The cruise industry is back in Hong Kong as the local goverment has approved cruises to nowhere starting in July.
Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International are expected to operate from Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, with other lines also poised to soon make announcements.
“With the stabilizing COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong since mid-February this year, the public, the cruise trade and the tourism industry have strong aspirations for the gradual resumption of cruise travel which has been suspended for more than 15 months since February last year. The resumption of (cruise to nowhere) itineraries under prudent health precautionary measures can strike a proper balance between public health protection on the one hand, and the public aspirations for some form of leisure travel on the other. The itineraries underpinned by health control safeguards will offer an additional safe vacation option for the community as from the coming summer,” the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, said in prepared remarks.
Cruise lines will need to have all crew fully vaccinated and will need to require all guests over the age of 16 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a statement.
Guests under 16 are permitted to cruise with a negative COVID-19 test result.
All fully vaccinated crew must still undergo a COVID-19 PCR test every two weeks; all guests must have a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to boarding.
Cruise lines can operate at a maximum of 50 percent occupancy according to the government, and must comply with health and safety standards required aboard.
All passengers will be required to use the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile application to scan the QR code of the cruise ship before boarding.