From a fleet of 4 bumboats in 1987, SRC has since increased its number to 24 today and hope to provide an unique experience for all tourists as well as for locals.
Singapore River Cruise
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I recall many years ago taking a bumboat (greasy) out through the ships anchored offshore in the days when the SIngapore River was a bustling hub of hand carried commerce. Now, containers have removed the romance, and the commerce has become trade with a capital T and moved to Keppel and Jurong.
That was in 1972. A year ago I decided to take a cruise along the river. I am sorry I did. We boarded opposite Parliament House, trundled down to look at the Merlion. We turned round. We sailed under the Hill Street bridge. We came back. Elapsed time? Less than half an hour.
My goodness. What a waste of money. I don't know why they can't extend the tours. Why not have boat trips up the river as far as they can go. I have seen some boats go as far as the Copthorne: there is a start.
And what is wrong with a trip to the Kallang Basin? Why not even extend them to other rivers such as the Geylang, Kallang and Whampoa? Are we trying to keep the tourists out of the heartlands? Or is it a question of profits?
I see. Now I understand.
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When you decide to take the Singapore River Cruise, you should know what you need to do on the river cruise in order to make the most of your time and especially your money. The river cruise is actually a little bit pricey for a 30 to 40 minutes cruise but if you do these 3 ways, you seemingly will not feel disappointed with your river cruise.
First, you can spend your time by watching the differences between old architectures and modern architectures. There are many new and old buildings that you can easily see from the boat. If you have a passion on architecture, this opportunity is surely a great opportunity. Second, you can consider listening to a pre recorded tour guide while you are enjoying the views. The pre recorded tour guide tells history of Singapore and this can become a perfect way to enjoy your cruise if you are interested in Singapore’s history.
Third, you can simply sit on your dock and enjoying your time and situation. Because the docks are usually clean and neat, they give you an opportunity to sit enjoyable and comfortably. So, even though the short cruise is little bit expensive, you actually always have ways to make it worthwhile.
If you hop on the Singapore River Cruise with kids as we did (3 mums + 5 kids!), and your kids aren't exactly the sit-still-for-40-minutes kind (which ours aren't), here are five things you can do with them/ask them to do while on the river cruise:
1) Spot Raffles
There's the famous statue of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (yes, I was paying attention in History class, thank you very much) in front of the Asian Civilizations Museum. Get the kids to look out for him! I don't know about yours but ours were really excited to exclaim "I can see Raffles' butt!"
2) Count the bridges
Honestly, even I lost count. We must have gone under at least ten bridges! Some were really lovely by the way. My favourite must have been Cavenagh Bridge - did you now that at one point, only cattle and horses were allowed on it?
3) Listen to their echoes under Esplanade Bridge
This works best for folks sitting at the back (in the open area)
4) Spot the different kinds of boats along the river
You'll be surprised to see how many different kinds there are!
5) And of course, say hi and wave to tourists!
I don't know about you but if a bunch of kids were to wave at me from a passing boat, I'm sure as heck going to wave right back!
Priced at an appalling $18 for a 40 minute ride with NO stops. I could not believe it! The "foreign talent" staff servicing these booths actually told us there were stops as we wanted to catch the River Hongbao on the other side and checked with them first. They probably did not understand English well and after selling us the tickets they quickly herded us like cattle into the queue.
Oh well, when we realized there were no stops I did not want to make an issue about it so we just went along with it. Because whining on TSL is so much cooler! (kidding) For people who have not experienced boat rides before, this is probably a decent ride. For those who have taken the Hong Kong ferries or in my case the CityCat ferries in Brisbane (Which cost like $1 SGD and $4 SGD respectively) you will be surprised at how expensive tickets are here. And those are actually used as a mode of transportation with proper stops where people can hop on and off. I don't see why it can't be like this in Singapore and why it has to be turned into solely a commercialized tour. Oh and as Cheesecakefactory mentioned earlier, the Pulau Ubin boat ride just costs $2.50!
I enjoyed the well done audio commentary, nicely synchronized video with the actual ride and the views of the Singapore river. Its refreshing to see the landmarks you know so well from a different perspective from the sea. But I can imagine boat rides like this cost next to nothing to run, I don't understand why they have to mark the prices up so high. Its sad to see Singaporeans can't enjoy their own sights like these and all the boats are just filled with over paying tourists.
