Hong Kong the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and abbreviated as HK, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated region. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842; the colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War, was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The entire territory was transferred to China in 1997; as a special administrative region, Hong Kong's system of government is separate from that of mainland China and its people identify more as Hongkongers rather than Chinese. A sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, the territory has become one of the world's most significant financial centres and commercial ports.
It is the world's seventh-largest trading entity, its legal tender is the world's 13th-most traded currency. Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it has severe income inequality; the territory has the largest number of skyscrapers in most surrounding Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong ranks seventh on the UN Human Development Index, has the sixth-longest life expectancy in the world. Although over 90 per cent of its population uses public transportation, air pollution from neighbouring industrial areas of mainland China has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates; the name of the territory, first spelled "He-Ong-Kong" in 1780 referred to a small inlet between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between local fishermen. Although the source of the romanised name is unknown, it is believed to be an early phonetic rendering of the Cantonese pronunciation hēung góng; the name translates as "fragrant harbour" or "incense harbour".
"Fragrant" may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's freshwater influx from the Pearl River or to the odor from incense factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export. Sir John Davis offered an alternative origin; the simplified name Hong Kong was used by 1810 written as a single word. Hongkong was common until 1926, when the government adopted the two-word name; some corporations founded during the early colonial era still keep this name, including Hongkong Land, Hongkong Electric and Shanghai Hotels and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The region is first known to have been occupied by humans during the Neolithic period, about 6,000 years ago. Early Hong Kong settlers were a semi-coastal people who migrated from inland and brought knowledge of rice cultivation; the Qin dynasty incorporated the Hong Kong area into China for the first time in 214 BCE, after conquering the indigenous Baiyue. The region was consolidated under the Nanyue kingdom after the Qin collapse, recaptured by China after the Han conquest.
During the Mongol conquest, the Southern Song court was located in modern-day Kowloon City before its final defeat in the 1279 Battle of Yamen. By the end of the Yuan dynasty, seven large families had settled in the region and owned most of the land. Settlers from nearby provinces migrated to Kowloon throughout the Ming dynasty; the earliest European visitor was Portuguese explorer Jorge Álvares, who arrived in 1513. Portuguese merchants established a trading post called in Hong Kong waters, began regular trade with southern China. Although the traders were expelled after military clashes in the 1520s, Portuguese-Chinese trade relations were reestablished by 1549. Portugal acquired a permanent lease for Macau in 1557. After the Qing conquest, maritime trade was banned under the Haijin policies; the Kangxi Emperor lifted the prohibition, allowing foreigners to enter Chinese ports in 1684. Qing authorities established the Canton System in 1757 to regulate trade more restricting non-Russian ships to the port of Canton.
Although European demand for Chinese commodities like tea and porcelain was high, Chinese interest in European manufactured goods was insignificant. To counter the trade imbalance, the British sold large amounts of Indian opium to China. Faced with a drug crisis, Qing officials pursued ever-more-aggressive actions to halt the opium trade; the Daoguang Emperor rejected proposals to legalise and tax opium, ordering imperial commissioner Lin Zexu to eradicate the opium trade in 1839. The commissioner destroyed opium stockpiles and halted all foreign trade, forcing a British military response and triggering the First Opium War; the Qing ceded Hong Kong Island in the Convention of Chuenpi. However, both countries did not ratify the agreement. After over a year of further hostilities, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded to the United Kingdom in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. Administrative infrastructure was built up by early 1842, but piracy and hostile Qing policies towards Hong Kong prevented the government from attracting merchants.
The Taiping Rebellion, when many wealthy Chinese fled mainland turbulence and settled in the colon
Silja Line is a Finnish cruiseferry brand operated by the Estonian ferry company AS Tallink Grupp, for car and passenger traffic between Finland and Sweden. The former company Silja Oy—today Tallink Silja Oy—is a subsidiary of the Tallink Grupp, handling marketing and sales for Tallink and Silja Line brands in Finland as well as managing Tallink Silja's ship employees. Another subsidiary, Tallink Silja AB, handles marketing and sales in Sweden. Strategical corporate management is performed by Tallink Grupp which own the ships; as of 2009 four ships service two routes under the Silja Line brand, transporting about three million passengers and 200,000 cars every year. The Silja Line ships have a market share of around 50 percent on the two routes served; the history of Silja Line can be traced back to 1904 when two Finnish shipping companies, Finland Steamship Company and Steamship Company Bore, started collaborating on Finland–Sweden traffic. The initial collaboration agreement was terminated in 1909, but re-established in 1910.
