Luxury liner unveiled at Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

The 18-deck Genting Dream will use Hong Kong as its home port for the next year, and hopes to attract affluent Chinese travellers

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 November, 2016, 11:54pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 November, 2016, 11:54pm

A new luxury cruise liner specifically designed for the Asian market made its debut in Victoria Harbour yesterday, with Hong Kong set to be the ship’s home port for the next year.

Genting Dream, operated by Dream Cruises, boasts 18 decks and a capacity of 3,400 guests and 2,000 crew members, with some premium suites even staffed by European-style butlers.

An ocean-view room for a weekend trip in waters off the Guangdong coast could set travellers back HK$5,000 to HK$7,000, according to the company, but its management said there was a large group of affluent Chinese with limited luxury travel choices, so they were confident the 151,300 tonne vessel could “induce demand”even amid the current economic downturn.

“With the rapid growth of Chinese and Asian economies, we decided to create an Asian luxury brand with two mega cruise ships, designed for the Asia luxury travel market,” Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and CEO at Genting Hong Kong said.

Genting Dream’s sister ship World Dream will also commerce operation in the region next November, he added.

Hong Kong to be home port to US$1 billion cruise ship, city’s largest yet, tailor-made for Chinese market

Despite the recent concerns over China’s economy, the number of affluent Chinese travellers are expected to grow by 16 per cent annually until 2020, according to 2016 Chinese Travel Consumer by research organisation Affluential.

Thatcher Brown, president at Dream Cruises said Hong Kong will play a key role in its regional ambition despite the recent setback in visitor arrivals, which declined 6.1 per cent in the first nine months of the year.

The city has seen more international cruise liners sailing to its Kai Tak cruise terminal since its completion in 2013. Sailings from the terminal, which cost HK$8 billion to build, jumped from 26 in 2014 to 94 this year, and are expected to reach 188 in 2017, according to Commerce Secretary Greg So Kam-leung, who attended the liner’s launch ceremony on Saturday.