Located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong, home to Northrop and Johnson Asia, once held sway over most of the South China Sea trade. Founded by the British in the mid-nineteenth century, it is just 22 miles away from Macau, its Portuguese counterpart, which is now the capital of Asian gambling. Both have since reverted to China, but as Special Administrative Regions, they have preserved a strong flavour of their own, with a unique blend of East and West. For those wishing to explore Far East waters, Hong Kong’s central location provides the ideal cruising hub from which to radiate in every direction.
1. It’s not just urban
When you think of Hong Kong you probably think of a busy commercial port with a fast-paced, bustling urban centre. Despite its fame as the world’s third largest financial centre, yacht crews are surprised to learn that almost 70% of Hong Kong’s landmass is raw and untouched. 236 beach-studded islands, which are part of a Special Administrative Region, offer an unexpected cruising opportunity for visiting vessels. Yachts can dock right in the heart of the city and be in a natural wonderland in just a hop, skip, and jump.
2. Stock up in this tax-free port
Hong Kong offers service facilities for yachts up to 100 metres and is a superb logistics hub as well as a tax-free port, meaning zero tax on any imports of goods or services. Stock up here up on fine wines and other delicacies, before cruising onward to Taiwan (which has just recently opened up to cruising), Vietnam (where the first superyacht marina has just opened) and the beautiful cruising grounds of the Philippines and Indonesia.
3. Cruise permit regulations eased
Northrop and Johnson Asia has been instrumental in educating authorities on the particular needs of the industry and leading the charge towards lobbying for more yacht friendly legislation. Just recently, Hong Kong’s marine authorities have reinstated cruise permits similar to past years, but they now include more favourable immigration rules for multinational crew. That said, Hong Kong can be at times bureaucratic for visiting superyachts, so advance planning is a must. A shortage of marina berths also means yachts will have to stay at anchor from time to time. With their head office in the only marina that has berths available for visiting yachts, Northrop and Johnson Asia are strategically located to help you coordinate your stay.
4. Hong Kong Harbours – The practical details
In spite of the occasional typhoon between June and September, Hong Kong waters are well protected. Except for Victoria Harbor, the busy waterway that separates Kowloon and the mainland from Victoria Island, you can anchor hassle free just about anywhere in Hong Kong waters. In addition to numerous typhoons shelters, the territory also boasts a number of exclusive Yacht Clubs, a short distance from the busy centre, starting with the Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club where Northrop and Johnson Asia’s Bart Kimman and his team can help you to secure typhoon proof berths for superyachts and any other required services.
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 and Northrop and Johnson Asia will certainly be able to help with bookings and recommendations. Superyachts usually anchor in Deep Water Bay or in Repulse Bay over the weekend, and from here there is an abundance of hiking, swimming, sailing to be had. For real sailing enthusiasts, the three main yacht clubs in Hong Kong excel at organising 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 (you could even hire a box). A night in Macau, only 25 km away, is also a must!
Here are some other highlights you shouldn’t miss:
- A cruise around Victoria Harbour...
- Enjoy dizzying, dazzling views...
- Offer your kids a day in Ocean Park...
- Visit Asia's well-known gambling Mecca...
- Enjoy a world-class massage and spa...
- Make a day trip to Guangzhou.
- Take a helicopter ride over the vertical city...
… at sunset during the multi-media ‘Symphony of Lights’ show (every evening at 20:00).
…from the 360 degree cable car on the way to the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping Village.
…where numerous attractions ranging from aquariums, polar animals, expedition trails, and exciting rides will surely keep the whole family enthralled.
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. It’s also the gambling capital of the Orient and features a must-see mock canal system at The Venetian hotel…
…in one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the Four Seasons, for total relaxation with a view over Victoria Harbor.
Guangzhou Province is the Canton of old, and only an hour away from Central Hong Kong- whose well-preserved Shamian Island is a beautiful reminder of the lifestyle of the early European concessions.
…and out into the mesmerising wilderness of the New Territories Country Parks all the way to the emerald coastline of Tai Long Wan.
Asia Yacht Services – now Northrop and Johnson Asia – has been in business for over 15 years and has worked with the majority of visiting yachts to Hong Kong over that time. They have specific experience with very large yachts, over 80 metres and excellent relationships with all relevant providers and government officials. The N&J Asia team has 10 offices in the region with ample experience in yacht services, yacht management, charter, and brokerage and have been a proud member of AYSS since 2012