Hong Kong bid farewell to China’s first polar research icebreaker as its five-day visit concludes, garnering thousands of visitors

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12th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) The arrival of the Xue Long 2, China’s first domestically-built polar research icebreaker, in Hong Kong has drawn immense public interest and excitement. The vessel docked in the city as part of a goodwill visit, marking its first stop at a Chinese port after completing the 40th Chinese Antarctic expedition.

Over the course of its five-day visit, which concluded today (12th), the Xue Long 2 received a warm send-off from the Hong Kong Organizing Committee for the Visit of Xue Long 2 at the port. The committee reflected on the activities during the visit, revealing that more than 7,200 citizens had the opportunity to board the icebreaker and explore its remarkable features. Additionally, nearly 5,000 individuals participated in scientific exchanges held at four different locations: the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Science Museum, the Correctional Services Department, and the Environmental Protection Department. Furthermore, approximately 3,000 people attended the cultural and artistic evening events, while the Science Museum’s exhibition alone attracted nearly 70,000 visitors. Overall, it is estimated that nearly 100,000 citizens directly engaged with the various activities associated with the Xue Long 2’s visit.

Xue Long 2 commenced its return journey to Shanghai on Friday afternoon. The vessel, also known as Snow Dragon 2, arrived in Hong Kong as part of its homeward voyage after completing China’s 40th Antarctic scientific expedition. During its stay, Xuelong 2 welcomed public visits, and members of the Antarctic expedition team participated in a two-day international conference on climate change at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Additionally, the icebreaker’s scientists engaged with over 250 students at the Hong Kong Science Museum, where the Polar Research and Climate Change exhibition was held. Ma Fung-kwok, Chairman of the organizing committee for Xuelong 2’s visit, expressed satisfaction with the active participation from the public, noting that “Xuelong 2” and “polar research” have become familiar terms among the people of Hong Kong. Wei Fuhai, deputy leader of the expedition team, emphasised the significance of the icebreaker’s visit in commemorating China’s four-decade-long polar exploration. He expressed hope that Xuelong 2’s presence in Hong Kong would deepen public understanding of China’s polar expedition work and inspire young individuals to explore the wonders of nature and actively engage in environmental protection.