Singapore: a modern metropolis in south-east Asia
‘The port of Singapore is a free port, and the trade thereof is open to ships and vessels of every nation, equally and alike to all,’ British statesman and Singapore founder Sir Stamford Raffles wrote in 1819.
Almost two centuries later and the island city-state is one of the world’s busiest maritime hubs.
One of ABTA’s 12 destinations to watch in 2020, the city offers a diverse range of experiences to cruise passengers.
Perfectly positioned to take advantage of the fly-cruise sector, Singapore’s excellent port infrastructure and air connectivity means that more cruise lines will call here in the future.
For example, Cunard’s 2021 season includes overnight stays in Singapore. Silversea’s Lautoka, Fiji to Cochin, India itinerary in 2021 includes an exclusive evening at the China Club members’ club. This is located on the 52nd floor of the Capital Tower.
With two berths and catering to more than 33 cruise ships, the Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC) is situated next to Marina South Pier. Revamped in 2012, it promises a seamless experience for visitors, with its handy location, a concierge service and excellent facilities.
The terminal is just across the water from Sentosa island with its many leisure facilites and oceanarium. It’s also close to the Sentosa HarbourFront Precinct, which is one of Singapores’ largest shopping malls.
Changi airport is a 20 minute taxi ride away, and there are trains and buses into the heart of the city.
One of the most popular visitor attractions, the award-winning Night Safari houses more than 2500 nocturnal creatures of the night. Cruising around on a tram, you might see pangolins, a clouded leopard or the endangered Malyan tiger, which prowls the East Lodge Trail. If you want to see even more animals, you can also walk one of the four trails on foot. Many cruise lines organise excursions to the Night Safari; we went on one with Princess Cruises when we were in Singapore.
Gardens By The Bay
Possibly one of the most photographed Singapore attractions is the Gardens By The Bay. This houses the majestic Supertree Grove, as seen on countless Instagram feeds and pictured above. Located by the Marina Bay waterfront, the 101 hectare oasis features three conservatories and a Flower Dome with rare flora including orchids. There’s also a Cloud Forest and the 35-metre tall Cloud Mountain, which offers unforgettable views.
For a vibrant blend of old and new cultures, wander around the Chinatown neighbourhood. Once home to Singapore’s Chinese immigrant population, here you’ll find historic temples nestled next to hip bars and lifestyle shops. Drop into Chinatown Complex, which houses more than 200 diverse food stalls. Then take in the views from the rooftop garden at the five-storey Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, which is designed in the form of a mandala.
Good to know
Where To Stay
Award-winning Andaz Singapore is located near Marina Bay and surrounded by the Kampong Glam, Bras Basah Bugis and Little India districts. There’s a rooftop infinity pool and 342 rooms which are organic, fluid spaces. Most feature floor to ceiling windows and warm russet and mustard tones. Drinking and dining here offers fresh perspectives on indigenous cuisine – we also love Mr Stork, the sunset rooftop bar with unbeatable city views.
If you’re craving some retail therapy, Singapore is the perfect place. For luxury labels and high street fashion, head to Orchard Road, or try the district of Kampong Gelam for traditional treasures. For handmade goods and eclectic indie labels, Tiong Bahru and Haji Lane are the places to go. And for locally made crockery and furniture, head to Supermama and Scene Shang, located in Kampong Gelam. Food lovers should check out Biscuit King for traditional sweets and nostalgic snacks.
Food & Drink
Feeling hungry? That’s good, as Singapore can satisfy the most discerning palate. You can find anything from Michelin-star cuisine to authentic hawker food. Food inspired by natural surroundings is a trend, and Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique serves ice cream featuring botanical ingredients including basil and blue ginger. Indoor food truck park Picnic offers a different experience depending on where you sit in the award-winning landscaped space. There’s also A Noodle Story which serves up unique Singaporean flavoured ramen and signature dishes. To really push the boat out, book a table at the one Michelin-star Jiang-Nan Chun at the Four Seasons Hotel. Our top tip? Leave plenty of room to sample the signature Peking Duck served with caviar.
Suitable for families and couples alike, Singapore is one of the most diverse cities in Asia. We love the blend of history, culture, excellent cuisine and leisure facilities on offer.
If this modern metropolis is one of your cruise ports of call, make sure you leave plenty of time to see the city highlights. If it’s your embarkation or disembarkation point, we recommend that you tag on a pre or post-cruise stay to make the most of your time there.