HONG KONG (March 14, 2012) USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and the embarked U.S. 7th Fleet staff arrives in Hong Kong for a port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Recruit Ben Larscheid)

HONG KONG - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and embarked 7th Fleet staff arrived in Hong Kong for a port visit March 15.

The visit gives the crew the opportunity to experience Hong Kong’s unique culture. During their off-duty time, Sailors and Marines will have the opportunity to visit several landmarks, amusement parks and restaurants.

Blue Ridge’s administration department leading chief petty officer, Senior Chief Yeoman Steven Borba, said the crew is looking forward to visiting Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong is a city-state steeped in 7th Fleet’s history,” said Borba. “Our Sailors and Marines have been enjoying this port for many decades. They look forward to experiencing the richness and diversity of the culture here. It is also my favorite city in the world.”

In addition to touring Hong Kong on their own, several Sailors and Marines will participate in the American Women’s Association of Hong Kong’s Meals In the Home events. Meals In the Home (known in other countries as Adopt A Sailor) is a program offering hospitality and support for U.S. servicemembers visiting Hong Kong.

“The American Women’s Association supports large ship visits with the Fenwick Pier volunteers,” said Jennifer Cox, American Women’s Association of Hong Kong president. “Fenwick Pier volunteers staff a desk at the pier to assists Sailors and Marines find their way around Hong Kong. We also staff a free library at the pier, allowing servicemembers to take donated books, DVDs and magazines with them. They may also donate their own.”

Whether this will be their first time or eleventh time in Hong Kong, the port visit here is one crew members will remember fondly.

“Hong Kong is a favorite port of many Sailors,” said Blue Ridge’s administrative officer, Lt. Jason Kaplan. “During this port visit, our crew will enjoy the warm hospitality and vibrant city landscapes this international city proudly embraces. New and lasting friendships will be made here while our crew participates in Meals In the Home and on liberty.”