Singapore RiverSingapore River


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 26 Oct 2021  

Being an island city-state, Singapore offers tons of fun, water-related sports and activities to indulge in. In this article, we cover water activities in and around Marina Bay Sands, such as the river cruise, Sampan Rides, outdoor water parks, rooftop pools and more.


River Cruise

Singapore River Cruise

One of the most popular activities around the bay is the Singapore River Cruise. Established in 1987 as a part of the country’s ‘Clean Rivers Campaign’, this cruise service was instituted to preserve the culturally significant ‘bumboats’. These were employed from the 19th to 20th century to help transport goods and wares along the Rochor, Kallang, and Singapore rivers. Nowadays, hopping on to one of these rustic Bumboats to traverse the river and the adjoining quays is one of the most iconic ways to see Singapore.

The Singapore River Cruise is a memorable, 40-minute cruise that navigates through the iconic districts of Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, and Marina Bay, encapsulating the country’s legacy and modernity in one activity.


Clarke Quay


Though one can join the Bumboat cruise at any of the 13 odd jetties along the river, we suggest beginning your trip at Clarke Quay, the original starting point. This allows you to better enjoy the whole cruise experience and visit all the popular riverside highlights.

We also suggest embarking on Bumboat tours after dark or late in the afternoon to catch a glimpse of the glorious sunset over the river or the bright lights of Singapore’s urban nightscape.

Passengers have the option to choose a comfortable seat inside or outside to view and listen to interesting commentary about the attractions passing by. While passengers are recommended to stay onboard for the entire River Cruise, they also have the option to alight at any of the jetties and continue their journey on foot.

Some of the iconic landmarks that can be spotted through the course of the cruise include:




Sir Stamford Raffles Statue

Dedicated to the colonial founder of modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, this white marble statue marks the site where he reportedly first set foot in 1819. Then a tiny fishing village, Raffles immediately recognised the potential of country’s waterways and ports and decided to establish Singapore as a British port and an ideal stopping route for sea traders.


Merlion Statue 

A world-renowned attraction that needs no introduction, this iconic half-fish, half-lion Merlion statue is one of the landmarks that you pass during the cruise. While its head represents Singapore’s original name (in Malay), Singapura, or ‘lion city’, the Merlion’s body is an ode to the country’s humble beginnings as a fishing village.




Esplanade (Theatres on the Bay)

Nicknamed ‘The Durian’ for its iconic spiky sunshade exterior, The Esplanade is an iconic landmark which houses a concert hall with state-of-the-art acoustics, a 2000-seater theatre, a library, food space, among others.


ArtScience Museum

One of the most architecturally magnificent destinations in Singapore’s cityscape, the ArtScience Museum is a place that beautifully blends art, science, technology, and culture to tell fascinating stories. Since its opening in early 2011, ArtScience Museum has held significant exhibitions by some of the world’s best known artists including Andy Warhol, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, and more, across its 21 gallery spaces spanning nearly 5,000m².


River Cruise


Marina Bay Sands

This globally recognised integrated resort comprises three 55-storey towers of hotel rooms and suites, a gravity-defying Sands SkyPark with an Observation Deck, and an extraordinary rooftop Infinity Pool. Marina Bay Sands also houses one of the best shopping malls in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants, a theatre, nightclubs, and more.


Sampan Rides

Sampan Ride

Patrons who relish the Singapore River Cruise experience on bumboats will also love the indoor cruise experience on a Sampan Ride. Native to Southeast Asia, a Sampan is a beautiful, flat-bottomed boat that is elaborately decorated and propelled by a single, pole-wielding boatman.

A popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, the indoor Sampan Ride navigates the canal along The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. As a part of the Sampan Ride, the boat also circles an eco-friendly installation that collects rainwater, known as the Rain Oculus. Lucky passengers might get a close-up view of the hourly water cascade where 22,000+ litres of water are released per minute from a skylight two storeys overhead.


Infinity Pool

Infinity Pool

Level up your water-based adventures – literally, by 57 storeys – when you to soak in or relax beside the world’s largest rooftop Infinity Pool at the top of Marina Bay Sands. You can also sunbathe on a lavish poolside lounger or unwind in the shade of a palm tree. Do note that access to the rooftop Infinity Pool is exclusive to hotel guests only.

Turn your boat ride into a full-fledged staycation and get guaranteed savings of S$20 per night, compared to other online travel sites. Book any room directly and enjoy benefits such as: direct access to the Infinity Pool, free cancellation options, high-speed Wi-Fi, entry to SkyPark Observation Deck, complimentary tea, evening drinks and more. Reserve your room today.

Get more perks as a member of our FREE Sands Rewards programme and enjoy additional benefits such as earnings of up to 10% instant Reward Dollars on your room, food, or shopping, up to 30% off spa treatments, all-day parking benefits, and more. Find out more here.


Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

For families with children who want to have splashing good fun with the little ones, we suggest heading over to Far East Organization Children’s Garden located within Gardens by the Bay.

Designed for children aged 12 and below, the Children’s Garden has three exciting play zones to explore - the Toddler Play Zone, Rainforest Tree Houses, and Water Play area. Each zone offers interactive play spaces with fun obstacles, fountains, and exciting water effects to keep the young ones entertained.

To note: Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Far East Organization Children’s Garden is temporarily closed. Find out more about latest updates here.


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Book Direct offer

Book direct with us and enjoy guaranteed savings of $20 per night.

  • Guaranteed savings of S$20 per night compared to other online travel sites
  • 6% Reward Dollars on your hotel room with your FREE Sands Rewards LifeStyle membership
  • Free entry to SkyPark Observation Deck & Infinity Pool



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