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5.9

Singapore River Cruise | Bumboat Rides & Useful Tips 2021

(10 customer reviews)

$28.80

Last updated on October 21, 2021 8:29 am
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A Singapore River cruise is the perfect way to explore this modern city. The grand Singapore River is a historically rich body of water and a famous landmark of this magnificent area.

There are countless historical sights to see while touring the continent of Asia and this river is top of the list. What was once a thriving hub of trading and bargaining, the Singapore River and its Bumboat cruises is now a relic of cultural significance.

The Singapore River cruises offered to residents and tourists alike are a novel way of preserving this city’s past. These bumboat cruises combine both an appreciation for Singapore heritage as well as a celebration of the current modernity. For these reasons and more, a cruise along this river is not an experience to be missed.

Highlights:

  • Mosquitos & other pesky bugs can be annoying
  • Crowded during peak season
  • Being a tourist destination it can get quite pricey


Know before you book:

  • Mosquitos & other pesky bugs can be annoying
  • Crowded during peak season
  • Being a tourist destination it can get quite pricey

Singapore

SINGAPORE RIVER | BUMBOAT HISTORY

Since the colonial era, the Singapore River has been the lifeblood of Singapore itself. The strategic location of the famous river quickly drew a variety of sailing crafts looking for trade routes.

Singapore River quickly grew into a bustling hub of commerce with the iconic bumboats transporting all sorts of goods up and down the waterways.

The bumboats themselves, stocky wooden boats, clustered around the Singapore quays during this golden age of trade and bargaining. Historically, these bumboats often had faces and obscure eyes painted on them – implied to “see potential danger ahead”. Also known as tongkang, these strange barges are full of character and cultural heritage.

These days, the Singapore River stands as an iconic tourist attraction and cultural landmark. Far from forgetting its roots, Singapore offers a number of enjoyable bumboat rides to pay respects to the grandiose history of the Singapore River.


SINGAPORE RIVER CRUISE PRICES 2021

The cost of tickets starts at about $20 USD ($27 SGD) to $497 ($676 SGD) depending on the activities included in the tour as well as the number of passengers.

Compare prices across the ticket providers below:

SINGAPORE BOAT RIDE TIMES

While it is highly recommended to catch one of these boat rides in the late afternoon, a daytime boat tour can be a relaxing, charming experience. Enjoy a cool breeze under the sun as you relax on the rustic deck of a boat or catch the gorgeous sunset views as the last light of day unfolds slowly over the city skyline. Catch a lift on one of these floating barges to your desired destination and enjoy some lovely views along the way.

Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 5pm

BEST TIME TO GO ON A SINGAPORE RIVER CRUISE

The best time to begin your Singapore River Cruise will determine the kind of experience you have. To go in the morning on a clear day will provide a refreshing recline in the sunshine on deck. Watch the sunlight reflect off the dazzling Singapore buildings and enigmatic architecture.

A late afternoon river cruise will bring spectacular sunset views as well as the astounding sight of Singapore’s city lights at night. With nightfall comes the thrum of busy nightclubs and brightly lit bars lined along the jetties to visit – if you so wish. If you’re cruising at night, be sure to take in the welcoming glow of lights over the inky waters of the Marina district as you cruise past Merlion Park.

Regardless of when you decide to begin your adventure, a Singapore River Cruise is a breathtaking experience.

WHERE TO BOARD A RIVER CRUISE

It is highly recommended that newcomers begin their first river cruise at the standard Clarke Bay ticketing counter. This counter can be found next to the GX 5 Extreme Swing & Trampoline Bungy.

While passengers have the option to ride the cruise all the way around back to Clarke Bay, the bumboat cruise can also serve as a fun way to travel to a different jetty along the Singapore River. Hop off at your preferred stop and continue your exploration of the many revived storefronts and towering futuristic buildings.

