Two cruise ships steam in and out of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour – possibly one of the most striking in the world – on a regular basis: Star Pisces and Superstar Virgo. On either vessel, a 24-hour cruise is a tremendous excursion.
The voyage includes a night’s accommodation, buffet dinner and buffet breakfast, as well as on-board entertainment.
However – and it’s no huge secret – Star Cruises' journeys out to sea are really all about the sightseeing at the beginning and end of the voyage.
Star Cruises' voyages are Hong Kong's best excursion — Photo courtesy of Star Cruises
As the ship moves away from Ocean Terminal, there’s a chance to get a seagull’s-eye view of harbor life: tugs, lighters, container ships, ferries, yachts, junks, packet boats and every sort of craft ply the waters of the “Fragrant Harbor." There are even tiny fishing boats, with a couple of doughty men hauling on their nets.
To port and starboard, skyscrapers tower over each other, making for a stupendously dramatic skyline. It’s a photographer’s dream!
Once south of Hong Kong Island, there's rather less to see, but plenty to enjoy.
Star Pisces is the smaller ship, weighing in at 40,000 tons, with 590 cabins and a top speed of 21 knots. Nobody is likely to go hungry on board, with Blue Lagoon serving snacks and Southeast Asian favorites, and the Mariners Buffet serving up sumptuous helpings of international fare.
A nightly cabaret takes to the stage at Galaxy of the Stars, while passengers who fancy showing off their own talents can head to the Star Karaoke Lounge. The outdoor pool and Jacuzzi is especially popular in summer, while indoors the health club includes a sauna and massage facilities, as well as state-of-the-art exercise equipment.
And there’s plenty of opportunity to shop on board, with shops selling watches, jewelry, wine, perfumes, cosmetics, handbags, accessories and souvenirs.
At 75,000 tons and with 935 cabins and a top speed of 25 knots, Superstar Virgo is an altogether bigger proposition. She’s able to carry up to 1,870 passengers, but somehow never feels in any way crowded.
Of the nine food and beverage outlets, Café Gelato – which serves ice cream and snacks – and The Taj – an Indian buffet restaurant – are two of the most popular.
There’s also a video arcade as well as a cabaret theatre, a kids’ fun pool and a mega water slide. All of this adds up to fun, fun, fun.
Prices aboard start at around HK $1,000 per head, though cheaper deals are sometimes available.
Best of all, on either ship, is docking back in Hong Kong, a triumphant return after an entertaining night away at sea.