Room to manoeuvre:
Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Gregory So briefs reporters about the terminal's cavernous waiting area.
Immigration facilities will be able to clear 3,000 passengers an hour, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Gregory So tells reporters.
Terminal ready for first cruise ship
June 05, 2013
The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is almost completed and the terminal operator and relevant departments are working hard to prepare for the Mariner of the Seas to berth there on June 12, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Gregory So said today.
Conducting a site visit with the media at the cruise terminal today, Mr So said it is an important tourism infrastructure project, and the first completed project within the Kai Tak Development.
"Together with the two existing berths at Ocean Terminal, the completion of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will greatly enhance the berthing capacity for cruise ships in Hong Kong, enhancing our competitiveness and attractiveness," he said.
The first berth of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal has been completed and the second one is due for completion in 2014. Both berths can accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world, those up to 220,000 gross tonnes.
The customs, immigration and quarantine facilities will be able to clear 3,000 passengers an hour. The terminal building will provide ample pick-up and drop-off areas and coach parking spaces, and also provides the flexibility to convert the waiting halls into other uses during the non-peak season, such as for exhibitions and meetings.
Mr So said there is a 23,000-square-metre landscaped deck, one of the largest public roof gardens in Hong Kong, to be named Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Park.
The terminal operator will manage a commercial area, and the first batch of tenants are expected to open for business in the fourth quarter of this year.
The terminal building and landscaped deck are slated to open to the public in the third quarter, Mr So said.
With the new terminal, the cruise industry's estimated economic benefits may range from $1.5 billion to $2.6 billion a year, generating from 5,300 to 8,900 additional jobs by 2023.
The Government has provided additional resources for the Tourism Board to step up cruise tourism promotion in Hong Kong. The board and the Taiwan tourism authorities had announced today their plan to strengthen co-operation in promoting cruise tourism in the two places.
They have reached an agreement with a cruise company to arrange for Mariner of the Seas to homeport at Hong Kong for two cruise journeys between Hong Kong and Taiwan at the end of October and early November this year.
Speaking to reporters after the site visit, Mr So said there had been some leaks in parts of the terminal building after a black rainstorm two weeks ago, but repairs are substantially completed.