FIVE REASONS HONG KONG SHOULD BE ON YOUR CRUISING ITINERARY

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Hong Kong boasts 236 beach-studded islands.

1. IT’S ALL URBAN

When you think of Hong Kong, you probably think of a busy commercial port with a fast-paced, bustling urban center.Despite its fame as the world’s third largest financial center, yacht crews are surprised to learn that almost 70 percent of Hong Kong’s landmass is raw and untouched. Hong Kong boasts 236 beach-studded islands, which are part of this Special Administrative Region that offers an unexpected cruising opportunities for vessels. Yachts can dock right in the heart of the bustling city, but find themselves in a natural wonderland in just a hop, skip and jump.

2. STOCK UP IN THIS TAX-FREE PORT

Hong Kong offers full-fledged service facilities for yachts up to 100 meters and is a superb logistics hub. It is a tax-free port, meaning there is no tax on any imports of goods or service. Here, you can stock up on fine wines and other delicacies before cruising onward to Taiwan (which just recently opened up to cruising), Vietnam (where the first superyacht marina just opened) and the beautiful cruising grounds of the Philippines and Indonesia.

3. CRUISE PERMIT REGULATIONS EASED

Northrop & Johnson Hong Kong has been instrumental in educating authorities on the particular needs of the industry and leading the initiative toward lobbying for more yacht friendly legislation. Just recently, Hong Kong’s marine authorities reinstated cruise permits, similar to those in past years, but now they include more favorable immigration rules for multinational crew. That said, Hong Kong can be bureaucratic at times for visiting superyachts, so advance planning is a must. Located at the only marina with berths available for visiting yachts, Northrop & Johnson Asia can help you coordinate your stay.

4. HONG KONG HARBORS – THE PRACTICAL DETAILS

Despite the occasional typhoon between June and September, Hong Kong’s waters are pleasant and well protected. In fact, you can anchor hassle free just about anywhere in Hong Kong, except for Victoria Harbor, which is the busy waterway that separates Kowloon and the mainland from Victoria Island. In addition, the area also boasts a number of typhoon shelters and exclusive yacht clubs a short distance from the busy center. At the Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club, Northrop & Johnson Asia’s Bart Kimman and his team can help arrange typhoon-proof berths for superyachts and any other services required.

5. HONG KONG WORKS HARD AND PLAYS HARDER

The key words in Hong Kong are variety and concentration. Whether you are looking for mind-boggling views, exquisite dining experiences, family entertainment or high-stakes gambling, it’s all here. Superyachts usually anchor in Deep Water Bay or in Repulse Bay during the weekend — from there you’ll find an abundance of hiking, swimming, sailing opportunities. For real sailing enthusiasts, the three main yacht clubs in Hong Kong excel at organizing racing locally as well as internationally. And when you’re all worn out from a busy day, head to the racetrack where betting is an integral part of Hong Kong’s scene. A night in Macau, only 25 nautical miles away, also is a must!

While you are in Hong Kong be sure to check out these highlights:

A cruise around Victoria Harbor at sunset during the multi-media “Symphony of Lights” show (every evening at 20:00)

Hire a private box and experience the fever-pitch atmosphere of Horse Racing at the Hong Kong Jockey Club

Enjoy dizzying and dazzling views from the 360-degree cable car on your way to the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping Village

Offer your kids a day in Ocean Park, where numerous attractions ranging from aquariums, polar animals, expedition trails and exciting rides will surely keep the whole family enthralled

Visit Asia’s well-known gambling Mecca, Macau, is an hour’s ferry ride from Hong Kong. Chinese culture mixes with Mediterranean style baroque basilicas, colonial mansions and cobblestone lanes remnant of the Portuguese legacy.

Enjoy a world-class massage and spa in one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the Four Seasons, for total relaxation with a view over Vicotria Harbor.

Make a day trip to Guangzhou, the Canton of old, which is only an hour away from Central Hong Kong and whose well-preserved Shamian Island is a beautiful reminder of the lifestyle of the early European concessions.

Take a helicopter rive over the vertical city and out into the mesmerizing wilderness of the New Territories Country Parks all the way to the emerald coastline of Tai Long Wan.

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