Landmark polar expedition icebreaker Xue Long 2 will come to Hong Kong for the first time and residents of the city can get to board the vessel — which is Mainland China’s first domestically-built ship of this kind. Xue Long 2 will drop anchor in the city on April 8, and will be open to the public from April 9-12 at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Anyone who wishes to get a tour of the vessel can register online and enter a balloting process that will select a maximum of 3,000 visitors. Each applicant must be at least 15 years old, and can apply for two tickets at most. Registrations are open until 11:59pm on March 21, and applicants who are selected for the 30-minute-long tour will be informed by March 28.

xue long 2 ice breaker arctic
Xue Long 2 has completed missions in the Arctic.

This is a landmark year for Xue Long 2 as it is celebrating its 40th Antarctic expedition, when it was part of an oceanic survey mission in January 2024 to help in the construction of the Antarctic research station Qinling Station in the Ross Sea. When it docks in Hong Kong, it will receive between 500 and 1,000 visitors a day, who can walk through its five floors and see areas such as a laboratory and marine sampling room. 

The icebreaker first began operating in 2019 and is equipped with the world’s first dual-directional icebreaking capability at the bow and stern. The 122.5-metre-long icebreaker is Mainland China’s second such vessel, the first being Xue Long.

Image credits: Xue Long 2

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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