Passengers may disembark at these Singapore River Cruise jetties:

  • River Valley Jetty
  • Robertson Quay
  • Clemenceau Jetty
  • Read Bridge Jetty
  • Clarke Quay
  • SouthBridge Jetty
  • Boat Quay
  • Fullerton Jetty
  • Esplanade Jetty
  • Merlion park Jetty
  • Bayfront South Jetty
  • Marina Barrage Jetty

ICONIC LANDMARKS TO SEE ALONG A SINGAPORE RIVER CRUISE

Some of the most iconic historical landmarks, exclusive to Singapore can be seen during a bumboat river cruise. Here are some marvelous monuments and attractions to look out for along your bumboat route:

  • The Merlion is an 8.6 white cement fondue statue that stands proudly at the end of the Marina Bay waterfront. This massive lion’s head situated on a fishtail and resting on smooth crescent waves has become an iconic Singapore symbol. Keep a lookout for the magnificent beast when chugging past the Marina Bay area. And don’t forget your cameras.
  • Raffles Landing Site is a large marble statue that can be seen near the Boat Quay. This statue was built in honor of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and his historical influence on Singapore’s trading route. Any history fan will appreciate a glimpse of this historical figure immortalized in stone.
  • The Esplanade often referred to as the Durian due to the spikes that adorn the two glass domes, is a modern art center. Located near the waterfront in Marina Bay, this amazing feat of architectural genius is a must-see for any fans of modern art.
  • The Marina Bay Sands is the most identifiable of Singapore attractions. This resort situated along Marina Bay comprises three hotel towers. These 55-story towers are all connected by a sky terrace that forms the roof. The strange architecture and sheer enormity of this establishment make the Marina Bay Sands an interesting sight to look out for during your cruise.
  • ArtScience Museum and its obscure architecture are almost impossible to miss. Singapore is full of national galleries and museums, with this one boasting the most interesting exterior. This museum is located near the Marina Bay Sands and effortlessly fuses art and science much like the name suggests. The design of the building itself is intended to represent the welcoming hand of Singapore. Ten protrusions form the “fingers” of the museum and this allows for natural light to filter into the building during exhibitions. Don’t miss this enigmatic attraction as you cruise past.

SINGAPORE RIVER CRUISE | EXPERIENCE A TALE OF TWO QUAYS

This versatile tour is arguably the best river cruise Singapore has to offer. Fondly referred to as the Tale of Two Quays, this bumboat river cruise is a memorable experience.

Enjoy amazing sights from the staggering architecture of Marina Bay to the Raffles Landing Site on this river cruise. Perfect for the whole family, this Singapore River Cruise promises a boatload of excitement and adventure.

What we liked: Ideal for tourists looking for a traditional Singapore experience..

INCLUDES:
  • Traditional Bumboat cruise
  • Views of the Singapore skyline
  • Guided narration

EXCLUDES:
  • Personal expenses
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and dropoffs

This Singapore River cruise is 40 minutes in total. You can begin your journey at the main River Cruise ticket counter in Clarke Bay. Visitors are permitted to disembark from any one of the many jetties to further explore Singapore on land. Keep in mind, however, that this will conclude your boat tour.

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Bumboat



SINGAPORE CHINATOWN TOUR | DINNER, TRISHAW & BUMBOAT RIDE

Explore the rich history of Singapore’s Chinatown with this vivacious night tour. This trip includes a visit to a traditional Chinese medicine hall as well as a complimentary dinner. Furthermore, guests will be presented with a trishaw ride and a trip on one of Singapore’s traditional bumboats.

What we liked: This is a good option for experiencing true Singapore nightlife.

INCLUDES:
  • Dinner
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • Trishaw ride and boat cruise

EXCLUDES:
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Visits to other tourist locations

The lively streets of Chinatown at night make this a marvelously thrilling experience.

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Chinatown


SINGAPORE DUCK TOUR

This adorable option involves a river trip on a refurbished amphibious vehicle from World War II. Now painted to look like a duck, the big eyes on the front of this boat make it a novel attraction and a fun way to explore the Singapore River.

What we liked: This is a great option for families with younger kids.

INCLUDES:
  • Amphibious vehicle transportation
  • Audio guide
  • Sights of Singapores tourist attractions and skyline

EXCLUDES:
  • Gratuities
  • Pickups and dropoffs
  • Tour guide

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Bumboat


PRIVATE SINGAPORE FULL-DAY | ISLAND TOUR & CRUISE

This private tour lasts the entire day and encompasses a large number of Singapore sites and activities including a river cruise. Take in the daytime skyline on a private cruise with an expert, English-speaking guide to assist you.

What we liked: Great for if you are looking for an extended, full-day tour.

INCLUDES:
  • Hotel pickup and dropoff
  • Private transportation
  • Professional tour guide

EXCLUDES:
  • Personal expenses
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

Travel in the lap of luxury with this all-encompassing Singapore tour.

