Cruise ports, Singapore
Cruise Ports Singapore

Singapore

Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post for the British Empire before gaining independence in 1965 and it is now one of the world's top financial and tourism hubs.

Singapore is a favourite of many a traveller due to its world-class accommodation and attractions, friendly people and cleanliness, but dig a little deeper and the city-state has so much more to offer.

The city is serviced by two cruise terminals, the International Cruise Terminal (Marina Bay Cruise Centre) and the Singapore Cruise Centre. Most cruise lines now use the International Cruise Terminal with only Holland America and a few smaller ships using the older Singapore Cruise Centre. The International Cruise Terminal is located at Marina Bay, a mere 5-10 minutes from most major hotels in Singapore.

There are plenty of different neighborhoods in Singapore to explore such as Little India, Orchard Road, Chinatown and Geylang Serai.

Little India is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts. It is an assault of colours and smells that transport you to the sub-continent. Here you can sample food from all over India including South Indian vegetarian food, North Indian tandoori dishes and local delicacies like Roti Prata (round pancakes) and Teh Tarik (pulled tea). Along with the food are the various flower-garland vendors, goldsmith shops and sari stores.

Orchard Road is a shopper's paradise with high street offerings to bargain buys. It had humble beginnings, being an unnamed road in the 1830’s home to fruit orchards (hence the name Orchard Road). Orchard Road is now a retail and dining paradise, housing some of Singapore’s oldest and most exclusive department stores. For whiskey lovers, a visit to The Grande Whiskey Collection on the fifth floor of ION Orchard is a must. The museum boasts 4,500 of the world's oldest and rarest whiskies and has a gift shop with a special selection of Japanese and Scottish labels.

Chinatown is a blend of old and new. Historic temples and traditional medicine halls sit alongside trendy bars and shops. The area has a rich, multi-ethnic history and is the only Chinatown in the world to boast a Buddhist temple, mosque and Hindu temple on the same street. Chinatown is also home to Chinatown Food Street, an open-air stretch of eateries offering Singaporean hawker food. From stir-fried rice noodles and roast duck to South Indian curries, the area has something for everyone.

Geylang Serai, one of Singapore’s oldest Malay settlements, got its name from the cultivation of Serai (lemongrass) in the area. The district is now a mix of bustling bazaars and traditional markets. A visit to The Intan is a must when in the area. Iit is a post-war terrace residence that has been converted into a museum. The residence has a trove of Peranakan (a term that means “local born”) artefacts and antiques, as well as a wealth of knowledge about the culture, visits are by appointment only so you will need to make sure you book in advance.

Down along the bay is the newer part of the city, Marina Bay Waterfront. The most prominent structure of this area is the iconic Marina Bay Sands with its distinct three towers and rooftop bar and restaurant. Gardens by the Bay is another highlight of the Waterfront area which has become a tourist attraction in itself. Comprising three distinct spaces over 101 hectares, this oasis in the city has won multiple awards since it opened in 2012. The area houses 3 indoor conservatories, the Flower Dome, Floral Fantasy and Cloud Forest each with its own unique environment and flora.

Singapore has so much to offer. Even though it is a stopover destination for a lot of travellers, it truly is a destination in itself that is well worth visiting more than once.

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