The Port of Singapore
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Singapore

The Port of Singapore is Southeast Asia’s largest port and consists of two different cruise terminals. Ships dock at either the Marina Bay Cruise Centre or at the Singapore Cruise Centre. Although ports aren’t usually a highlight for most cruise passengers, both ports in Singapore are notable exceptions and make a great impression before venturing to see the city’s many jewels.

Marina Bay Cruise Centre 

The Marina Bay Cruise Centre is Singapore’s newest constructed two-berth facility and accommodates the Mega-ships of the major cruise lines and is able to hold more than 6,800 passengers at a time. The cruise centre boasts stunning views of the Singaporean skyline as well as the Straits of Singapore.

The terminal is also notable for its architectural design, with a unique “wave” shaped roof and other nautical elements that take centre stage. It is relatively close to the famous Marina Bay Sands, known for its science museum and one hectare roof terrace and garden perched 55 stories above.

Two MRT train stations serve the cruise centre, as well as taxis and bus #402 making it easy to get into some serious sightseeing.

Singapore Cruise Centre

The larger Singapore Cruise Centre was retrofitted in 2012 and boasts state of the art facilities that match it newest counterpart. There are two terminals; Regional Ferry Terminal (RFT) and the International Passenger Terminal (IPT), which is the one that handles the major cruise lines. It also has only two berths and is located at the Sentosa Harbour Front Precinct. This area contains a major shopping mall on site offering many of the world’s leading retail brands.

There are easy connections to get to the city centre in minutes as well as Sentosa Island. All points of interest are easily accessible from the terminal by train (MRT), bus, or taxi or a cable car to Sentosa Island. Taxis are rather inexpensive when compared to other cities.

More Points of Interest

With all of the amazing attractions and things to do in Singapore, you will need to return. A one day or two day stopover as part of a cruise holiday will definitely offer a healthy sampler. Singapore was designed with the visitor in mind with several theme parks, natural wonders and is a haven for multicultural points of interest.

If only in the city for the day, the best bet to see as much as possible is with the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. The passes are for 24 or 48-hours and you will explore the city across four different bus routes with approximately 40 stops. All the main sites are covered including stop-offs at the following highlights.

Located on 52 hectares of land, the Singapore Botanic Gardens must not be missed. Filled with a wide variety of flora of the most beautiful flowers, the park specialises in so many varieties of orchids.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Accessible via cable car, taking a quick trip to Mount Faber is always recommended for photo opportunities. The peak of the mountain offers panoramic views of the harbour and Sentosa Island as well as the surrounding islands.

Sentosa Island is also known as Resort World. It was specially developed as an entertainment centre and resort area. Besides beaches providing a cool respite from the heat, there’s a waterpark too. The S.E.A. Aquarium is a must see for lovers of all things under the sea.

The aquarium plays host to 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species and is notable for containing exhibits on obscure areas such as the Strait of Karimata and the Java Sea. There are also themed locations such as Shark Seas and Shipwreck.

Sentosa Island

One of the most recently added attractions to Sentosa Island, Universal Studios Singapore offers all your favourite film franchises with a twist. Ride on thrilling experiences such as Shrek 4D, The Revenge of The Mummy and Transformers: The Ride or pretend that you’re walking down Hollywood Boulevard.

Golfers can tee off at one of two different courses including the Sentosa Golf Club known for being the course the Barclay’s Open was held at from 2006 to 2012. Other complexes of interest on Sentosa include Madame Tussauds Singapore and IFly Singapore for a gravity free experience.

London may have its ‘Eye’ but Singapore City has its ‘Flyer’. The 169 m (554 ft) tall wheel rotates to unobstructed views of the city and the South China Sea.

For temple viewing, Singapore City contains Buddhist, Muslim and Hindi temples. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is one of the most striking Buddhist Temples in Singapore.

The Burmese Buddhist Temple is home to an 11 feet white marble Buddha statue; whilst the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple offers a colourful entrance in traditional Chinese architecture. Singapore has over 35 Hindu temples including the golden Sree Maha Mariamman Temple and the Sri Thendayuthapani Temwith with its 75 feet tall blue Gopuram tower.

Buddha Tooth Relic & Museum

If your ship is fortunate to stay in port overnight, evening entertainment is easy to locate in the area at Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. Located just nearby the Singapore River, these former warehouses transform into entertainment spots, shops, casual restaurants and many nightclubs.

This is a great place to just relax as you can walk alongside the river or get some shopping in before your ship leaves.

Of course, one of the evenings highlights (near to where the ship is berthed) is Wonder Full. This is a light, music and sound show presented from the top of the Marian Bay Sands. The 13-minute extravaganza lights up the cityscape with fireworks and laser lights.

The season for cruise holiday makers in Singapore ranges from late October to early May.

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The Environmental impact of Cruising
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In a world which is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of its actions, it is only right that the environmental impact of cruising be looked into and constantly monitored and improved. With cruise holidays becoming more and more popular with more passengers travelling by ship every year and bigger ships constantly being built environmental impact is undoubtedly a contentious issue.

How responsible is cruise tourism for the environment and is it an eco-friendly form of travel? How are cruise companies working to reduce their negative impact on the fragile environment?

With 24 new ships(including NCL’s Breakaway below) scheduled to be constructed within the next 5 years in Europe alone and cruise ships are increasingly becoming larger and larger and evolving into floating cities, rather than a simple means of transportation and their impact is something which clearly needs to be closely monitored.

Norwegian Breakaway

There are many regulatory bodies such as the International Maritime Organisation who ensure that the cruise industry is one of the most highly regulated within the travel industry. There are a number of steps which cruise companies have taken in recent years to ensure their environmental impact is reduced.

Fuel efficiency is one of the main ways cruise companies try to ensure they aren’t causing the environment unnecessary damage.

A number of changes have been brought in over time to ensure greater fuel efficiency and less consumption which has included reducing cruising speeds and cruise ships spending longer in many ports in order to preserve fuel. This is also excellent for passengers who can enjoy a few extra hours on land exploring new places. A number of cruise companies have opted to stay overnight in many ports such as St. Petersburg, Venice and Singapore which allows passengers to see these places by night and gain a new perspective on them.

Singapore

All newer ships are designed with fuel efficiency and economy in mind. This includes their hulls being painted, designed and continually cleaned in order to greatly reduce drag through the water.

Older ships have also had their engines completely replaced with newer, more efficient engines which has worked to immensely reduced fuel consumption and thus, environmental impact.

Cruise companies have also improved their on board waste sorting and recycling facilities. I haven’t seen a cruise ship rubbish bin for years that hasn’t had separate compartments for different types of waste such as aluminium cans, paper and glass. Many cruise ships even have recycling facilities on board which allows them to crush items into manageable sizes which are then transported to recycling plants on land.

With all these practices in place, plus many, many more, it is clear that the cruise industry as a whole are committed to reducing their environmental impact and are attempting to be as green as possible.

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