After World War I in 1918 a new agreement was made that included the Swedish Rederi AB Svea. The collaboration agreement applied only on service between Turku and Stockholm, but was applied to the Helsinki–Stockholm in 1928; as a precursor to the policies adopted by Silja Line, each of the three companies ordered a near-identical ship for Helsinki–Stockholm service to coincide with the 1952 Summer Olympics, held in Helsinki. Only Finland SS Co.'s SS Aallotar was ready in time for the olympics. At this time the city of Helsinki constructed the Olympia Terminal in Helsinki's South Harbour, that Silja Line's ships still use. Realising that car-passenger ferries would be the dominating traffic form in the future, the three collaborating companies decided to form a daughter company, Oy Siljavarustamo / Siljarederiet Ab; the new company started out with used ships which were not well-fitted for the role they were meant for, but that changed when in 1961 Silja took delivery of the new MS Skandia, the first purpose-built car-passenger ferry in the northern Baltic Sea.
Skandia's sister MS Nordia followed the next year and the era's giant MS Fennia in 1966. Two more ships based on the Skandia design, MS Botnia and MS Floria were delivered in 1967 and 1970, respectively. Despite the establishment of Silja, FÅA, Bore and Svea continued to operate on the same routes with their own ships; this led to a somewhat complex situation. In Finland they went by the name Ruotsinlaivat whereas in Sweden the preferred terms were Det Samseglande, Finlandsbåten or Sverigebåten. In both countries the names of all four companies were displayed alongside the group identity. In 1967 three of Silja's rival companies had formed a joint marketing and coordination company, Viking Line, to become Silja Line's main rival for the next two decades. FÅA, Bore and Svea soon realised that a similar arrangement would be preferable to their current fragmented image, in 1970 a big change was carried out within the organisations: Silja Line was established as a joint marketing and coordination company between FÅA, Bore and Svea, the ships of Siljavarustamo were divided between these three.
All Silja Line's ships were painted in the same colour scheme, with a white hull and superstructure, with the dark blue "Silja Line" text on the side, alongside the now-famous seal's head logo. Each company retained their own funnel colours, so it was easy to distinguish which ship belonged to which company from a distance: Svea's funnels where white with a large black S on them, FÅA's were black with two white brands around the funnel, Bore's were yellow with a blue/white cross. Before the reorganisation Silja had ordered two new ships from Dubigeon-Normandie S. A. Nantes, France to begin year-round traffic from Helsinki to Stockholm. In 1972 these were delivered to Svea as MS Aallotar and MS Svea Regina, respectively. Passenger numbers on the Helsinki route grew fast and in 1973 it was decided that the three companies would each order a ship of identical design from the same shipyard to replace the current Helsinki–Stockholm ships; the first two of these was delivered in 1975. The last sister, MS Bore Star, was delivered in December of the same year.
However, there weren't enough passengers during the winter for all three ships, as a result the Bore Star was chartered to Finnlines during the winters of 1975–76 and 1976–77. In 1976 Finland SS Co changed its name to Effoa. During the latter part of the 1970s Effoa's old ferries MS Ilmatar and MS Regina made cruises around Baltic Sea, Norwegian fjords and the Atlantic under the marketing name Silja Cruises. In the 1979 Svea and Effoa decided again to order new ships for the Helsinki–Stockholm route, which would be the largest ferries of their time. Bore however decided not to participate in building new ships, in 1980 opted to bow out of passenger traffic altogether, their two ships were sold to Effoa and their shares of Silja Line split between the two other companies. In Finland, in Sweden, a large maritime strike in spring 1980 stopped ferry traffic completely; this prompted Effoa to terminate the Silja Cruises service. Despite the difficulties Silja's first real cruiseferries Finlandia and MS Silvia Regina entered traffic in 1981, which led to a 45% raise in passenger numbers.