I must say Singapore River Cruise is a historical adventure tourists should not miss. The boat docks in various quays and tourist spots. Each station is unique in terms of history and architecture. The boats are also equipped with a pre-recorded tour guide that tells about Singapore's vast history. Tourists and locals alike will surely recognize the value of the old Singapore architecture while loving the innovations over the years.
On some days however, the river could be stinky. But the boats are well kept and clean. There are designated docks for passengers to alight where they personally want. This will allow them the freedom to explore the river quays and enjoy sightseeing at their own pace. The River Cruise gives us the chance to see the wonders of Singapore in a different view.
It is quite expensive for a short cruise though. It definitely is worth a try but once is probably enough. :)
Maybe its because I took the Duck tour when I was a child, where everything was fresh and exciting to me. The Duck tour was fun, it was new, and it was definitely an experience that I will never forget.
I will never forget the thrill when the bus slipped seamlessly into the water.
True, the ride is pricey and may not be worth it. True, the Singapore river is slow moving and after awhile the city looks the same.
However, in the water, lets just throw aside all the thoughts that nag inside us - that we might not get our value for money, that we are wasting our time. Rather, close your eyes and live in the moment. Of all the things you should forget inside, forget that you are Singaporean just for that while.
I guess the ride would be more enjoyable if it was cheaper. $10-20 for a 30 minute ride seems a little too high I feel.
Basically it is just a ride around the Singapore River to look at the skyscrapers and buildings nearby. One can simply walk on their own and still have all the time in the world to gaze admiringly at Singapore's tall and gallant buildings. Did I mention that would be free too?
But of course, this is from a local's vantage point. I have seen the city skyline multiple times even before I had the boat ride. Of course I wouldn't find much of a difference seeing the same things on a boat than on a car/walking. This will probably appeal to tourists who want to appreciate the country more.
Whilst a voyage down Singapore's primary river seem an enriching way to spend one's afternoon, it is not advisable for the active, albeit excited teenager like myself. As the boat passed through the river, the only thing worth admiring is the shophouses lining the river which brings back thoughts of how Singapore has evolved and moved on since colonial times. Otherwise, the river itself is just a normal river, which can be found anywhere in the world, with an occasional plastic bottle or bag thrown by irresponsible members of the public
Unless you are a great lover of Singapore history, do not embark on this cruise. At most, try it once for the experience but otherwise you wouldn't be missing much.
This cruise is catered to tourists seeking to learn more about the history of Singapore within a short span of time. As you move along the river, there is a running commentary that can be heard through the speakers on the boat about the sights around the river. The commentary is interesting enough, but after awhile, it begins to feel like a mundane Social Studies field trip and your mind starts to switch off.
For tourists, if you don't mind paying a steep price for a short ride then you should give this a try. Locals - there are better things to do in Singapore.
I wouldn't say that I'm rather impressed by the river cruise. It was actually quite boring to sail down the Singapore river at such a slow pace because there wasn't anything that I hadn't already seen.
For tourists, I think the river cruise would be a nice experience and could be quite enjoyable for families with young children. I'm sure they'd be really excited to sit on the boat. But for locals, I'd say that you aren't missing out on anything if you decide to give this one a miss.
I have been on the Singapore River Cruise quite a couple of times already, and even so, putting myself in the shoes of tourists, I would say that it really is not much of an exciting trip; in fact, I find it quite a bore!
In my opinion, if definitely is not worth the price you are paying for. Apart from the loud and continuous drone of the engine, it might be a little wobbly at times, as you would expect; so be sure to take some motion sickness pills before you board (the loud drone would probably just worsen your experience).
In addition, there really is not much to see! Personally, I would rather take a long and quiet walk along the Singapore River by myself, rather than sit on a boat! This way, I can control the pace which I want to see things sand can even enter buildings which I find intriguing.
Basically, the whole ride is just sitting in a boat, travelling along the very narrow Singapore River to and fro; and just looking at colourful and creative architecture on your left and right sides. So, save yourself $40 and take a healthy walk down Singapore River; it not only is refreshing, it is a healthy activity and you can take things at your own leisure pace too!