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To date, cruise terminal facilities in Hong Kong have been operating without disruption despite the ongoing riots. However as the situation continues to deteriorate I’m wondering what will happen to future Celebrity cruises ending or starting in Hong Kong. I’ve heard of ships skipping ports where there is unrest, but that’s more difficult when that port is at the beginning or end of a cruise.

 

Our Celebrity cruise from Japan to Hong Kong is several months away,  but after 9 weeks of riots matters are only escalating. The Australian government has  now issued a warning to travellers to exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to HK. 

 

Any thoughts on how Celebrity may respond if the cruise terminal is impacted or there are concerns for passenger safety on land? 

 

 

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Hi Boatharbour,

 

Like you, we have an upcoming cruise on Millenium in March 2020 and like you, I am preoccupied with recent unrest reports in Hong Kong. 

 

 I am also keeping track of the Canadian Government assessment of the situation.

 

I have been trying to assess where most of the unrest was occurring in relation to our hotel and the pier, and I have found it difficult to figure out. 

 

I am hoping that a peaceful resolution of the conflict will be found soon! I also hope that I will not have to cancel our voyage. I don’t know what to expect from Celebrity’s perspective in a case like this. 

 

 

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We also have a cruise on Celebrity this December that ends in Hong Kong and we are also concerned with all the riots as December is only 4 months away. Like it was mentioned in the above post it's easier to skip a scheduled port but not a port where passengers disembark. We were also scheduled to stay several days in Hong Kong but now it looks like everything's up in the air. Let's hope things get settled soon.

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It’s certainly a worry with a China now making it plain they won’t tolerate it for much longer. The cruise lines will no doubt find an alternative if needed though.

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We are only weeks away from our cruise...we leave early Sept. on Viking from Tokyo to Hong Kong.  No notice from Viking yet. We are making an educated guess that Viking will change and we'll disembark in Taipei instead.  Canade, Australia and US have all raised the level of warning to travel to Hong Kong.

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The warnings are no different to many parts of the world where cruise ships still berth. Unless there is a general strike you just need to be aware and avoid large public gatherings for the purpose of demonstrations. 

Edited by Pushka
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Lets put this into perspective. Hong Kong might feel small but it covers a large area. None of the problems to date are in or around the cruise terminal and remain around "central" on Hong Kong Island and Mong Kok A shame but neither have the big tourist sites and are easy to avoid.

 

We have been to Hong Kong a number of times and always found it extremely safe and friendly. However given the current situation I would suggest that anyone booking a hotel stays on Lantau Island. It's well away from the problems, a number of hotels there have a free shuttle to the airport, it has some of the best landscapes/sights in Hong Kong and is only 30 mins by underground into the city.

 

Just a suggestion which I hope helps with any concerns

 

FYI - we are on the millennium 1st Feb 2020 out of Singapore ending in Hong Kong 

 

Stuart

 

 

 

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Hi all I live in Hong Kong and it’s not as dangerous as most have thought.

Most police / protestors conflicts happen on weekend nights and you can easily avoid those areas by asking your hotel, usually near China office at island west, police stations in residential areas, and the government office near admiralty. Protestors are pretty civilised here they do not harm normal people nor shops. If you hang near shopping areas such as Central, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui especially during daylight you would be pretty safe. You might however encounter sudden road blockade sometimes but there is no harm.  People still go out everyday as normal. The bright side is there are so few tourists now, much shorter queues for cable cars and taxis.  Also they are saying China would definitely end this by all means by their 70th national day on Oct 1 so we’ll see.

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Paris. Riots have been going on there every weekend for months now since November 2018 . Gilets Jaune versus the state.

Rubber bullets , tear gas have been used by the police resulting in many injuries. ....and yet.....we see little coverage in the mainstream media(MSM). No real concerns with the UK Foreign Office .

Like most coverage on MSM , reporting can be politically motivated.

I`m not saying it isn't a concern, just that you cannot always believe what you see or hear.

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Just leaving Hong Kong now after spending a lovely week there. As so often, the news paints an exaggerated picture as if the whole city is on fire, while in reality demonstrations are usually only on weekends, confined to a relatively small part of town and easily avoidable. We had no issues whatsoever.  Celebrity (currently) has as little reason to avoid Hong Kong as it has to avoid the US for safety reasons (mass shootings and such).

 

 

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On 8/8/2019 at 2:28 AM, york survey said:

Lets put this into perspective. Hong Kong might feel small but it covers a large area. None of the problems to date are in or around the cruise terminal and remain around "central" on Hong Kong Island and Mong Kok A shame but neither have the big tourist sites and are easy to avoid.

 

We have been to Hong Kong a number of times and always found it extremely safe and friendly. However given the current situation I would suggest that anyone booking a hotel stays on Lantau Island. It's well away from the problems, a number of hotels there have a free shuttle to the airport, it has some of the best landscapes/sights in Hong Kong and is only 30 mins by underground into the city.

 

Just a suggestion which I hope helps with any concerns

 

FYI - we are on the millennium 1st Feb 2020 out of Singapore ending in Hong Kong 

 

Stuart

 

 

 

also on Millennium Feb 29th, not worried now, it's months out

 

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On 8/7/2019 at 5:29 PM, Boatharbour said:

To date, cruise terminal facilities in Hong Kong have been operating without disruption despite the ongoing riots. However as the situation continues to deteriorate I’m wondering what will happen to future Celebrity cruises ending or starting in Hong Kong. I’ve heard of ships skipping ports where there is unrest, but that’s more difficult when that port is at the beginning or end of a cruise.

