On this day in 1819, Sir Stamford Bingley-Raffles founded the nation of Singapore. Shortly after arriving, Raffles recognised the islands potential as a new port, due its position on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and its ideal deep natural harbour. His ability to spot the island’s potential was vindicated over the years, as the country experienced rapid growth, developing into a bustling metropolis. Nowadays, Singapore is a fantastic mix of contemporary buildings and towering skyscrapers as well as stunning beaches and areas of natural beauty alongside a diverse culture, encompassing the customs of other Asian nations such as China, India and Malaysia. Singapore cruises are a perfect way to experience the wonders of this lively and multi-cultural destination from the comfort of an elegant cruise vessel.
Officially known as the Republic of Singapore, this tropical South East Asian nation, located around 85 miles north of the equator, is actually an archipelago consisting of 63 islands and islets of which Singapore Island, or Pulau Ujong as it is known locally, is the largest. Interestingly, land reclamation projects are continually in motion, substantially increasing Singapore’s land mass, allowing for more room in which to develop. The country’s area is expected to grow by a further 100 square metre by 2030, particularly through the merging of smaller, impractical islands to create larger, more functional ones.
Singapore’s rapid growth and fascinating culture have created an appealing holiday destination, attracting tourists from around the world, especially on Singapore cruises across the Far East, which dock in the country’s huge port, recognised as one of the busiest in the world. Read on to discover the reason why so many people are drawn to Singapore cruises, making the nation one of East Asia’s most popular and dynamic cruise destinations.
Culinary Delights and Cultural Insights
Gastronomy is a very important part of Singaporean culture. Local dishes and delicacies are comprised of a unique combination of Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisine alongside a dash of western influence, to create something very special and delicious. Perhaps the most abundant culinary delight available on Singapore cruises is traditional the Peranakan or Nonya cuisine, shaped by a mix of Malay and Chinese settlers, who created authentic local dishes such as chilli crab and satay bee hoon. Make sure to try as much of the local food as possible (and there is a lot of it!) whilst on Singapore cruises, as it is something that native people are particularly proud of.
Singapore’s melting pot culture is not only visible through it cuisine, it is also noticeable at the many diverse religious sites distributed across the country. The country is home to a large population of numerous religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Taoism, all coexisting and boasting their own impressive temples, churches and mosques. The majority of these historic sacred structures welcome both religious and non-religious visitors, hoping to appreciate the wonderful architecture and design. A selection of the most beautiful temples worth visiting include brilliant Sri Mariamman Hindu temple in Chinatown and the huge Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Ang Mo Kio.
Areas of Natural Beauty
A trip to at least one of the island’s golden sandy beaches is an essential part of Singapore cruises. Whilst a number of beaches can be found along the coast of the main island, travellers will find the best and most beautiful coastline on the offshore island of Sentosa. On Sentosa, visitors will locate a collection of three excellent beaches, Palawan, Siloso and Tajong beach, each boasting soft golden sand, clean ocean waters and just enough palm trees to make you feel like you are somewhere truly exotic.
Singapore also boasts a number of other splendid areas of natural beauty, where you will find a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city centre. Consider a trip to the Botanical Gardens, the Gardens by the Bay or the city’s stunning Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which shockingly has more species of flora than the entire continent of North America. However, to see any ‘real’ wildlife and fauna, a trip to the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park or the Turtle and Tortoise Sanctuary is often required.
Shop till You Drop
An incredible array of shops, markets and departments stores are located across Singapore, offering absolutely everything from fabrics to food, and every shopping district in the city offers something new and exciting for tourists to purchase. Finding souvenirs on Singapore cruises is easy; deciding which ones to buy is the hard part!
For visitors looking to purchase books and antiques, head to the massive Tanglin Shopping Centre on Orchard, Chinatown or the Far East Plaza for a great selection. Dedicated followers of fashion can pick up a range of affordable, tailored or high-end garments at malls and shopping areas such as Raffles City, Chinatown and Bugis. Electronics are competitively priced in Singapore and a fabulous range can be found at Sim Lim Square near Little India, Funan IT Mall and Mustafa.
Although prices in Singapore are quite expensive by Asian benchmarks, many visitors will find a profusion of bargains compared to the costs in many industrialised western nations, making it painless to purchase gifts whilst on Singapore cruises.
Possibly one of Singapore’s busiest and most popular attractions is not for the faint hearted. Located on Sentosa Island, Universal Studios Singapore covers a total of 20 hectare and is home to a fabulous collection of exhilarating rides, rollercoasters and live shows to entertainment to throngs of visitors who pass through each year. The theme park is divided into seven fun-filled zones, brimming with attractions taken straight from the scenes of your favourite movies. However, travellers on Singapore cruises may find that they do not have enough time to experience the attraction in its entirety.
A range of other thrilling activities are also available on Singapore cruises, including a plethora of water sports, such as water skiing, wakeboarding, surfing and kayaking. Visitors can also spend time at the Wild Wild Wet water park, home to a number of superb water slides and a great wave pool. Furthermore, skiing enthusiasts can pay a visit to Snow City, a vast and permanent indoor snow centre where guests can learn to ski with qualified professional instructors. For a different type of thrill, why not go to the local casinos for a traditional game of Mah-jong, a past-time which is very popular with locals.
There are so many reasons to visit Singapore on your next cruise getaway with Cruise118. This blog has managed to scratch the surface, but the only way to truly understand this lively destination is to visit Singapore yourself and experience the sights and sounds of this astounding nation up close.
(1) Terence Ong – it.wikipedia.org
(2) RoB – wikimedia.org
(3) William Cho – wikimedia.org
(4) Terence – wikipedia.org
(5) Merryfrankster – wikipedia.org