One of the oldest forms of public transport, Hong Kong’s Star Ferry holds a special place in the hearts of locals as well as tourists. The ride is often recommended to tourists and has been a major part of pop culture in Hong Kong. In fact, sightings of the Star Ferry can also be seen in the 1960 film The World of Suzie Wong, and the television series Noble House. For newer generations, it was also the backdrop for Hong Kong hip-hop artist Haysen Cheng’s 2021 song Star Ferry.

During its peak, the ferry carried more than 60,000 passengers per day. Unfortunately, due to the social unrest in 2019 as well as two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and an increased prioritisation of the city’s rail network, the daily passenger count for the ferry has become less than 27000.

Last month, ferry boss David Chow Cheuk-yin told the South China Morning Post that shutting down such an iconic element of Hong Kong’s history was not an option. “Many wrote on our Facebook page that they didn’t want to see Star Ferry close down as it was part of their collective memory,” he further added.

How did fans of the boy band Mirror bring Star Ferry back to prominence?

Chow said that, when news spread that the ferry was struggling to stay afloat, help came from all corners, with people showing their support in heart-warming ways. One of those ways involved fans of Mirror, a popular Hong Kong boy band, who helped in the most unique way possible.

 

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Fans of Mirror member Anson Lo Hon-ting got to know about Star Ferry’s struggle and took it upon themselves to save the city’s beloved icon. Under the banner of the Anson Lo International Fan Club, they celebrated their idol’s birthday by offering members of the public (including his legion of fans) free ferry rides to mark the special day. The ferry and its billboards were decked out in pink, which is Lo’s signature colour. “We lost Jumbo, it’s too soon for another ship to go down,” posted a fan club member on social media. Jumbo here is a reference to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, the once-popular tourist attraction that closed in 2020.
Looking at what was happening, Dior also got on board (pun not intended!) to help out. It collaborated with the ferry by decorating its seats with the brand’s custom grey star pillows and the lifebuoys were given the brand’s signature monogram printed shirts.
Additionally, to keep the ferry service on, authorities have increased the fare price in a bid to help lift the operator out of losses and reduce its deficit, which amounted to a whopping HKD 37 million in 2021. From April 3 onwards, ferry rides from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and Wan Chai for adults will cost HKD 5 on weekdays and HKD 6.5 on weekends/public holidays.

Why is Star Ferry so famous?

Hong Kong’s Star Ferry is a historic ferry service that operates across Victoria Harbour, connecting Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The ferry service has been in operation since 1888 and is considered an iconic part of Hong Kong’s history and culture. It is known for offering scenic views of Victoria Harbour and the city’s skyline and has been quite popular among both tourists and locals.

(Hero and feature image credits: Courtesy Instagram and Pexels/ Mirror and Jimmy Chan)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Is the Star Ferry closing down?

Answer: No, the Star Ferry is not closing down. However, due to the 2019 social unrest, Covid-19 pandemic and an increased preference for the city's rail network, the daily passenger count for the ferry has lowered to less than 27000.

Question: What is Mirror?

Answer: Mirror is a Hong Kong-based Cantopop boy group formed through ViuTV's reality talent show Good Night Show in 2018.

Question: What is the route of Star Ferry?

Answer: Hong Kong's Star Ferry operates across Victoria Harbour, connecting Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

written by.

Sanika Achrekar

Digital Writer, Augustman
Sanika lives for fashion and skincare. She enjoys writing about style, beauty, and lifestyle. She worked as a fashion writer for Man's World India magazine. When not writing about designers and trends, she likes to shop, travel, try new Sushi restaurants, practise pilates and rewatch her comfort shows.
Hong Kong’s Iconic 135-Year-Old Star Ferry Gets New Life Thanks To Fans Of ‘Mirror’