On Monday, it was reported that Hong Kong’s renowned tourist attraction ‘Jumbo Kingdom’ sank at a South China sea due to ‘adverse conditions’. For the unversed, Jumbo Kingdom was a floating restaurant established almost fifty years ago in 1976. In its over four decades of operation the Jumbo Kingdom hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Tom Cruise, former US President Jimmy Carter, and many other esteemed dignitaries.

The Jumbo Kingdom was one of the most famous Hong Kong landmarks, and was being towed away from its harbor. In the South China Sea, the restaurant capsized while it was being towed to an undisclosed location.

The main boat of the restaurant was capsized earlier on Saturday due to “adverse conditions” near the Xisha Islands, the company’s parent company Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said in its statement. The boat capsized over 1,000 meters, the statement added, making the work of salvaging its ruins “extremely difficult”.

The restaurant’s parent company stated that it was “very saddened by the accident” and are actively working towards getting more information regarding the sinking. It also added that no crew members were injured in the capsizing.

The restaurant was facing massive deficit since 2013. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic put the final nail in the coffin due to which the restaurant was closed in 2020.

The Facts of the Matter

An iconic landmark is not just a landmark. In its walls and ceiling, it holds memories, rare instances, and special moments that transpired in its magnificence. Recently, Hong Kong’s floating restaurant ‘Jumbo Kingdom’ which was famous for hosting various dignitaries in its over forty years of existence, capsized in the South China sea.

The restaurant was once the reflection of Japan’s glory days and was established by casino tycoon Stanley Ho. The luxury and unique hotel costed over 30 million Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to $3.8 million.

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“Extremely Difficult”: Parent Company on Salvaging

On Sunday, the restaurant capsized near the Parcel Islands encountering “adverse conditions” when it was being towed to an undisclosed situation. The restaurant’s parent company Aberdeen Restaurant issued a statement regarding the capsizing which further read – “The water depth at the scene is over 1,000 meters, making it extremely difficult to carry out salvage works.”

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Restaurant was Bearing Loss of Over $100 Million

Once a host to esteemed guests like Queen Elizabeth II, Tom Cruise, among others, the restaurant had been incurring losses since 2013 with cumulative losses breaching the 100 million Hong Kong dollars mark.

Jumbo Restaurant was to be Set Up on Undisclosed Location

Due to its unique structure, the restaurant was incurring a maintained fees of millions of dollars every year. Earlier in May 2022, it was reported that before its license expiration, the restaurant would leave Hong Kong and would be set up at a new undisclosed location.

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Locals Claim Sinking a Foreshadowing of Hong Kong’s Future

The Jumbo Restaurant was once upon a time one of the biggest tourist attractions, and was featured in multiple films, including Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Contagion’.

While Jumbo’s capsizing was met with a pang of nostalgia among locals on Twitter, some people also commented that the capsizing is a foreshadowing for Hong Kong’s future.


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