Mariner of the Seas will be the first cruise ship to visit the new Hong Kong Kai Tak cruise terminal when it opens this month.
The ship will be home-ported in Kai Tak, plus it will offer round-trip cruise holidays from the new terminal.
Speaking about Mariner’s move to Hong Kong, Royal Caribbean’s managing director of China Dr Liu Zinan said:
“Hong Kong is one of the most important home ports in Asia, with Asia, including China, one of the strategic markets for Royal Caribbean.”
Mariner of the Seas could not visit Hong Kong before, as the ship was too big for Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Mariner of the Seas will also be the first ship to use the immigration counters, as part of a Singapore-Shanghai cruise, in which Hong Kong is a port of call.
Mariner of the Seas will make several short trips out of the new Hong Kong harbour this autumn. In October, she will embark upon a four night round-trip to two Taiwan cities, Kaosiung and Taipei. The ship will also make a three night return rip to Kaoshiung in November. After, Mariner will leave Hong Kong and sail onto Singapore for the winter season.
No doubt, making Kai Tak the ship’s homeport will lead to great economic benefits for the surrounding area, as passengers tend to stay on or extra nights in the city before or after their sailings. Last year, cruise passengers spent an average of HK$4,833 a day, twice as much as other tourists.
About Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal:
The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will have soft launch this month, before being opened fully to the public in the third quarter of this year. The terminal was due to be opened in late 2012, but was delayed until 2013 due to re-tendering.
The new terminal will be able to house two large 360-metre-long vessels.
The interior can be converted into a venue for performances, events and exhibitions, supported by the terminal’s restaurant and shops. This ensures the building can be used year round.
About Mariner of the Seas:
Mariner of the Seas is one of five Voyager-class cruise ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet. The ship was christened and launched in 2003, but underwent a refit last year, as part of the company’s “Royal Advantage” programme. The ship now features an outdoor movie screen, digital way-finding system, bow to stern WiFi and a new “diamond lounge,” bringing Mariner in line with the fleet’s Oasis Class ships.
Mariner of the Seas previously sailed the Mediterranean, and was based in Italy, before she relocated to Texas late 2012. As of summer 2013, she’ll move again, this time to Asia, offering cruises out of Singapore, Hong Kong and China.