Since Singapore is an island, there’s always a lot to do on the water. It’s also a great way to travel to see all that the country has to offer.
History of the Company
Singapore River Cruise started in 1987, after the “Clean Rivers Campaign” in 1983 went into effect. Singapore had struggled with irresponsible littering and wanted to make the country greener and more beautiful. Fines were issued to litterers and they went up with every repeat offense.
Due to the constant vigilance, the rivers in Singapore were deemed clean enough to swim in.
This saw a relocation in bumboats, which are small boats carrying items to ports for sale. Since no one wanted these boats, Singapore River Cruise offered the captains who ran the bumboats work.
Now, they hope to continue to use bumboats as a way to preserve history. They have become a kind of icon for Singapore and the rivers.
In 2008, the bumboats changed a bit in the way they run. Instead of the original diesel, they’re now electric – this way it’s quieter and more environmentally friendly.
Different Services that River Cruises Singapore has to Offer
1. Singapore River Experience
This 40-minute ride will take you all around the island. Highlights of the trip are Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, and Marina Bay.
Tickets for adults are 25 dollars and kids are 15.
2. River Taxis
This company also provides a river taxi service. At 5 dollars a person, it’ll take you to 1 of 5 stops: Esplanade, Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Clemenceau, and Robertson Quay.
The operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm.
3. Private Chartered Boats
You’re able to reserve your own bumboat for a party. You can have up to 45 passengers and at minimum you need to reserve the boat for a half an hour.
It’s a sightseeing cruise only.
30 minutes costs 535 dollars, 45 minutes costs 749, and 60 minutes costs 963 dollars.
Perks of a River Cruise in Singapore
1. 3 Different Quays
The river has 3 different quays, which are a type of port, that they can take off from. Each has their own charm.
Boat Quay is right in the city, with restaurants and pubs a walk away. You can taste exotic cocktails and test out a Singapore river cruise dinner.
This quay used to be used to trade goods a 100 years ago. It also helped create a lot of business for the locals.
Clarke Quay used to a bustling port for all the bumboats docking. It’s near the mouth of the river and was the center of commerce in the late 19th century.
Now it’s still active with restaurants, bars, and shops. Walk through and see merchants and colorful shop fronts. This may be the best place to purchase souvenirs.
There’s also a night bazar that’s so large you could get lost in it!
Robertson Quay is a more relaxed port with a focus on evening entertainment. There’s a lot of art and culture that you can see as you walk around.
2. It’s a Nice Short Trip
Being only 40 minutes, this trip is the perfect amount of time to appreciate the sights without getting tired. If you have children, they shouldn’t get bored.
3. You Get to See Iconic Landmarks
Because of the river’s location it’s near all the iconic landmarks.
There’s the Raffles Landing Site. This is to mark when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, an agent of the British East India Company, is said to have set foot on the island. He wanted to make Singapore a free port and the ideal spot for trading.
There is a beautiful statue here to remind people of their roots. The Merlion is a stunning white statue that commands attention. Having a lion’s head and fish’s body, it has a mythical feel to it.
The lion’s head represents the legend of rediscovery of Singapurea. Which is what Singapore was named when it was discovered in the 11th century by Prince San Nila Utama.
The fish body is symbolic for the country’s humble beginnings of being a fishing village.
There is also the Esplanade – it is the country’s leading performing center. It’s designed to host a full musical play and has inspired a new generation of art.
Marina Bay Sands is a resort in the Marina Bay. It has 3 55 story hotel towers connected by 1 bridge. It’s a kind of an art all on its own.
Using River Cruise Singapore is Great for Beginners
This tour is great for anyone unfamiliar with the country. It has a great combination of art, culture, and history rolled into one 40-minute trip. It’s perfect for all ages and is a way to explore without getting lost.