The Star Ferry, an icon of Hong Kong and arguably the world's most famous ferry ride, is in financial trouble. But in typical fashion for the city, billionaires — and shopping — could hold the key to its survival.
The 142-year-old ferry, which transports passengers across Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong island to the Kowloon mainland, is seriously indebted. The Star Ferry Company saw a loss of more than HK$70 million ($8.9 million) since mid-2019 when mass protests erupted in the city, according to a company statement in March. Its two ferry routes recorded 1 million passengers in the first two months of the year — just 27% of the level in 2019.