enthusiasts and those in other Asian countries should be familiar with
Amadea. Formally named Asuka and operated by Asuka Cruise in
Japan, she was once the best cruise ship in Asia for 15 consecutive years
from 1991 to 2006. Premium cruise vacations were provided to mature Japanese
passengers which mainly sailed to various ports in Japan. Longer voyages
such as Asia Pacific cruises and world cruises were also offered. In those
years, she had visited Hong Kong for a number of times and the last time was
in January 2006.
Asuka was soon sold to Phoenix
Reisen, a German cruise line based in Bonn. In February 2006, she underwent
a one-month conversion in a shipyard at Yokohama and was renamed Amadea.
The maiden reposition cruise set sail in March, calling at Japan, China,
Hong Kong and finally arrived Europe in summer. She revisited our city again
in her 2010 World Cruise.
Amadea sailed into "The Pearl of
Orient" for the third time this year as it was one of the ports in her 2012
World Cruise. Coming from Shanghai, she arrived in the morning of 23rd March
and berthed overnight at Ocean Terminal. I would like to thank Benjamin
Krumpen, the Managing Director of Phoenix Reisen, for organizing a visit for
me and two colleagues. This was my first time to be onboard a vessel of this
The tour was in the afternoon on 24th March. In that morning we had to
visited Saga Ruby at China Merchants Wharf. I have never tried
visiting two ships within the same day. Fortunately the two schedules did
not clash. After disembarking Saga Ruby, we rushed from Kennedy Town
to Tsim Sha Tsui and boarded Amadea at around 13:30.
One of the crew from the Entertainment
Team met us at the gangway and subsequently led us to different decks. We
went to almost all the public areas and took quite a lot of pictures of
various amenities onboard. Amadea just received a major refit in
Blohn + Voss Shipyard at Hamburg in late 2011 with a number of new
facilities added. Nevertheless, many Japanese features are still preserved.
We could find several Asuka Cruises' logo around the vessel, such as at the
Reception and at the gangway. Many artworks in the hallways and staircases
are also the original ones created by Japanese artists. Moreover, a room on
Deck 9 is known as "Asuka", though the traditional Japanese tatami flooring
had been removed for housing a table tennis table now. The entire German
ship has a very Oriental atmosphere, and should be more upscale and distinct
when compared with her fleetmates Albatros and Artania.
Since Hong Kong was not a turnaround
port, we were not able to access any passenger cabins. After more than an
hour of walk between decks, we were invited to have a afternoon tea buffet.
Finally we disembarked at 16:30. Amadea departed at just before 19:00
that night, one hour later than the planned time. The next port of call of
her 139-night World Cruise would be Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. I look
forward to seeing her as well as other Phoenix vessels in our city again in
the coming future.