Magical Macau Overnight
Explore the enthralling past and present of Macau through attractions as diverse as a 16th-century temple and a modern observation tower that soars high above the city, a unique mixture of Portuguese and Chinese cultures.
After disembarking from the ship, you will ride the ferry west across the Zhujiang River Estuary to Macau, a largely autonomous Special Administrative Region of China. A Portuguese colony until 1999, Macau has one of the world’s largest concentrations of historic UNESCO World Heritage sites. Still, much of Macau has been transformed into a vibrant modern city known as much for gambling and its energetic nightlife.
Your tour begins at the outer harbour’s Kun Iam Statue, a 100-foot-tall bronze representation of the Goddess of Mercy atop a lotus blossom. It’s one of the most iconic, recognizable sights in Macau. Continuing on, you will visit the A-Ma Temple, which was constructed long before the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century, making it the oldest temple in Macau. It’s dedicated to the sea goddess Ma Zu, from which the name Macau is derived. As you wander about the various pavilions, you will learn how the designs represent Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.
A much more modern marvel awaits you at the Macau Tower, where you will stop for photos of this more than 1,100-foot-high tower and conference center. It too is an icon, perhaps only eclipsed by the wealth of casinos scattered about town, the consequence of Macau being the only region in China where gambling is legal. You’ll spend more than an hour in one of the glitziest, most popular casinos, where you may try your luck at games ranging from Texas Hold ‘Em to the dice-based Sic Bo.
By late afternoon, you will arrive at the Sofitel Macau At Ponte 16 hotel, where you will spend the evening. Being located at the inner harbour, the hotel offers easy access to plenty of fine restaurants for dinner on your own.
Today will be devoted to the more historical side of Macau, beginning with a visit to Macau’s main public square Leal Senado. Much of the city’s past is revealed through the many buildings clustered about the centuries-old square, including the neoclassical Leal Senado (meaning Loyal Senate) municipal building, which was built in 1784.
Next, you will walk to the ruins of the 16th-century St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is primarily the stone façade of this former Jesuit church. Be sure to notice the intricate carvings relating to the story of the Catholic Church in Asia. You’ll also have a glimpse at the church’s stone foundations, a restored crypt and an old city wall. If you can throw a coin from the stairs through the façade’s top window, it’s said to bring good luck.
Continuing your walk within the Jesuit complex, you will visit the nearby Monte Fortress, a square-shaped stronghold constructed during the Ming Dynasty in the early 17th century. Although it was stocked to withstand a siege of two years, the fortress was never attacked in full force, although in 1617 one of the cannons was fired, which quickly repelled a half-hearted Dutch invasion.
For a more in-depth look into Macau’s history and traditions, you will walk to the Macau Museum, much of which is underground. Depending on which exhibits you browse, you may see paintings, photographs, a re-created colonial street, and even plans for Macau’s future.
Then, following a traditional lunch, you will retrace your steps back to the ferry, on to Hong Kong and re-join the ship.
Overland Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The times indicated are only approximate, given here for general reference purposes, and subject to change.
8:15am Depart from the pier and drive to the Ferry Terminal. Don’t forget your passport.
9:00am Go through Hong Kong Immigration and Customs
10:00am Ferry ride to Macau
11:00am Go through Macau Immigration and Customs. Meet local guide at Arrival Hall
12:00pm Short drive followed by a buffet lunch (includes 1 standard drink per person)
1:15pm Visit the Kun Iam Statue
1:45pm Drive to the A-Ma Temple
1:55pm Visit the A-Ma Temple
2:30pm Photo stop at the Macau Tower
2:50pm Drive to the casino
3:00pm Visit the casino
4:15pm Drive to Sofitel Macau At Ponte 16 hotel (or similar)and check in
Evening at leisure and dinner on your own
8:00am Breakfast in the hotel and check out
9:15am Walk to and visit Leal Senado Square
9:45am Photo stop and walk to the hilltop ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral
10:15am Visit the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral
11:00am Visit Monte Fortress and the Museum of Macau
12:40pm Drive to a local restaurant
1:00pm Macanese lunch at the restaurant
2:00pm Drive to Macau Ferry Pier
2:15pm Go through Macau Immigration and Customs
3:00pm Ride ferry back to Hong Kong
4:00pm Go through Hong Kong Immigration and Customs
4:30pm Drive back to the pier and re-join the ship
Weather in Hong Kong in March is usually spring-like with an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit).
What to Bring:
Comfortable shoes, sweaters and a jacket, especially for areas that are air-conditioned. No shorts area allowed in the casino.
Hong Kong dollars and the local Macau Pataca currency can be used almost everywhere in Macau. In general, the exchange rate is 1 to 1 of these two currencies.
The voltage in Hong Kong and Macau is 200-220 volts and 50-cycle.
Luggage can be taken on board the coach or stored underneath in the compartment. We suggest packing one overnight bag for your convenience, especially while taking the ferry. You will be responsible for carrying your own bags.
Documents and Visa Requirements: (current and subject to change)
All guests must bring their passport.
Visas are not required for USA and UK citizens. All other nationalities are required to check with their consulates for specific entry requirements.
**If a visa is required to enter Hong Kong, guests must have a DOUBLE ENTRY HK VISA prior signing up for this overland program.
Sofitel Macau At Ponte 16 or similar. If a similar hotel is required due to unforeseen circumstances, it will be of equal ratings and standards.
All transportation by private mini-coach or coach and an English-speaking local guide
Round-trip, economy-class ferry tickets to/from Hong Kong/Macau
All entrance fees per the itinerary
Two lunches, including one standard drink per person per lunch (local beer, soft drink or local mineral water)
Hotel accommodations for one night
Incidental charges at the hotel including mini bar
Gratuities for local guides and drivers
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
Hotel and Land Program pricing is not combinable with FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Package. If applicable, please contact Regent Seven Seas Cruises or your travel agent for multi-night pre-cruise hotel pricing information. Land program promotions are subject to terms.