Jamie | J3 Private Tours Hong Kong | Diary of a Fat Tour Guide
Cruise Ship Companies | Hong Kong Shore Excursions and why you should do them with J3 Private Tours Hong Kong
Hong Kong has two Cruise Ship Terminals, the Ocean Terminal and the Kai Tak Cruise Ship Terminal, Cruise Ships have been coming to Hong Kong for a long time and there always seems to be a Cruise Ship in port on most days of the week.
For most Cruise Ship passengers, the default activity when in port is take a local Shore Excursion Tour provided by the Cruise Company and frankly I firmly believe the passengers are really let down when it comes to the quality of these shore excursion tours in Hong Kong.
The basic Hong Kong Port Shore Excursion Tour goes something like this
visit Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island for the city view
visit the famous “fishing village” Aberdeen and ride a little sampan boat around the harbour
drive through Repulse Bay on Hong Kong Island where lots of rich people live
visit Stanley Market on Hong Kong Island to purchase lovely gifts
and the highlight | visit a local jewellery factory to see how quality jewellery is made under the guise of it being a cultural experience.
The Cruise Companies contracts out the tours to a local Tour Company (the low bid wins) who are normally still living in the Stone Age when it comes to doing tours | in a nutshell, this tour itinerary has been the standard Hong Kong Tour for most Tour Companies since the 1960’s and remains virtually unchanged to this day.
Here is the reality of the tour you will be on. (and yes, I have done it for research purposes)
You will be on a coach with 30+ other people wearing a sticker
You will be following a guide holding a flag working to a script which they tend not to deviate from, so short on interesting and current facts and long on silly humour.
when you visit Victoria Peak you are generally left to your own devices and although the view is nice from the Peak Tower you will be missing out totally on the greatest city view in the world which all us Private Tour Guides offer.
the atmospheric, vibrant Aberdeen Fishing Village died a death many decades ago, hardly anyone lives on boats anymore (except those in the luxury Marina that now dominates the harbour) it is now the worst sort of Tourist dross you can imagine
You should really be stopping at Repulse Bay which is rather lovely and NOT be driving through it
Stanley is also lovely and it is so much more than a tacky street market, it is a shame you get so little time to explore there.
and I save the worst til last - the dreaded jewellery factory stop, whatever goodwill that is built up on the tour goes out of the window when they stop at the “jewellery factory” which is essentially the Tour Companies way of recouping the cost of the tour, they bid a low price to the Cruise Company to host the tour and hope to make a profit from the jewellery factory commissions, it is to me shocking that this nonsense is still allowed to flourish, it is something you expect in 3rd world countries but not in Hong Kong… so what is the issue then? well, they lock you in the jewellerty factory showroom and for 30 - 60 minutes you are hassled by sales assistants using high pressure sales tactics to purchase expensive jewellery,, it is a cultural experience for all the wrong reasons.
So there you go, this is what you can expect on a typical Cruise Company Shore Excursion and I have to say, having read the blurb they use to market the tour, it actually sounds pretty good, particularly if you have never been to Hong Kong, it is a shame the reality is really quite awful.
Contact Jamie now for a really local Hong Kong Shore Excursion Tour.
J3 Private Tours Hong Kong | Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Hong Kong | Hong Kong Shore Excursions
Oh my golly gosh, the simply amazing Pagani Zonda Absolute - this is a custom made car and is rumoured to be the only one of it's kind in the world and it is in Hong Kong!... oh... and yes, this is my picture, talk about being in the right place at the right time.
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