With Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises operating voyages from Hong Kong and several other operators including it in their itineraries, Cruises Waves gives an insight to the situation in Hong Kong following our visit this weekend.
The protests began over plans – later put on hold – that would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China, but they’ve now spread to reflect wider demands for democratic reform.
Up until last weekend, protests have been mainly around Government buildings, but last weekend saw an escalation of tensions as the mass protests moved to Hong Kong International Airport, leading to major flight disruption for several days.
In our view, Hong Kong, like most places facing unrest, is still generally safe. However as we approached the weekend, there was a feeling of an undercurrent, since that is when most protests occur. As we write we can see the demonstration both being covered on TV while watching it live from our hotel window. It is so important to remember that Hong Kong is a big place and whilst if we headed west from here we may get caught up in the protests, heading in any other direction is fine.
So if you’re heading to Hong Kong for a cruise, make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance, as this will be essential if your travel plans are disrupted. Also seek early advice from your cruise line and airline.
When you are here, be more aware of your surroundings and what is going on. Remember, things can escalate quickly. Make sure you allow more time for travel, as the metro system has been suspended at times. Do keep a close eye on the media / twitter – particularly @UKinHongKong (British Consulate General in Hong Kong) If you are staying at a hotel for pre or post a cruise, seek advice from hotel staff. If you want to visit an area where protests are possible, avoid wearing black or white incase you are mistaken for a protester.
Throughout our visit, we have found Hong Kong people to be friendly, particularly when on the transport / ferry network and at the hotels we visited.