Late in the same year Johnson Line purcha
Ocean Terminal, Hong Kong
Ocean Terminal is a cruise terminal and shopping centre located on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. The location of Ocean Terminal was once a wharf pier on the west shore of Tsim Sha Tsui. Rebuilt and enlarged for use as a cruise terminal, it served as a multi-story shopping centre. Ocean Terminal opened on 22 March 1966, signifying the increasing wealth of Hong Kong Costing HK$70 million, its 112 shops made it "the largest shopping centre" in Hong Kong. It was the first Shopping mall in Hong Kong. In 1987 it was re-branded together with nearby buildings of the Wharf as Harbour City. Ocean Terminal is now owned by The Wharf Limited; the annual berth utilisation rate of Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, which offers two berths accommodating vessels of up to 50,000 tonnes, rose to 76% last year from 71% in 2003. Between 2001 and 2006, some 11 cruise vessels had to berth mid-stream and at container terminals because Ocean Terminal could not meet market demand. Star House Media related to Ocean Terminal at Wikimedia Commons Official website
MS Silja Europa
MS Silja Europa and operated by Tallink, is one of the largest cruiseferries in the world. It was built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany for the ferry operator Rederi AB Slite, a part of Viking Line. Main architect was Sweden; the ferry was painted in Viking Line's colors and ready to be handed over, when the Swedish krona was devalued by 10%, which led Slite into economic difficulties. Slite could not pay for the ship so Meyer Werft kept it and soon managed to charter it to Viking Line's rival, Silja Line, it was put on the Helsinki–Stockholm route, replacing MS Silja Serenade, put to the Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm route, but Silja Europa and Silja Serenade changed routes with each other in 1995. Europa was launched on January 23, 1993 and christened the Silja Europa in Hamburg, Germany on March 5, 1993. March 6, 1993. Registered to Fährschiff Europa KB, Finland. Chartered to Silja Line for a period of 10 years. March 14, 1993. Replaces the Silja Serenade on the Helsinki–Stockholm route. Makes its maiden voyage.
September 28, 1994. Silja Europa is the first vessel to receive the Mayday message from the sinking MS Estonia, second after MS Mariella to arrive on scene after Estonia capsized and sank; the Ship's Master Esa Mäkelä was appointed On-Scene Commander for the rescue operation. January 12, 1995. Replaces the Silja Serenade on the Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm route. January 13, 1995. Runs aground close to Furusund. Continues under its own power to Stockholm, where it is taken out of service and delivered to Naantali for repair. January 18, 1995. Back in traffic. October 10, 1996. Early in the morning, a passenger reports to the reception; this is reported to the captain. However, the captain continues to Stockholm; the Swedish coast guard finds the person, a female passenger, in the sea. Her body temperature is low and she dies a couple of days in the hospital of hypothermia; the ship's captain is prosecuted for not stopping as he should have, is found guilty but is not punished. August 20, 1997. Collides with a German sailing-boat in a fog, south of Lemland.
A German couple and their dog are rescued by one of Silja Europa's lifeboats. The sailing-boat begins to take on water and is towed to Degerby on Föglö by the Coast Guard. August 1, 1998. Silja Europa is close to colliding with the Greek cruise ship Jason in the Stockholm archipelago between the islands of Värmdö and Rindö. November 21, 1998. At about 2 AM in the night, when Silja Europa was berthing at the port of Mariehamn, she crashed into the pier due to a strong squall, she had to stay in Mariehamn for a while to have the damage inspected. July 1, 1999. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route. December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. A special millennium cruise from Turku to Kapellskär. January, 2000. Catalytic converter installed at Aker Finnyards in Rauma; the funnel is painted blue, the safety system is renewed. May 8, 2000; the Finnish Seamen's Union requests Silja Europa, Silja Serenade and GTS Finnjet not to leave their harbours. This is a protest against Silja Line recruiting a crew with no proper employment contract on their new HSC SuperSeaCat Four speedliner.
Silja Europa, leaves Turku three hours late. The other ships leave their harbours the next morning. Silja Europa doesn't embark any passengers in Stockholm the next day. July 19, 2000. Encounters is taken out of service for five days. An attempt is made to fix the problem in the port of Turku, but it turns out to be a problem on the exterior of the ship; the passengers that have come to Turku and need to get back to Stockholm have to wait the entire day in Turku harbour. They are allowed back on board at 2 AM. Silja Europa had to be taken to the yard in Helsinki. January 3, 2001. Silja Line announces that Silja Europa will start sailing to Kapellskär instead of Stockholm in the winter, to Stockholm only in summertime; the reason is given as changed passenger requirements although the real reason is assumed to relate to high fuel prices. January 7, 2001 to January 19, 2001. Stops at Långnäs instead of Mariehamn. March 1, 2001 to May 14, 2001. Moved to the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Kapellskär route. March 18, 2001.
Encounters problems with the autopilot when arriving in Turku. She is escorted to Turku by three tugs. One cruise has to be canceled. May 15, 2001 to August 31, 2001. Back on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route. July 4, 2001. Has to wait outside Mariehamn for a couple of hours as the Viking Line ships Amorella and Isabella cannot leave their berths. There was an electrical black-out in Mariehamn and their boarding ramps couldn't be withdrawn earlier without electricity. September 1, 2001. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Kapellskär route. September 2, 2001. Is somewhat delayed as she has to stop to participate in a search for a person missing from another ship. October 2, 2001. Fire is extinguished quickly. Instead of Kapellskär, the ship is taken to Stockholm. December 23, 2001 to December 25, 2001. A special Christmas cruise from Turku to Stockholm. May 5, 2002 to August 31, 2002. Back on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route. August 31, 2002. Interior renewed at Vuosaari in Helsinki.