 

Our Celebrity cruise from Japan to Hong Kong is several months away,  but after 9 weeks of riots matters are only escalating. The Australian government has  now issued a warning to travellers to exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to HK. 

 

Any thoughts on how Celebrity may respond if the cruise terminal is impacted or there are concerns for passenger safety on land? 

 

The closest I can come to this situation was about 3 years back we took a Greek Isles cruise that was to go from Athens to Istanbul.  A month before we were to leave, terrorists bombed the Istanbul airport and Celebrity cancelled disembarkation in Istanbul.  We were changed to a roundtrip starting and ending in Athens.  In that situation, Celebrity rerouted anyone who booked their air through Choice Air.  I'm pretty sure they also paid some amount to those who made their own air arrangements, but the individuals had to send in all their paperwork for reimbursement.  We weren't personally affected because we had been planning to stay in Istanbul for 2 days before flying to Barcelona for a few more days and we hadn't purchased our flights from Istanbul to Barcelona.

 

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3 hours ago, ShawninFL said:

 

Good to hear about your experience and how Celebrity handled it. 

 

Our insurance does not cover us for changes / cancellations due to civil unrest or riots so it’s good to know that there was some compensation from the company. Hopefully it won’t come to that. 

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We need to be careful of underestimating what going on in Hong Kong, it’s a fast moving situation with a China making it very clear it will not continue to hang back and take no action. Things could change very quickly should the demonstrations continue and should China act we could be looking at a very different outcome with far more disruption. I’m sure Celebrity will adapt as things change but it’s not something to be trivialised.

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7 hours ago, Boatharbour said:

Good to hear about your experience and how Celebrity handled it. 

 

Our insurance does not cover us for changes / cancellations due to civil unrest or riots so it’s good to know that there was some compensation from the company. Hopefully it won’t come to that. 

 

You'll probably be okay since you're still several months away from your cruise.  Things will eventually calm down, but I understand how unsettling it can be when you've planned a trip and civil unrest erupts where you are going.

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50 minutes ago, Pushka said:

The only real issue for travellers is that if the airport gets shut down. And they seemed to have worked that out now. 

No it’s not the only real issue, this is a constantly changing situation, that in itself brings risks.

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6 minutes ago, yorky said:

No it’s not the only real issue, this is a constantly changing situation, that in itself brings risks.

Unfortunately our only source of info is the media who take particular delight in trying to sensationalize the risks. The main risk to travellers remains at the airport. Everywhere else just avoid obvious large crowds. 

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Well several on this string don’t leave for months...we leave on our cruise in 20 days! We disembark in Hong Kong. We’ve been told by Viking “management knows about the situation and are discussing the options.”

We aren’t worried; we just want to know before we leave as we have hotel reservations to extend in Hong Kong.

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I also see the main problem being if the airport is closed. What will your airline do for you. Might want to consider changing your cruise to a b2b if the 2nd leg would end lets say in Singapore. Do you have a visa for China. Take the bullet train from HK to Shanghai, it is about 8 hours and fly home from Shanghai. Get yourself to Macau and fly out of their.

When 911 happened my parents were in Vancouver, BC getting on a Princess cruise. Princess had 2 ships in port. Turned 1 ship into a hotel for guest, because planes were grounded. Filled the 2nd ship with the new cruisers from both ships and they went on their Alaska cruise. 

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I, too, am watching this closely as we are on the holiday cruise this December that ends in HK.   (SF - are you on our sailing?)

 

From my point of view, there are TWO completely different issues.

 

First, is the issue of people worrying about safety in HK - which  is not my concern right now  at all.   I am not even slightly worried about that.  Frankly, the Chinese are too totalitarian to tolerate letting dissent affect tourism. 

 

But I I do think it’s legit to worry about Celebrity or airlines rerouting us.   It will be interesting to see if they change the final port.... Macao?  Stay in Vietnam?  I dunno. 

 

I retired  five years ago from the State Department’s Foreign Service after 25 years.   I had two assignments in crisis management and several overseas jobs in which I was the person at the Embassy that helped US citizens in difficulties.  I also did two tours in the office that issues travel warnings - and, yes - I was indeed working in that job on 9/11.  And, yes - Americans were stuck all over the world.  They were safe, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a huge logistical mess. 

 

So, I thought I should say that in my mind, it’s worth separating the issues of personal safety and travel hassle.   Like I said, I am not worried about the former, but I can tell you that if there is a chance that Celebrity’s insurers tell them they cannot dock or if airlines like Cathay Pacific continue to have cancellations, we may have real difficulties.  

 

NB:  I am retired, so that’s not the official word.  Please, please, please consult your own foreign offices or the US State Department directly.  I will tell you that State doesn’t put out travel warnings lightly - a ton of work and clearances go into them so I would heed them. 

 

BTW, I am headed to Beijing from HK on United FF miles afterward and then doing a big solo trip til January 21, when I am supposed to fly from HK using BA frequent flier miles on Cathay Pacific.  My husband still works and has to get home too soon.   He is leaving from HK at the end of the cruise on a revenue ticket for Singapore on SingaporeAir.  Of course, we will continue to watch all these moving parts carefully and I will post more if I hear anything from Celebrity or any of the various airlines. 

Edited by Kaylas Mom
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