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And it's in a famous spot - the site of the former Kai Tak Airport, which older travellers might remember as one of the more memorable aerial arrivals in a city. It felt like you were flying down the high street.

It is on the west side of Kowloon Bay, in the New Kowloon district. The new terminal will be able to take two 360m-long vessels at a time and disembark up to 8400 passengers and 1200 crew, though 5400 disembarking passengers is its "base design load". And it is key to the Hong Kong Government's determination to become a hub for cruise liners.

Foster and Partners has designed the new terminal. This architectural firm is based in London and led by founder and chairman Sir Norman Foster, whose work can be seen throughout the city, including the HSBC building.

The terminal's design caters for the bigger generation of ships that is coming and has sustainable features, including generating power from renewable sources and recycling rainwater for cooling.

A spokesperson for Hong Kong Government's Tourism Commission says: "Hong Kong has great potential to capture the growth in the Asia-Pacific market.

"Its natural advantages are the deep and picturesque Victoria Harbour, good aircraft capacity, an experienced tourism industry groomed to deliver to international standards and its good strategic geographical position in Asia Pacific."

Stephen Scourfield

The West Australian

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