Hong Kong has an old friend from the other side of the world sharing the Christmas holiday this year. The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, one of the largest naval vessels afloat, arrived in Hong Kong waters yesterday morning, flanked by three support ships. With 6,500 crew members and about 70 aircraft on board, the ship is moored near Penny's Bay, where the Disney theme park is being built. Its four-day visit is expected to generate an estimated US$1 million in retail and catering spending, according to Captain Kendall Card, the carrier's commanding officer. 'People tend to overspend their budget a little bit during the holiday season,' he said. The 15-year-old ship has visited the city at least four times but this is its first Christmas here. Its last visit was in 2002. Battle group commander, Rear Admiral Doug Crowder, explained why the US carrier chose Hong Kong as a destination to spend the holiday. 'Without a doubt, Hong Kong is one of the favourite ports of all of us to spend time in the Pacific and it is a good place for sailors to relax.' But Admiral Crowder said he had a 'reduced budget' for this year's Christmas shopping because he had to save money for spending on his two children, who planned to get married next year. 'There is plenty to do in Hong Kong, like walking around the city, getting on the Star Ferry, and having meals in a floating restaurant and visiting Victoria Peak. I don't have a budget, but I do have a credit card,' he said. Petty Officer Mike Hart, who was on his first visit to Hong Kong, said he planned to spend about US$600, visiting restaurants and shopping for gifts - including a piece of jade for himself as well as electrical appliances for his family. The ship has been away from its homeland for about seven weeks but the US Navy refused to disclose its next destination.