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Top tips for Singapore cruise visitors

A little bit of preparation goes a long way if you are planning to cruise from Singapore.

This week Singapore Tourism put out a few tips for Australians planning a cruise in Singapore. According to the locals, these six tips will your cruise super smooth. 

1.  Know your cruise port

Singapore is one of the biggest hubs for cruising in Asia. The city may be small – but it has two cruise terminals – Marina Bay Cruise Centre (MBCCS) and the Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC). Find out which port the ship will dock at before you book your hotel. 

Singapore cruise tips

Singapore has two cruise terminals. Picture: Shutterstock

MBCCS is close to Singapore’s downtown city area, so hotels around Clarke Quay and Marina Bay areas are popular choices. 

Smaller ships dock at SCC at the HarbourFront Centre, next to Singapore’s largest mall Vivocity, and across from Sentosa Island (home to many attractions like S.E.A. Aquarium and beach-front dining options like Tanjong Beach Club).

2. Dress for the weather

Singapore’s tropical climate means it feels like summer all year-round, with temperatures averaging 30°C.

The heat and high humidity mean it’s best to dress lightly to stay comfortable.  You may choose to beat the warmer conditions by planning your outdoor and adventure activities for cooler mornings and evenings.

Locals suggest Australians escape the heat by walking in the refreshing domes of Gardens by the Bay, shopping in the underground walkways or checking out the world’s largest display of Southeast Asian art at the National Gallery Singapore. 

Interior of Singapore's old City Hall, currently National Gallery Singapore

Interior of Singapore’s old City Hall, currently National Gallery Singapore. Picture: Shutterstock

You should also be prepared for rain showers, which can be heavy but usually brief, so carry a small brolly with you at all times.

3. Eat like a king for less

Singapore is famous for its authentic local fare, with more than 100 hawker centres across the island.

Two of its famous hawker stalls have also been awarded Michelin stars – Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle.  Both sell traditional dishes starting from SGD$3.

Chicken rice SIngapore

Cheap as chips. Chicken Rice is a Singapore staple. Picture: Shutterstock

This makes Singapore home to the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world. If you find the lengthy queues at these stalls too daunting, you can still have authentic, delicious and equally affordable dishes from the other hawker stalls too. And don’t worry – all stalls are licensed and graded by the government on cleanliness and hygiene too.

4. Getting around the city is easy

Connecting to the city from both cruise terminals is easy and will only take you about 15 minutes.

The cheapest and easiest way to explore Singapore’s shopping, dining and attractions is via the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) train system. You can buy tickets for single trips, but if you intend to use the MRT and bus services frequently during your visit, get yourself a Singapore Tourist Pass.

The Singapore MRT is easy to use. Picture: Shutterstock

The tourist pass gives you unlimited travel for 1 day (S$10), 2 days (S$16) or 3 days (S$20).

Taxis are all metered and affordable, or you can opt to use a ride-sharing app like ‘Grab’. Bike-sharing is also growing in popularity and a cheap way to get around – check out Ofo, Mobike and SG Bike.

Read more about getting around in Singapore

5. Grab a HiPPO pass

Whether you’re in search of skyscraper views, a cultural experience or amusement park thrills, Singapore has something for everyone.

If it’s variety you’re after, it may be worth investing in a HiPPO Singapore Attractions Pass, which allows you to choose three or five things to do while visiting Singapore – maximising the fun, your savings and convenience while sightseeing.

Singapore river cruise

A river cruise in Singapore is a great way to see the city. Picture: Shutterstock

You’ll be spoilt for choice with 47 tours and attractions to pick from, including the Night Safari, Singapore Zoo, Gardens by the Bay, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore River Cruise and Marina Bay SkyPark.

6. Join in local festivals

Singapore has events and festivals all year round. There’s always one that can fit into your travel plans once you step off the ship.

The most talked about attraction in Singapore right now is the Singapore Zoo Rainforest Lumina, built to celebrate the zoo’s 45th anniversary. When night falls Singapore Zoo transforms into a whimsical landscape against a symphony of light and sound.

The one-kilometre night walk consists of 11 zones where families can play, sing, and discover the enchanted world of orangutans, pangolins, flying foxes and more.

Tickets cost $22 for adults and $16 for children, excluding zoo admission. Rainforest Lumina will run daily from 7.30pm to 10.30pm until mid-February 2019. 

Gardens by the Bay Singapore. Picture: Shutterstock

If you are going to be in Singapore for Christmas, you should check out Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay. This festival starts on December 1 and continues until December 26.  Expect a combination of magnificent light sculptures, charming festive markets and carnival games. Admission starts from $6 and runs daily from 4pm to 11pm. 

Chinese New Year is huge in Singapore. In January and February head to Chinatown Light-Up. Singapore’s colourful historic Chinatown neighbourhood will have an even more frenzied atmosphere when the streets are illuminated in the lead-up to, and throughout the 15 days following, Chinese New Year which falls on 5 February in 2019.

Great food, incredible festivals and warm weather. What’s not to love about Singapore?


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