March 22, 2018, 8:05 am
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A quick stroll through HK and Taiwan

Star Cruises’ flagship SuperStar Virgo takes its passengers to Hong Kong and Taiwan as part of the new “Jewels of the South China Sea” itinerary, which connects four scenic cities in Asia – Manila, Laoag, Kaohsiung and Hong Kong – across a six-day, five-night cruise.

The “Jewels of the South China Sea” is the first cruise itinerary that is aligned with the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC) that Star Cruises created for its flagship fleet.

ACC was created to support the cruise industry by facilitating itinerary development and maximize the growth of cruise tourism in Asia, among others.

The triple homeport deployment of its flagship fleet SuperStar Virgo in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines reflects Star Cruises’ continuous support of ACC in enhancing the development of cruise tourism in the region.

In Hong Kong and Taiwan, passengers can expect to experience a mix of the modern and the traditional – from the local cuisine to the market stalls and shopping malls, to the amusement parks and stunning views. 

After Manila and Laoag, SuperStar Virgo’s next stop is Kaohsiung, known as “Taiwan’s Maritime Capital.” 

It is the island’s largest industrial center and a thriving international metropolis that is home to several popular tourist spots like the Love River, Shoushan (Mount Shou), Xiziwan Bay, Lotus Pond, Qijin and the Old City of Zuoying.

Taiwan is blessed with a diverse range of exquisite beauties, each corner of the island having its own unique scenery filled with local stories and touching moods, according to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Taiwan offers cruisers a variety of thematic itineraries – Gourmet Guide, Culture and Heritage, Hot Springs, Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, Offshore Islands, Ecotourism, Rail Tour, and Night Markets – depending on the length of their stay, area of interest and preference.

Cruisers who opt for a half day shore excursion can check out these attractions near Kaohsiung: Chimei Museum which features mainly Western art, musical instruments, arms and armour, animal taxidermy and fossils; and Ch’IKan Lou (Fort Provintia) that was built by the Dutch in 1652, and the site of the nine sets of stone turtles carrying plates and a stone horse with broken legs.

They can also visit the Anping Fort which was the administrative center of the Dutch regime and the hub for trading; the Love River, a romantic place worth seeing; and the Vigor Kobo that makes traditional fine cakes and pastries such as its famous mini pineapple cake that is a hit with customers.

Meanwhile, shore excursions in Hong Kong introduce cruisers to its bustling streets, ancient Chinese traditions, charming colonial architecture and exciting culinary scene.

Hong Kong is Asia’s truly international, vibrant city and its unique culture and traditions are derived from a melting pot of East and West.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board has recommended the following attractions that cruisers can explore on foot for a half or full day trip: Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong’s raison d’être, has one of the world’s most awesome urban landscapes and features ‘A Symphony of Light’ show played at 8 p.m. every night; Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade which starts at the colonial-era Clock Tower and stretches all the way to Hung Hom; and Clock Tower, a 44-meter tall edifice that is a memorable landmark for the millions of Chinese immigrants and a reminder of the Age of Steam.

Also worth exploring are the Star Ferry, rated as one of 50 ‘places of a lifetime’ by the National Geographic as this form of transport lets cruisers see up close one of the world’s most photographed harbours; The Peninsula, Hong Kong’s oldest hotel located at the southern tip of the Kowloon Peninsula; Hong Kong Cultural Centre, a prime venue for a variety of cultural activities; and the Ocean Terminal, where tourists can expect to see a variety of merchandise and savour delicious food.
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