaps and offer personalised services," sales agent Linda Yuen Lai-fung said.

Compagnie Du Ponant sells a 10-day cruise to Antarctica at a minimum of HK$41,970, excluding air tickets.

It is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount for all Asian itineraries, including those from Hong Kong to Singapore. Less common trips include island-hopping in Indonesia and one from Sri Lanka to Oman.

Celebrity Cruises offers a 12-night tour to Greece and Turkey at HK$6,530 - about half of the original price, excluding flight costs.

For those who want to embark from the new Kai Tak terminal, China Travel Service (HK) is selling Royal Caribbean International's Taiwan and Japan tour for HK$7,990. It will depart in April next year.

Royal Caribbean's Hong Kong representative Joseph Lam said 2,900 locals had joined two cruise tours departing from Kai Tak in the next two months.

And for those more interested in the terminal than the tours, the best destination will be the rooftop garden, which offers a 360-degree view of Victoria Harbour.