September 8, 2002. Back in traffic. Placed on the Tur
SuperStar Gemini (2012)
MS SuperStar Gemini is a cruise ship owned and operated by Star Cruises. She was built in 1992 by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France as MS Dreamward for traffic with Norwegian Cruise Line. In 1998 she was lengthened at Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven and renamed as the Norwegian Dream. In late 2012, she was renamed SuperStar Gemini; the Dreamward was the first in a pair of two identical cruise ships ordered by Kloster Cruise for Norwegian Cruise Line from Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The sisters were planned with a gross tonnage of 40,000, maximum passenger capacity of 1246 persons. However, they were designed from the start with the concept of lengthening in mind, making it possible for the company to expand their capacity without having to order new ships; the lengthening was carried out in March—May 1998 at Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, where the ship was cut in half and a new 40-metre midsection was inserted. In addition to the lengthening, the ship's funnel and radar mast were adapted so that they could be folded down, allowing her to pass under the bridges of the Kiel Canal.
Coinciding with the lengthening the Dreamward was renamed Norwegian Dream. She re-emerged at 50,764 GT and with maximum passenger capacity of 2,156. A documentary film about the lengthening has been broadcast by ARTE Television on 19 January 1999 The Dreamward was delivered on 4 November 1992, she was named on 5 December 1992 at Port Everglades and started on her first cruise to Bermuda the following day. Subsequently, the ship was used for cruising from New York to the Bahamas and from Florida to the Caribbean, her sister was a year named as Windward. Both the Dreamward and Windward carried the early-90s Norwegian Cruise Line livery with a white funnel and red and blue decorative stripes on the hull; some time before 1998 they received the new NCL livery with a dark blue funnel and an all-white hull. Afterward, she used for cruising around Europe. On 24 August 1999, the Norwegian Dream was involved in a collision with the container ship Ever Decent while en route from Zeebrügge, Belgium to Dover, England.
Following the accident, the Norwegian Dream was repaired at Lloyd Werft. In 2004 the ownership of the Norwegian Dream was transferred to NCL's parent company Star Cruises, in preparation for possible sale or transfer to the Star Cruises fleet. On 10 December 2007, the Norwegian Dream was involved in a further collision with a barge while leaving the port of Montevideo, Uruguay; the collision caused some damage above the waterline. The collision caused several cars and five containers to fall off the barge, which closed the port for some time. On 23 April 2008 Star Cruises entered an agreement to sell the Norwegian Dream, as well as her fleetmate Norwegian Majesty, to the Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines, willing to pay $218 million for the ship. International Shipping Partners was interested in the Norwegian Dream. Louis was supposed to pay the entire $218 million upon the ship's delivery, but by 29 September 2008, when the ship should have been delivered to Louis, they canceled the deal due to "technical issues relating to the vessel."
The deal for the Norwegian Majesty, was completed in July. In November 2008, the Norwegian Dream was laid up in Freeport, Bahamas awaiting a buyer.. The ship had a brief spell in the port of Piraeus, before relocating to Kalamata on 13 June 2011 for inspection by Louis Cruise Lines and Pullmantur Cruises. Shortly thereafter, she returned to the anchor point off Piraeus. On the move yet again, Norwegian Dream was sighted at anchor in Singapore Harbour in June 2011. Star Cruises confirmed, she was seen anchored in the harbor in Penang, Malaysia, in May 2012. On 10 September 2012, Star cruises announced that it would refurbish "Norwegian Dream", rename it to SuperStar Gemini; the refurbished SuperStar Gemini now houses new onboard facilities including restaurants of Chinese and international cuisines, open-deck barbecue, show lounge, spa & health club, beauty salon, children’s playroom and swimming pool. With a passenger capacity of 1,532, the vessel will house 766 guest cabins in a variety of layouts including ergonomic ocean view rooms, stylish junior suites and deluxe executive suites.
