There are two cruise terminals at Port of Hong Kong. One of them is the Ocean Terminal, located at the southwest end of Kowloon Peninsula. This facility can berth two large ships of up to 50,000 tons at the same time, or four smaller ships. There is a shopping mall connected to the terminal with all facilities travellers may need, called Harbour city. The location of the terminal is excellent, walking distance from shops and restaurants, the local metro station and Star Ferry terminal are also 5 minutes walking away. The terminal is in the Tsim Sha Tsui District of Hong Kong, a tourist hotspot where a lot of the city’s landmarks are situated. Hong Kong International Airport is 33 km away, 30 min by car.
The other cruise terminal where ships dock is the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, in the heart of Victoria Harbour, at the former airport. This terminal can berth two 360-metres long cruise ships at the same time. There is a shopping mall here as well, currency exchange services and even a large rooftop park. There is a light and music show that happens here at 8pm every night, worth seeing. There are shuttles that would transport potential shoppers to the nearby malls. It isn’t’ possible to walk to nearby attractions, you will have to take a taxi to one of the MRT stations nearby, there a few of them at about 10 minutes driving distance. The Airport of Hong Kong is 42km away, about 40 minute by car.
The local currency is the Hong Kong dollar – HKG. Exchanging money is very easy, we recommend exchanging a small amount from the cruise terminal and larger amounts at any of the currency exchange places in Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s worth having a look at more than one shop to get the best rate. Getting cash from ATMs is also reasonable and easy, just make sure you have notified your bank you will be spending time abroad and make sure you are aware of any fees your bank may charge you for the transactions. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the American dollar at 7.8 so exchanging USD will always give you rates with very little margins.
The two official languages of Hong Kong are English and Cantonese. The street signs are all bilingual. English is widely spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas. Only in remote areas you would need Cantonese, which is by the way different than Mandarin – the official language in China.
Opening hours and bank holidays. Being a shopaholic’s paradise, the malls of Hong Kong are open 7 days a week, from 10-11 am until anytime between 8 pm and midnight. The local banks are normally open from 9 am until 5 pm, closed on Sundays and open until midday on Saturday. There are quite a few bank holidays in Hong Kong. The locals celebrate Easter and Christmas, as well as the Chinese New Year, Buddha’s Birthday and others. Do make yourself aware of any bank holidays and national celebrations that may affect your trip.
Tipping in Hong Kong is not mandatory. Normally, restaurants add 10% service charge to your bill. For great service, leave a few extra Hong Kong dollars (not coins) and round up the taxi fares. Tipping the bellboy 10-20 HKD is considered normal, and also tipping your tour guide between 10 and 70 HKD depending on the length of the tour, the experience and the size of the group. Other services would not expect tips.
The local time in Hong Kong is GMT + 7 hours and the international dialling code is + 852.
Things To Do
Climb up Victoria Peak. A tourists and locals’ favourite, with incredible views of Hong Kong and the surrounding smaller islands, Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on the island. Lovingly called “The Peak” by the locals, the area around the peak is a public park, as well as some very high-value residential land. Victoria Peak can be reached by a 120-year old tram that seems to be approaching at some impossible angles at times. The journey to the top is an adventure on its own and the views are spectacular.
Go to Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island to see the largest, outdoor, seated bronze Buddha in the world – Tian Tau Buddha. The monastery was built in 1903, and the Tian Tan Buddha statue was completed in 1993, increasing tremendously the popularity of the establishment. The impressive statue is 34 metres high, took 12 years to complete and you have to climb 268 steps to reach it. The monastery itself is a must-see as well.
See the Hong Kong Museum of History. Established in 1975, the museum hosts a collection of objects of history, archaeology, ethnography and natural history of Hong Kong and South China. The Museum presents the 6000-years history of Hong Kong over 7000square metres of space.
Take a ferry to Lantau Island – the largest one of the small islands, surrounding Hong Kong. A pleasant contrast to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, Lantau Island is a breath of fresh air. Lovely for a day out, on the island you can see the Tian Tau Buddha, relax on the mile-long uncrowded beach, sample some of the freshest seafood or shop at the Outlet mall. If you are not afraid of heights, you can also take the Ngong Ping 360 – voted one of the top 10 cable car experiences in the world, it’s a scenic 25minutes ride, taking in the vistas of Lantau Island from Tung Chung to the South China Sea. This is also where Disney Land Hong Kong is situated.
Hong Kong is a home to a few other impressive museums – Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, he Hong Kong Railway Museum, Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum, The Flagstaff House Museum of Tea. There is a Madam Tussauds Museum of over 100 Western and International popular figures’ wax sculptures. The Avenue of Stars is inspired by the Hollywood Walk of Fame and it honours the names that have helped make Hong Kong “the Hollywood of the East”. There are also more high observation points – the Clock Tower – part of the original Kowloon Station, the modern Peak Tower and Sky 100 – the highest Indoor Observation deck in Hong Kong. There are also a few marvellous temples and monasteries – the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Man Mo Temple and the Chi Lin Nunnery. You can see a little piece of the history at the 300-year old village of Lai Chi Wo – with the oldest surviving feng shui woodland in Hong Kong. The Ping Shan Heritage trail will take you through a historical part of Hong Kong, populated by the Tang clan – some of the first settlers in the New Territories. Despite of being a modern megapolis, Hong Kong also have unspoilt, beautiful nature waiting to be discovered – you can start with Hong Kong Global Geopark and see the 400 million years old colourful sedimentary rocks, continue with Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park to see some 60 types of coral and more than 120 species of coral fish and finish off with Hok Tau – a quiet valley about 45 minutes by car from Hong Kong where to experience the serenity of nature and admire the Hok Tau crescent shaped reservoir.
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday