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Singapore Cruise Port: A Gateway To SE Asia Countries

Diamond Princess at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre

The Singapore cruise port provides a gateway to other Asian countries. There are many choices of getaways, from quick mini cruises to Phuket and Thailand, or extended one-way itineraries to Hong Kong.

In this article, discover which cruise ships sail in and out of Singapore, how to get to the cruise terminal, and where to stay before or after a cruise.

Where Is The Singapore Cruise Terminal?

Singapore is a small island off the Malay Peninsula’s southern coast in Southeast Asia. Its proximity to Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the beautiful places in Thailand, makes it an ideal starting point for cruise travelers.

Before Marina Bay Cruise Centre opened in 2012, Singapore had one cruise port. So, the Singapore Cruise Centre, with its international passenger terminal across from Sentosa Island, served as the embarkation port for outgoing and incoming journeys.

Singapore Cruise Centre

  • Location: 1 Maritime Square, Singapore, 099253

With a new cruise port opened, the Cruise Pier Harbourfront now welcomes the medium and smaller ships. It sits in a large building next to the Regional Ferry Terminal.

Cruise ships docked in the Singapore cruise port

The journey takes 35+ minutes by taxi from Changi International Airport, depending on traffic. Alternatively, GRAB, Asia’s version of rideshare may save a few dollars.

Also, the HarbourFront MRT station, on the Northeast Line takes cruise guests to the port. From the station, expect the walk through the HarbourFront Centre to take 10 minutes. There is no long-term parking at this port, so taking some sort of transit is essential.

At this port, the HarbourFront Centre has a mix of retail stores, coffee shops and eateries. It’s an excellent place to pick up any forgotten items. Next to it, Vivo City provides a larger selection of goods, but its massive shopping venue may be tempting to browse longer and lose track of time.

There are a few options for hotels near the port. Opt for budget-friendly options on the mainland or a more expensive stay on Sentosa Island. However, Sentosa Island hotels give quick access to main draws like Universal Studios Singapore, Sentosa Beach, and the SEA Aquarium.

Marella Discovery 2 at the Singapore Cruise Port
Marella Discovery 2 at the Singapore Cruise Port
  • Travelodge Harbourfront – Smaller rooms, pool and easy access to the port.
  • Resorts World Sentosa, Hotel Michael – Pricey, but a great option for families.
  • Ibis Budget Singapore Mount Faber – Great for those on a budget.

Marina Bay Cruise Centre

  • Location: 61 Marina Bay Coastal Drive, Singapore, 018947

The Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) handles the larger vessels like Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas and Diamond Princess. This new cruise terminal sits just south of the Gardens by the Bay and can accommodate two vessels simultaneously. 

Map of Marina Bay Cruise Centre and nearest MRT station
Map of Marina Bay Cruise Centre and nearest MRT station

From Changi Airport, a taxi ride takes around 30 minutes to the terminal building or taking the MRT saves money, but not time. The Marina South Pier MRT station serves as the stop for cruise passengers. It is 600m northeast of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

Covered walkway from the MRT station to the port
Covered walkway from the MRT station to the port

From the MRT station, I found it easy to pull suitcases on the flat walk under a vine-covered canopy. While there’s no air-conditioning, the covered path provides a reprieve from the hot sun. 

Walking with my suitcases under the covered walkway
Walking with my suitcases on the covered walkway

While this port lacks a shopping centre, there is free Wi-Fi and a money exchange booth if needing Baht, Vietnamese Dong or other currency for a cruise. Do note that the Singapore dollar (SGD) is the official currency in Singapore, and vendors do not accept USD.

The Marina Bay Cruise Centre is more centrally located and closer to Singapore’s top attractions. Here are some options for staying in the heart of the city.

  • The Fullerton Hotel Singapore sits near the North South MRT line, only two stops from the port. Its location on the Singapore River near the Merlion statues, gives direct access to other places in the financial district.
  • Marina Bay Sands – Its luxury hotel gives guests access to its instagram-worthy infinity pool. From the observation deck, it’s hard to beat the aerial views of the city.
  • Swissotel The Stamford offers Marina Bay views. We enjoyed the amenities and amazing in-hotel restaurants, all while saving money.

Unlike many North American cruise port cities, Singapore hotels don’t offer cruise shuttle services. Since the city is small, pick a hotel within your budget and use the MRT, taxi, or GRAB to reach the cruise terminal.

Cruise Lines In Singapore

Picking a cruise line for an Asia cruise may come down to budget, length of cruise, and whether you prefer a roundtrip itinerary.

The Diamond Princess in Singapore
The Diamond Princess in Singapore

For roundtrip and one-way journeys of three to 50+ days, these cruise lines offer sailings from the port of Singapore:

  • Royal Caribbean
  • Princess
  • Ponant
  • Celebrity
  • Holland America
  • Seabourn
  • Oceania
  • Genting Dream Cruises

There are many options for one-way itineraries, which end in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Sydney, and other ports. Alternatively, cruises that begin in those destinations may end in Singapore.

When stopping in other ports, guests may need a visa. Some cruise lines will do the application process for guests, but they could be billed four times the price.

Check if the itinerary requires a visa and do the legwork yourself to save money. In most cases, getting an e-visa is simple, done online, and usually processed in a few days to a few weeks, depending on the destination country. We got our Vietnam e-visas in a few days.

Disembarking In Singapore

Cruise guests must complete an arrival card via the MyICA Mobile app when disembarking their vessel. It’s the same process you would have done on arrival at Changi International Airport. The arrival card can be completed within three days of arrival, giving fast track through security.

MyICA Mobile app
MyICA Mobile app

The cruise line will give instructions before disembarkation day. Don’t worry; a paid Wi-Fi plan on the ship isn’t required to access the app.

There is luggage storage at either port for guests with late flights home. Without lugging around heavy suitcases, spend the day exploring Singapore and take in the sights of Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands, or hop on a bumboat to cruise the harbour.

Alternatively, Changi Airport offers luggage storage for a small fee. The baggage storage on level one of The Jewel also offers suitcase wrapping for the security conscious.

Some cruise lines offer a luggage valet to collect bags from the ship and deliver them to the airport. This option only works for same day flights.

Getting Around Singapore

The city has an excellent transportation system called the Mass Rapid Transit or MRT, an asset when spending a few days pre-cruise. Also, exploring much of Singapore on foot is possible since many regions are compact with many attractions on every corner.

Using an EZ-Link card at the MRT
Using an EZ-Link card at the MRT

The MRT system reminded me of London’s underground, except it is cleaner and has wider walkways. Riding is also inexpensive, and it cost SDG 1.09 to SGD 1.49 for the majority of the rides we took.

Singapore’s efficient Mass Rapid Transit and bus system allows visitors to forego a car rental.  Purchasing an EZ-Link Card at the airport for SGD 10, includes the card cost and has an SGD 5 credit. Cards can be topped up at MRT stations for additional rides.

Alternatively, the Singapore Tourist Pass gives unlimited ridership on trains and buses, and cost SGD 10 a day. We used the MRT many times daily and found the EZ-Link Card much cheaper than purchasing a Tourist Pass.

Singapore has more than one rideshare; GRAB, Gojek, and TADA are alternatives to taxis. Be sure to download their apps.

Renting a bike provides an easy way to access popular attractions. GoCycling, City Scoot, and SG Bike are just some vendors offering rentals.

What To Do In Singapore

Spending a few days pre- or post-cruise offers the chance to see modern marvels, shop at Orchard Road, and explore many floral gardens. Here are the top sights to check out.

Gardens By The Bay

Gardens by the Bay covers 250 acres and might be Singapore’s most Instragrammable spot. During the day, explore the giant greenhouses called the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest Dome, and walk its many gardens featuring displays from India, China, and Malaysia.

The domed conservatories showcase exotic plants from around the world, and the displays change depending on the season or festive event.

Don’t miss the Supertree Grove, with its towering tree-like structures. These Supertrees come alive at night with a spectacular complimentary light and sound show at 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm. The contrast between day and night offers a complete experience.

The Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay
The Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay

The daytime highlights natural beauty and biodiversity, while the nighttime emphasizes awe-inspiring, futuristic light displays. The Garden Rhapsody changes shows depending on the season. I visited during Chinese New Year while its “Journey through Asia” show was playing.

Purchase a pass for the Skywalk or Gardens by the Bay Observatory for unobstructed aerial views. While both offer beautiful vistas, the observation deck is above the trees. I enjoyed the panoramic views of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, and the cruise port here.

Marina Bay Sands

The Marina Bay Sands is more than a hotel. It has a shopping mall and casino, and its SkyPark, with rooftop bars and restaurants offer breathtaking city views.

Singapore Neighbourhoods

Singapore has many neighbourhoods worth exploring. Little India is a vibrant cultural district known for its colorful shop-houses and diverse cultural experiences. Visitors can explore the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, a landmark Hindu temple.

The area is bustling with street markets selling traditional Indian goods and spices. Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour shopping mall, offers a variety of products. The district is famous for its authentic Indian cuisine, which I enjoyed tasting at the Tekka Centre.

Sultan Mosque in Klampong Glam
Sultan Mosque in Klampong Glam

Nearby, Kampong Glam provides another stopping point for a unique cultural experience. This historic district buzzes with colorful shophouses, boutiques, and cafes. The Sultan Mosque, a stunning centerpiece, is the highlight of this neighbourhood.

Chinatown is the place to go for street food. It offers the best hawker centres, with many choices for mouthwatering dishes at under SGD 10. Tian Tian Chicken Rice makes the best Hainanese chicken rice in the Maxwell Food Centre but be prepared to stand in line during peak times.

Also, Chinatown has many wall murals, all spectacularly painted. Like neighbouring areas, it has its own temple attraction, the Buddha Tooth Temple.

Sentosa Island

South of the city, Sentosa Island offers a blend of relaxation and adventure. There’s a mix of activities; relax at a sandy beach, play at Universal Studios theme park, visit SEA Aquarium, or my favorite, explore Fort Siloso.

For a serene experience, the Sentosa Nature Discovery offers trails amidst lush greenery. The island also features luxury resorts, golf courses, and a variety of dining options.

Monorail at Sentosa Island
Monorail at Sentosa Island

Its accessibility via cable car adds to the charm, offering panoramic city views. Be sure to visit the southernmost tip of continental Asia and see the giant trolls.


Visitors into museums, will find many in Singapore, some complimentary. The iconic ArtScience Museum merges art, science, and technology. Purchase a single ticket or one that covers all the exhibits. Don’t miss the futuristic collection.

To learn the history and culture of the nation, pick from the Asian Civilizations Museum, National Museum of Singapore, or Lee Kong Chiang Natural History Museum.

There are even some quirky museums – one for stamps, toys, and one dedicated to children.

Wrap It Up

Cruising out or into Singapore provides a safe city for exploration, even at night. With a five-day Singapore itinerary, you can cover all the popular venues and enjoy its excellent food.

While Singapore isn’t inexpensive, save money by eating at hawker centres and enjoying complimentary museums as we did.

Diamond Princess in the Singapore cruise port and the covered walkway to the terminal