The estimated cost of this refurbishment was 50 million USD. On 24 August 1999, the Norwegian Dream was involved in a collision with the container ship Ever Decent while en route from Zeebrügge, Belgium to Dover, England. Although her bow was damaged, the Norwegian Dream continued to Dover under her own power; the IMO report states that the weather at the time was good with good visibility. The Ever Decent was damaged listing 40 degrees to port; as a result of the collision the Ever Decent caught a toxic plume formed. The cargo her included all IMO hazmat classes except explosives, in particular two containers of cyanide were a concern. On 27 November 2016, while cruising to Penang, CCTV footage on the SuperStar Gemini showed that a Singaporean man by the name of Wuan Poh Fatt fell overboard 9.5 nautical miles off Pulau Besar and 12 nautical miles off Tanjung Kling. He was reported missing after he failed to respond to the ship's announcements before the ship docked in Georgetown, Penang. SuperStar Gemini NCL Website Collision photos Collision photos
Nassau is the capital and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has an estimated population of 274,400 as of 2016, just over 70% of the population of the country. Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for the Bahamas, is located about 16 kilometres west of Nassau city centre, has daily flights to major cities in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States; the city is located on the island of New Providence. Nassau is the site of the House of Assembly and various judicial departments and was considered to be a stronghold of pirates; the city was named in honour of William III of England, Prince of Orange-Nassau, deriving its name from Nassau, Germany. Nassau's modern growth began in the late eighteenth century, with the influx of thousands of American Loyalists and their slaves to the Bahamas following the American War of Independence. Many of them settled in Nassau and came to outnumber the original inhabitants; as the population of Nassau grew, so did its populated areas.
Today the city dominates its satellite, Paradise Island. However, until the post-Second World War era, the outer suburbs scarcely existed. Most of New Providence was uncultivated bush until Loyalists were resettled there following the American Revolutionary War. Slaves were imported as labour. After the British abolished the international slave trade in 1807, they resettled thousands of Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy on New Providence, along with other islands such as Grand Bahama, Exuma and Inagua. In addition, slaves freed from American ships, such as the Creole case in 1841, were allowed to settle there; the largest concentration of Africans lived in the "Over-the-Hill" suburbs of Grants Town and Bain Town to the south of the city of Nassau, while most of the inhabitants of European descent lived on the island's northern coastal ridges. Nassau was known as Charles Town. During the Raid on Charles Town the town was burned to the ground by the Spanish in 1684 during one of their frequent wars with the English.
It was rebuilt and renamed to Nassau in 1695 under Governor Nicholas Trott in honour of the Dutch Stadtholder and also King of England and Ireland, William III who belonged to a branch of the House of Nassau, from which the city takes its name. The name Nassau derives from the town of Nassau in Germany. Due to a lack of effective governors, Nassau fell on hard times. In 1703 Spanish and French allied forces occupied Nassau. From 1703 to 1718 there was no governor in the colony and by 1713, the sparsely settled Bahamas had become a pirate haven; the Governor of Bermuda stated that there were over 1,000 pirates in Nassau and that they outnumbered the mere hundred inhabitants of the town. They proclaimed Nassau a pirate republic, establishing themselves as "governors". Examples of pirates that used Nassau as their base are Charles Vane, Thomas Barrow, Benjamin Hornigold, Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, the infamous Edward Teach, better known as "Blackbeard". In 1718, the British sought to regain control of the islands and appointed Captain Woodes Rogers as Royal governor.
He clamped down on the pirates, reformed the civil administration, restored commerce. Rogers rebuilt the fort, using his own wealth to try to overcome problems. In 1720 the Spanish made an unsuccessful attempt to capture Nassau. During the wars in the Thirteen Colonies, Nassau experienced an economic boom. With funds from privateering, a new fort, street lights and over 2300 sumptuous houses were built and Nassau was extended. In addition to this, mosquito breeding swamps were filled. In 1776, the Battle of Nassau resulted in a brief occupation by American Continental Marines during the American War of Independence, where the Marines staged their first amphibious raid on Fort Montague after attempting to sneak up on Fort Nassau. In 1778 after an overnight invasion, American raiders led by Captain Rathburn, left with ships and military stores after stopping in Nassau for only two weeks. In 1782 Spain captured Nassau for the last time when Don Juan de Cagigal, governor-general of Cuba, attacked New Providence with 5000 men.
Andrew Deveaux, an American Loyalist who resettled on the island, set forth to recapture Nassau for the British Crown and with 220 men and 150 muskets to face a force of 600 trained soldiers. Lord Dunmore governed the colony from 1787 to 1796, he oversaw the construction of Fort Fincastle in Nassau. During the American Civil War, Nassau served as a port for blockade runners making their way to and from ports along the southern Atlantic Coast for continued trade with the Confederacy. In the 1920s and 1930s, Nassau profited from Prohibition in the United States. Located on New Providence Island, Nassau has an attractive harbour, a blend of old world and colonial architecture, a busy port; the tropical climate and natural environment of the Bahamas have made Nassau a tourist destination. Nassau developed directly behind the port area. New Providence provides 200 km² of flat and low-lying land intersected by low ridges. In the centre of the island there are several shallow lakes that are tidally connec