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Cruise to nowhere: Is a seacation the next holiday alternative for Hongkongers?

Seacation. Cruisecation. Whatever you like to call it, cruises appear to be the next big holiday alternative for travel-deprived Hongkongers.

Nearly two years on since flights were (for the most part) grounded and quick trips to tropical destinations became all but a #throwbackthursday, we’ve done the hotel staycation to death and looking for other ways to satiate our desire to travel further afield than, well… Sai Kung. Deterred by long and expensive quarantine measures however, it’s easy to feel trapped here in Hong Kong.

In the past few months we’ve seen a rise in searches for ‘cruisecations’, and despite ‘sailing to nowhere,’ packages are starting to crop up that promise a ‘seascape’ in to international waters. Offering between two and four nights out on the ocean, the cruises are able to open its casino and duty-free shops, but won’t anchor anywhere other than Hong Kong. Tempted? Both Genting Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean are ready to set sail and welcome aboard vaccinated passengers.

Cruises ‘to nowhere’ Hong Kong:

Super Seacations by Genting Dream Cruises

Highlights

Ship: Genting Dream

Packed full of unique itineraries, Genting Dream Cruises’ Super Seacations are set to be a welcome reprieve from your typical hotel weekend. Expect luxurious amenities across your stay as guests are invited to kick-back by the pool, dine in top-notch restaurants, catch live shows, music and cinema screenings, hit the spa or ignite a sense of adventure with one its rope courses or water slides.

Throughout September, passengers can also catch authentic Japanese experiences that will highlight street food and cultural shows. Cruising in October? Expect Oktoberfest-themed offerings. And those looking to take things slow can book in for “Vitamin Sea and Dream” – an integrated wellness and lifestyle concept that brings together top health and wellness experts for an inspiration journey at sea.

Vaccination policy

Another perk for the city’s vaccinated – Genting Dream Cruises is only accepting bookings from those who have been double jabbed.

At time of publishing, Genting Dream Cruises has stated that all guests aged 12 and above must complete all doses (including the second dose) of their Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before their sailing date, and provide an official proof of vaccination during check-in at the cruise terminal. All guests hoping to book a seacation will also need to provide a negative PCR test result with a test specimen collected within 48-hours prior to the departure date. Keep an eye on the current vaccination policy here as this is subject to change from October!

Costs

Prices start from HK$1,988 for a two-night seacation in a Balcony room, and bookings can only be made by Hong Kong residents with a valid ID card. Booking is available from now until end of December 2021.

More details here.

Royal Caribbean

Highlights

Ship: Ocean Spectrum


Well-known for its world-class cruises, Royal Caribbean is keeping standards high as it launches its short getaway series from (and back to!) Hong Kong. Sailing international waters and only anchoring in Hong Kong, guests are still promised an unforgettable trip out on the water.

Alongside all of your usual spoils such as fine-dining, pool deck and leisure centres, those booking aboard the Royal Caribbean can also expect a unique VR trampoline experience, a multi-purpose sports centre and a whole host of world-class performances.

Vaccination policy

In order to book and board the cruise, all passengers and crew members will be required to show a negative Covid-19 PCR test prior to getting on the ship. All guests above the age of 16 must have received both vaccination doses, which will also extend to those over the age of 12 from 15 October, 2021.

Costs

Prices start at HK$1,740 per guest for a two-night stay and HK$1,945 per person for a three-night cruisecation. The cruise is currently limiting the number of bookings per sailing and will only be operating at 50 percent capacity, so spaces are limited. Royal Caribbean is currently offering flexible bookings, allowing changes and cancellations up to 48 hours before sailing, with the option to use refunded money as future credit to re-book your trip.

More details here.

Featured and hero image courtesy of Miguel Ángel Sanz via Unsplash

Lexi Davey
Managing Editor
A typical ‘third culture’ kid, Lexi spent the best part of her life between Hong Kong and Malaysia. A self-confessed heliophile with a thirst for travel and adventure, she moved home to foster a career in digital editing and lifestyle copywriting. Loves include: commas, nervous laughter and her rescue pup, Wella