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SINGAPORE PRIVATE NIGHT TOUR

This private night cruise is ideal for those looking to skip the crowded lines and enjoy the views in style. The night cruise includes a fully commentated cruise where passengers will learn all about the history of the Singapore rivers as well as stops at some of Singapore’s best tourist attractions.

What we liked: This tour will allow you to skip the lines and dodge the crowds.

INCLUDES:
  • Private transportaation
  • Professional guide and narration
  • Pickup and dropoff from hotel

EXCLUDES:
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks
  • Admission tickets to the various sites

At a small extra cost, visitors will be able to pay a visit to a classic Singaporean hawker center. Enjoy some traditional local food catered to your preference.

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Night Tour


 

SINGAPORE NIGHT OUT | LIGHT SHOW AND BUMBOAT TOUR

This early-evening tour includes a visit to the alluring Supertrees during the Gardens by the Bay light show. Watch the tree-like structures sparkle with brilliant lights and enjoy the musical extravaganza. Pay a visit to the observation deck of the Sands Skypark towers and take in the views of the Singapore skyline and the Riau Islands beyond. After this, visitors will enjoy a 20 minute trip in one of the iconic Singapore bumboats.

What we liked: Great for if you want to see more iconic sights along your trip.

INCLUDES:
  • Hotel pickup and dropoffs
  • Professional guide
  • Airconditioned vehicle

EXCLUDES:
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenir photos
  • Food and drinks

This tour involves a lot of walking around the iconic sites so be sure to wear some comfortable shoes!

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Night Light Tour


5.9Expert Score
Singapore River Cruise | Bumboat Rides & Useful Tips 2021
SINGAPORE BOAT RIDE | FINAL THOUGHTS
Singapore River is a place infused with rich history and upkeep of heritage. The blend of historical reverence and modernity makes this iconic river a tourist attraction like no other. From its origins as a mere fishing village to a booming trading port to a tourism hotspot, Singapore has definitely made a strong name for itself. What better way to appreciate the growth and resilience of this wonderful place than a Singapore River Cruise? Step aboard a carefully crafted bumboat or luxury yacht and immerse yourself in the culture of the Singapore River and its interesting origins. This is no doubt an adventure you won't soon forget!
Comfort
5
Location
7.7
Value For Money
5.1
PROS
  • Short distance from public transportation
  • Guided tours and narration
  • Many accomodating options
CONS
  • Finding docking bay can get confusing
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not safe for pregnant travelers

Specification: Singapore River Cruise | Bumboat Rides & Useful Tips 2021

Accessible

Not wheelchair accessible

Duration

1-4 Hrs

Inclusions

Includes private tour guide

Exclusions

Alcoholic beverages

Meals

Meals included

Transport

Pickup and dropoff included

Suited For

Families with children and solo travelers

10 reviews for Singapore River Cruise | Bumboat Rides & Useful Tips 2021

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  1. juroth

    Dank des sehr guten Tourguides Robin eine gelungene Tour. Pünktlich zur vereinbarten Zeit wurden wir in einem geräumigen Tourbus abgeholt. Die Tour war grundsätzlich vom Tourveranstalter durchgeplant, der Guide fragte uns aber, ob wir das so haben wollen, da einige uninteressante Orte dabei waren, dafür wesentlich schönere fehlten. Wir haben ihm dann freie Hand in der Veränderung der Ziele gelassen, was sich schlussendlich als sehr gute Entscheidung herausgestellt hat. Am Beginn stand der Orchid Garden inmitten des großen botanischen Gartens. Weiter ging es über Little India hin nach Chinatown. In unmittelbarer Nähe liegt dann die große Moschee des Sultans von Malaysia. Weiter ging es durch ein Peranakan Viertel t den typischen Häusern der Mischfamilien. Nach einem kurzen Trinkstop in einem Food Market ging es weiter zum Sri Mariamman Temple, einem indischen Tempel inmitten von Chinatown. Ein Spaziergang durch Chinatown endet am Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Nach dem Lunch ging es dann noch zum SIngapore River, wo eine abschließende Bootsfahrt durch die Marina Bay und den Singapore River gemacht wurde. Nochmals Danke an den sehr guten Tourguide Robin

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  2. Quest397179

    Excellent tour guide. Very fluent English and very knowledgeable. Vehicle was very clean and driver very courteous. Overall we are very satisfied and I would definitely recommend this tour guide

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    Singapore River Cruise | Bumboat Rides & Useful Tips 2021
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