Hong Kong

Consisting of Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, the New Territories and Lantau Island – famed for the world’s largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha – Hong Kong is an eclectic mix of modern and traditional. South of China, with an influx of Chinese refugees between 1949 and 1962, yet acquired by the British as a Crown Colony in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking after the First Opium War until a signed agreement between China and Britain in 1984 agreeing to return Hong Kong to China in 1997, Hong Kong is often considered where ‘East meets West’, due to the significant dual influences of China and Britain.

Separated by the Pearl River, but connected by the MTR underground system and the famous Star Ferry, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island are the two main areas of Hong Kong for tourists, particularly Kowloon with its shops and night markets along Nathan Road or Causeway Bay. Stanley Market is famous for its Chinese artwork, silk collectables and clothing, whilst bargains can be found at Temple Street and the Ladies’ Market. Hong Kong Island, on the other hand, is more the home of business than tourism, but nevertheless has popular tourist attractions such as Victoria Peak which offers epic panoramic views, Ocean Park (a marine mammal park and oceanarium) and excellent hiking opportunities. Aberdeen is another popular area – Aberdeen Harbour is famous for its floating village and floating seafood restaurants, whilst Aberdeen Island is home to the Grade I historic building, Hung Shing Temple, and the Shui Yuet Temple, or Kwun Yum Temple.

The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (built relatively recently in 2013) welcomes visitors to Hong Kong in style, offering a roof garden, and dining for visitors and locals, in close proximity to all the main sights of Hong Kong. Most cruises still embark at Ocean Cruise Terminal, which brings you into the heart of one of the city’s most vibrant and electric shopping and entertainment districts, Tsim Sha Tsui. In fact – the Ocean Terminal itself has a major shopping complex and 50 restaurants, cinemas and hotels, not too far from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Space Museum.

Due to its location, its enormous harbour and its status as a free port, Hong Kong is a major Asian crossroad – and therefore the ideal port to use a gateway to other Asian destinations, as part of a pre- or post- cruise programme.