HONG KONG- Kai Tak is a familiar name to many travellers bringing to some of them a glimpse of nostalgia. Until 1998, Kai Tak was in fact the name of Hong Kong International Airport. With its single runway encircled by the city, the airport offered some of the world’s most spectacular landing…
The old airport has been vacated now for over 15 years and it will soon be synonymous to Hong Kong new cruise terminal. Located in East Kowloon, it is ideally located, less than 10 km away from all major attractions in the former British territory.
The future Kai Tak Cruise terminal will be spectacular in many aspects. First due to its architecture as Hong Kong selected one of the world’s most famous architects, Norman Foster. The site on the south-western tip of the old runway offers dramatic unobstructed views of the eastern entrance to Hong Kong Harbour.
The terminal is three times the size of the existing Ocean Cruise Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. It has a large, rectangular footprint and is arranged over three main levels, punctuated by four atria that draw daylight deep inside the building. A pedestrian promenade rises up through the terminal and opens onto a large public roof garden, with open and sheltered spaces for picnics, outdoor dining and more formal events such as wedding banquets.
The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is open for berth bookings by cruise lines from mid-2013, when the first berth will be in operation. The second berth will be ready in mid-2014. Once completed, Kai Tak terminal will have the capacity to disembark a total of 8,400 passengers and 1,200 crew, able to accommodate the newest generation of larger cruise liners.
The spacious interior, which spans 70 metres, is highly flexible – the concourse areas can be converted into a venue for performances, events and exhibitions, supported by the terminal’s wide variety of restaurants and shops.
To sustain and promote the new facility, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) set up a budget of US$ 2 million (HK$ 15.5 million) to promote cruise tourism to Hong Kong, especially with campaigns to South China, Asia, Australia and the USA.
Fast fact about Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
Location: Victoria Harbour, East Kowloon, old airport runway.
All major metro areas within 10 km (6 mi).
• 42 km by road to Hong Kong International Airport.
• 10 km by road to Kowloon Station Airport Express Line and airline check-in.
• 5 km by road to Hung Hom train station, with rail connections to Shenzhen, Guangzhou,
Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities.
Terminal and first berth estimated opening date: 1 June 2013
Second berth estimated opening date: 1 July 2014
Apron area: 850m length x 35m width
• first berth 455m x 35m
• second berth 395m x 35m
Water depth: 12-13 metres
CIQS clearance capacity: 3,000 pax / hour
Berthing / Unberthing: 24 hours
Passenger boarding bridges: five