When Hong Kong opened its new cruise terminal in 2013 on the site of the former Kai Tak Airport, the tiny nation was making a play for the title of cruise capital of Asia. The HK$8.2 billion terminal can handle two mega liners and over 8,000 disembarking passengers at once. Hong Kong has grown from a simple fishing village to the world’s fourth largest banking and financial centre and the eighth largest trading economy. It is one of the world’s most vibrant cities with great dining – cheap and expensive, as well as nightlife and great shopping. Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok are the most popular areas for shopping and eating. Pick up local designs in the Sheung Wan district or a Hermes bag from Central. You can’t go past dim sum, a Cantonese meal which includes dumplings, for lunch. For fine dining, try Amber, a classic French restaurant awarded two Michelin stars. Visit the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery and, if you have the kids with you, Hong Kong Disneyland. For something beyond the standard excursions, try beachy Lantau Island or the neighbouring country of Macau.
PLACES TO STAY
It’s hard to go past the iconic Peninsula Hong Kong. The hotel has a fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantom’s to collect guests or a helicopter (and helipad on the roof) if you’re pressed for time. If you can’t swing a stay at the ultra luxe property, at least drop in for afternoon tea. Hotel Indigo is a stylish and affordable mid-range option with a glass-floored infinity pool sticking out over the side while the Pentahotel is the city’s first “flashpackers” (meaning an upmarket backpacker hostel) with rooms starting at under $100 a night.
Who goes there: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Dream Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.
Best for: Everyone.
Getting around: Taxis are plentiful and cheap and Hong Kong’s public transport system is one of the best in the world.