With its unique fusion of Malay, Indian and Chinese cultures, Singapore is a port of call that offers cruise ship passengers the opportunity to experience – and immerse themselves in – many different experiences. Located on a small island, Singapore also stands apart because it is a city-state; it is a country and a city, all rolled into one. With more than 4 million residents – and a reputation for being among the cleanest and most orderly cities in the world – Singapore is a delightful destination that has a broad array of attractions. Visitors have been flocking here since the early 19th century; there’s something for everyone, from beaches to a colonial district steeped in history.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
As close as downtown Singapore is to the cruise ship terminal, there’s absolutely no reason not to take a bit of time and explore this fascinating city for yourself. Whether you feel like doing a bit of power shopping, basking in the sun on an island beach or learning a bit more about the colonial era of Singapore, you can have a great time in this one-of-a-kind city-state.
Singapore is a wonderful port of call to explore. You can take your pick from several different attractions; a sampling of the top sites are outlined below.
The Colonial District
Get a feel for the rich and interesting history of Singapore by heading over to its colonial district and looking around. There are plenty of venerable old buildings here, including the Old Parliament House and the Anglican St. Andrew’s Church. Don’t miss out on the sumptuous Fullerton Hotel, which actually used to serve as the local post office back during Singapore’s colonial era. The colonial district is easy to find, as it is located between the Raffles City shopping area and the Boat Quay.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens
Since you won’t have time to get out into the more remote and tropical parts of Singapore, you can experience what is lush and verdant botany is like by checking out the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Stunning examples of some of the local plant life are arrayed for your viewing pleasure; it is a definite must-see while in Singapore.
Have some time to spend in Singapore and feel like taking a dip or soaking up some sunshine? Never fear! There are plenty of excellent beaches within a reasonable distance from the dock. Sentosa – an island just off the coast of Singapore – boasts some of the best beaches in the entire region, so consider checking it out.
The Singapore Zoo
Sprawled out over more than 70 acres, the Singapore Zoo is a truly incredible example of a state of the art zoological park. There are more than 3,200 animals to check out, so be prepared for a real adventure!
You’ll never have trouble finding someplace to shop while in Singapore. Even if you’re only there for a brief stop, you can easily get off the ship and find something special. One especially popular area for shopping in Singapore is Raffles City, which is really close to where most of the cruise ships dock. Part mall, part flea market, Raffles City is the one place you should make a point of visiting if you are determined to do some shopping in Singapore.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Bring home something truly unique from your visit in Singapore by picking up some Peranakan-made goods. The Peranakan are the Malay-Chinese who are one of the original inhabitants of this part of Asia; tea sets are one popular choice.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
Although Singapore is a definite melting pot, boasting the cuisines of many different cultures, Peranakan cuisine is the kind to try if you only have a brief sojourn here. Peranakan cuisine is known for being fresh and spicy. Be sure to try out some laksa, a well known Singoporean soup that boasts coconut based curry broth and noodles. Popiah – a kind of spring roll – is also a delectable way to experience the food in this massive, vibrant city. Satay bee hoon – a kind of rice vermicelli – is also a safe bet if you’re looking for something authentic but reliably good, no matter where you go in the city.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
August and September are definitely the best months to come to Singapore. Although it is warm – even hot – much of the year, during August and September it becomes much more bearable and even temperate at times. Humidity is also low, and rain is kept to a minimum at that time so you can roam about at your leisure.
Where You’re Docked
Singapore has two different docks that cruise ships arrive. Most ships dock at Singapore Cruise Centre, which is only a ten or fifteen minute drive from downtown. A few larger ships have to dock at the container ship pier, which is a longer 30 minute ride to downtown Singapore but still not terribly inconvenient.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
The majority of the most popular cruise lines have itineraries that include stops at Singapore. A few of the major cruise lines that stop here are Regent Seven Seas, Costa Cruises, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean. However, there are many other choices in terms of ships, dates, in port and days at sea when it comes to Singapore.