The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, operated by Worldwide Cruise Terminals (“WCT”), celebrates its first successful simultaneous berthing. The two ships, the Sapphire Princess and Voyager of Seas, have a combined passenger capacity of more than 6,000 passengers in total. The calls heralded the first use of the terminal’s second berth, and marked a significant step forward in Hong Kong’s position as a leading cruise hub of Asia. Since KTCT came into operation in June last year, the terminal has received 28 cruise vessels and over 100,000 passengers. The number of cruise ship calls for calendar 2014 is currently estimated at 28, and 55 calls are already booked for 2015. Kai Tak Cruise Terminal alone is expected to handle more cruise passengers in 2015 than all of Hong Kong’s cruise facilities together handled in 2013, and is further poised to enhance Hong Kong’s position as a major cruise homeport.
In the past year, the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal has successfully welcomed a host of cruise ships to Hong Kong from multiple lines including Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, Star Cruises, Fred Olsen, Voyages of Discovery, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.
With advice and assistance from Worldwide Cruise Terminals, cruise lines are actively developing new itineraries which transit or originate from Hong Kong. Royal Caribbean Cruises announced earlier that its Voyager of the Seas would homeport at the KTCT for over 20 sailings between June and October 2015. The itineraries of these sailings will include ports in China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, and Voyager of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship ever homeported in Hong Kong.
The KTCT is provided with ancillary commercial areas of about 5,600 square metres. The commercial areas at both ends of the second floor have been leased and commenced operations in stages from August. HK Cruise Plaza features retail shops with in-store counters for various high-end brands and light F&B, and Federal Restaurant Group operates a Chinese banquet venue, Western restaurant, and Hong Kong-style café. An additional shop at the rooftop park has been leased to a marriage registration service company. The rooftop park has been open to public since mid-October last year and gained immense popularity among local visitors and tour groups. A considerable number of organizations have hosted community activities at the park, including a community planting activity, school picnics, an inter-school drawing competition, and more.
Jeff Bent, managing director of WCT, said: “We are pleased with the successful simultaneous berthing of Sapphire Princess and Voyager of Seas at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Looking ahead, we expect to see further growth in the number of ship calls at the terminal as we work more closely with the cruise lines. As expected, cruise lines generally plan two years out, starting from the time the building was commissioned in mid-2013. We have been steadily receiving new berth bookings for next year and 2016, including from cruise lines new to Kai Tak such as Holland America Line and Seabourn Cruise Lines, and from AIDA, which is new to Hong Kong. We will continue to work closely with the Hong Kong Tourism Commission, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, and other industry participants to encourage cruise lines to build their businesses in Asia. The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will continue to contribute to the long term development of cruise travel in Hong Kong and Asia through its world-class facilities.”
Aside from ship call operations, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal plays host to product launches, family events, brand promotional activities, cocktail parties, and sporting events. Recent MICE event sponsors include Tesla, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hamburg-Sud, the Cruise Holiday Expo, Hennessy VSOP, the AXA Hong Kong Streetathon, Audemars Piguet Hong Kong Jockey Club, Logos Hope Library Ship, From Darkness to Sunrise City Orienteering Competition, Vocational Training Council (VTC) and Construction Industry Council. The terminal has also been used for filming a number of local film and television productions.