Hong Kong Finally Reopening to Cruise Ships!

About Hong Kong Category: River or Ocean Cruises

Hong Kong Finally Reopening to Cruise Ships!
It was one of the world’s last holdout destinations with severe restrictions on arrivals, but as of the 14th of December, Hong Kong reopens to incoming air travellers - with the first cruise ship now confirmed to arrive in Hong Kong in January, 2023.

Hong Kong Tourism Board shared the good news with World's Greatest Cruises this week.

Until now, among the world's strictest restrictions all but eliminated leisure travel to Hong Kong - and cruise ships were barred from the destination that calls itself the 'Cruise Hub of Asia.'

The latest, mid-December developments remove what had been a huge barrier to travel to the city, which had assigned arrivals an ‘amber’ colour code regardless of testing status, and severely restricted arrivals during the first three days of their stay.

Arriving travelers will still need to take measures to enter Hong Kong. Arrivals must still be fully vaccinated and test negative, but having tested negative, can explore the city, and go to restaurants and other venues.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board pointed out how this has changed from previous rules, where travellers were prohibited from going to restaurants and other venues where guests remove their masks for the first three days of their stay. After a three-day waiting period and a negative test result, they could then proceed to visit restaurants and bars. The new rules drop the three-day wait.

The HKTB says under the new rules, tourists will need to self-monitor for five days with rapid antigen tests.

And now, all incoming travellers who test negative will be given a ‘blue’ colour code on their health app and can move about the city freely, entering restaurants, bars, museums, theme parks and shopping areas with proof of full vaccination.

These measures are for visitors arriving by air into Hong Kong; it's not yet confirmed what measures will be expected of cruise passengers, or if there will be any differences for those calling in Hong Kong as a port of call rather than embarking or disembarking from the city.

Any way you look at it, the move is a giant leap forward for travel and cruising to Hong Kong, which has lagged behind other destinations that have been fully reopened for months.

A number of cruise lines had pushed their early 2023 returns to Hong Kong and other Asian cruise destinations forward, but others have held onto January sailings waiting and hoping for news just like this. This landmark reopening is a big signal that cruising to Asia can finally return in full.

By: Lynn Elmhirst Producer and Host, World's Greatest Cruises

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Image: World's Greatest Cruises: Fireworks over Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

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