Touring Hong Kong's container port

This special Hong Kong tour offers travelers a chance to see one of the world's busiest ports up close.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 5:34 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 5:43 PM

Shopping has long been a big reason tourists come to Hong Kong, where stores are brimming with goods from around the world.

Now there's a tour where you can see how all that stuff got there.

Hong Kong Yachting will take up you close to the massive container ships that bring much of the bling and baubles, fashions and food, computers and cameras into Hong Kong via its container port, the sixth-busiest in the world.

James Hargraves, a transplanted New Zealander who has spent years working in the shipping industry, gives travelers the inside scoop on the port from the deck of a converted fishing boat as it cruises just yards from some of the biggest commercial ships afloat.

As massive cranes loom overhead and trucks move methodically along the piers, Hargraves rattles off a slew of statistics about the port and the ships and what's aboard them.

Those containers are 8-feet wide, 8.5-feet tall and either 20 feet or 40-feet long; for all you see from the outside of the ship, there could be hundreds more inside; the flat-sided containers are refrigerated.

Fast work

And there's no tracking device on them, he says. The movement from port to ship to customer around the world and back is followed on spreadsheets.

"You've got to be quite a logical person to think through all the steps, that's why it's called logistics," he says.

While the size of the container ships is amazing, Hargraves provides another shocking fact: The average one spends just 10 hours in port unloading and loading.

As if on cue, the tour boat maneuvers to avoid a medium-sized ship pulling away from wharfside.

Though a light rain is falling on the afternoon our CNN crew is aboard, the two dozen or so passengers don't seem to mind.

They ask about what life is like aboard a container ship -- "some of them have swimming pools" -- and where most of them are made -- "China, South Korea, Denmark."

Where do they come from? The smaller ones, the ships bringing goods down China's Pearl River delta, bear Chinese flags. The bigger ones are tagged with homeports from Belize to Panama to Malta.

Dinner and a show

Belgian tourists Sophie and Danny Bergmans are on their third trip to Hong Kong and spotted info on the cargo tour online.

"We were trying to do other, new things," Sophie says.

"It's different, the containers impressed," says Danny. "This is a good day!"

Kevin and Lori Bailey are Hong Kong expats, transplanted from Laguna Beach, California. Their household goods were in one of those containers, on one of those ships, two years ago.

"It's fascinating to see how it works," says Lori, wondering which size container their stuff was on and just how it made its way through the port to their residence.

As the Baileys talk, the smell of onions wafts across the deck. Hargraves has fired up the onboard grill for a lunch of barbecued sausages, steak and salad. The $900 HK ($115 US) ticket includes the lunch, some snacks and free-flow drinks, soda and juice, champagne, wine and beer.

Around a table on the boat's port side, a group of Americans breaks into song, the theme from the 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island."

"The first mate and his skipper too will do their very best."

Clearly this afternoon is not all about containers.

Hong Kong Yachting's container port tour runs Sundays through January 5, 2019, departing from the city's Central Pier. It will pick up again beginning April 5 through May 2019. Ticket information is available on their website, www.hongkongyachting.com.

West Lafayette
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 98°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 100°
Crawfordsville
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 92°
Frankfort
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 98°
Delphi
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 95°
Monticello
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 95°
Logansport
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 97°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events