Singapore River Cruise review: When I hear Singapore, there are always Marina Bay Sands in the backdrop, the lotus-shaped Art Science Museum, and the dreamy skyline. While there are a thousand things to see, I’ve always wondered what the boats circling the river felt like – and I finally got on one!
When I was younger, I visited the Singapore Zoo, Sentosa, and even Jurong Bird Park but never the boat cruise. My parents thought it would be ‘boring’. Looking back now, I guess they were right and wrong. After all, it’s simply a slow riverboat ride.
However, I loved it when I took the ride by myself – it opens up another perspective to look at of the city. With the tickets at a dear price, I’d to put this Singapore River Cruise review out.
Best time to Visit
The river cruise timings are 10 am to 9 pm on the weekends while it starts at 1 pm on the weekdays. The weekends – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday can be crowded but any weekday is fine to avoid the wait. More people tend to visit in the evenings to get a night view of the city.
Thus, the best time for the Singapore river cruise depends on you. Either way, the landscape makes it all worth it be it day or night. Singapore’s attractions are bound to be amazing everywhere. My priority was avoiding waiting anywhere I went, so I went for the afternoon cruise. When I got there, I realized I was too early on a weekday (around 11:30 am).
That gave me enough time to have a subway at Clarke Quay Central for lunch and take a few shots of the river and the colorful shop buildings and pathways. Getting on one of the first river cruise trips of the day, the boat was half empty and was a comfortable ride throughout.
Singapore River Cruise Review: Ticket Price
On the Clarke Quay river cruise stand, the on-spot tickets here are a flat S$25 for adults and S$15 for children. I tried my luck asking if there was a student concession like they had for the SG National Gallery. They didn’t.
Anyhow, I bought the ticket and was told to wait until the boat arrived at the dock. Later, I found out the river cruise ticket was cheaper on Klook.com, and ultimately. For your next SG trip, I’d recommend getting your tickets for the river cruise on Klook – it costs around S$23!
Hurry up before you miss out and get your favorite deal today:
For travelers like me, another great option is to get the Klook Pass which includes a list of attractions in SG that the ticket is applicable. You have the option to choose the number of attraction passes and get a bundle of SG attractions tickets for lesser.
SG River Cruise vs River Cruise by Water B
The 40-minute river cruise is a round-trip ride that drops you back at the start point. In case you didn’t know, there are two cruise operators. The popular one is at Clarke Quay (the dark brown boats) and the other point begins from ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands (the modern red and green ones).
Singapore River Cruise vs River Cruise by Water B: Both rides traverse through the same river routes and don’t differ much. They even have similar pricing and both have indoor and outdoor seating.
Pricing difference between Clarke Quay and Water B Cruises as of today on Klook. Anything below S$25 ($18.15 USD) will save you money – don’t miss out on the deal:
But I recommend the Singapore river cruise operator (the one I went in) as it’s a traditional bumboat with its wooden interiors and low ceilings giving off a more rustic experience.
How to Get to SG River Cruise Point?
With Clarke Quay being famous for being a historical riverside quay and nightlife venue, there are many ways to get here. The closest MRT stations here are Fort Canning (Downtown line), and Clarke Quay (Northeast line). The Fort Canning Station is to the river cruise while Clarke Quay station is on the other riverside.
I, however, got off at the Clarke Quay bus station on bus no.32 via nth Buona Vista Rd. as I’d to get there from the National Gallery of Singapore. Not knowing where to get my tickets, I glanced at the Water B Fort Canning stand and ended up there at first looking stupid.
But someone helped me out to the right spot. Here’s the exact spot from Google Maps. The cruise ticket booth is right beside Hooters – you’ll know when you get there ;)
A Couple and Old People
Talking of the people that actually get on the boat – at least when I went, most of them were senior tourists. That’s what I loved most about SG. They cater to all sorts of tourists. There’s Sentosa, SG Zoo and River Wonders, and so on for kids, but they are a whole lot of things for old people as well (such as the Hippo bus). And River cruise is one of them.
Apart from the elderly, there was a couple on honeymoon along with a guide, and some solo travelers like myself. With the photogenic structures in the backdrop, the guide took a bunch of pictures of the couple.
With around a dozen occupants, the boat was barely half-full and we all sat at the outdoor seating at the back. To our good luck, it wasn’t too sunny, making up for a peaceful ride.
Things to Spot on the SG River Cruise
The high-rising skyscrapers fascinated me so much, I missed taking pictures of historic structures here like the Old Hill Street Police Station. Keep in mind these structures and spot them on your bumboat ride!
Clarke Quay and Riverside Point
Quite obvious, isn’t it? You’ll begin at Clarke Quay. On one side are the colorful dine-in restaurants and on the other bank side has the Riverside Point shopping complex.
Read Bridge, Cavenagh at Fullerton, and Anderson Bridge
The vehicle underpass bridges were recent builds, but the enchanting ancients were labeled along with their build dates. We passed the Read bridge, Cavenagh Bride, and the Anderson Bridge each having unique structures and all over a century old!
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Boat Quay and its shophouses
Boat Quay, similar to Clarke Quay, is another line of Singapore’s live music restaurants, pubs, and nightlife venues. Even the shophouses are similar and show a world apart from the skyscrapers right opposite on the other riverside.
Asian Civilisations Museum
While not wholly visible, any local guide (if with you) will point out its noticeable historic build. While it stands as a museum today, it was previously a government building in the 1980s – known as the Empress Place Building.
The 5-star hotel today opened only 21 years ago. But the neo-classical structure’s construction started almost a century ago which began as a General Post Office Building in 1924. Its columns and decorative build itself is a breathtaking view from the SG river cruise.
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After the Esplanade Bridge’s underpass is where the river widens, giving a grand welcome to Singapore’s skyline and Marina Bay with the official mascot – Singapore Merlion! I’d been on the shores by the Merlion over a decade ago and it felt nostalgic to see it again.
Following the SG Merlion is Singapore’s skyline and Marina Bay view. The cruise takes a slow circle around the skyscrapers, DBS towers, and Marina Bay Sands. It never gets dull to have a look at the buildings and the river cruise’s close proximity makes it even sweeter.
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Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum
Circling by the Marina Bay Sands, it’s majestic up close. I walked by the bay later on, so I gave it little attention. What caught my eye were the Sands Expo & Convention Center, and the Apple and Louis Vuitton stores in front of Marina Bay. These stores were on the water and looked distinguished.
Though not as big as the other structures, they were just retail stores after all – and huge ones hovering over the water by the bay.
Last but not least, is the theatres on the bay Esplanade. This is one of Singapore’s largest performing arts centers and a popular venue for live concerts. Most people call it the durian building for its shape though it wasn’t intended by its architects.
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Tailpiece: Singapore River Cruise review
Coming to the end of my Singapore River Cruise review, I’d say I’ve learned a lot more while writing this review. The Singapore river passing through Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, and Marina Bay witnessed history and the nation’s achievements over the years.
Secretly, it also proudly smiles at how far the country has come with its growth and looks at the world-class architecture around it. The River Cruise recognizes this and made it possible for the world to see in one trip.
Instead of spending an entire day, to catch a glimpse of each historical landmark, this cruise takes a smooth sail within an hour. Or if you wish to walk through all the landmarks here, the river cruise can make a sweet end to your day by taking you through time once again.
Either way, that’s what makes the cruise worth paying for. That ends my post on the Singapore River Cruise review. Let me know what you think about it below :)