The docks and terminals (services and amenities), embarking and disembarking, how to get around for cruisers to Singapore
Singapore is both a major port of call and also a home (Embarkation-Disembarkation) port for cruises in the South East Asia itineraries. The city-state has two cruise ports and terminals.
As a rule of thumb, small and mid-sized cruise ships dock at the International Passenger Terminal, whilst larger ships dock at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre aka as MBCCS.
The International Passenger Terminal in Singapore Cruise Port
The International Passenger Terminal (IPT) is located on the western south shore of the city-state less than 3 miles (4.5 km) from the city’s downtown (with a population of 5.8 million). This terminal (IPT) is located next to the VivoCity shopping mall and right across the Sentosa Island, a major attraction of Singapore.
Singapore Cruise Website:
The Pier and Berths in the International Passenger Terminal
The International Passenger Terminal has one L shaped pier perpendicular to the coastline with 2 berths where two cruise ships can dock. Do not be confused with the Regional Ferry Terminal (RFT) next to it.
Cruise travelers will find a very well kept terminal building many times referred to as HarbourFront Passenger Terminal, where you will find all basic services and amenities.
Once you walk down the gangway into the pier, there is one exit gate to the terminal. The exit gates are at no more than 500 feet (150 meters) from the gangway.
What's at the International Passenger Terminal in Singapore Cruise Port
Amenities and Services
Cruise travelers will find at the Terminal all amenities and services such as restrooms, 3 money exchange counters and ATM's, public phones, Internet with Wi-Fi, coffee shops, a 7-Eleven convenience store, vending machines, a few apparel stores and a branch of the Singapore Postal Services. The Terminal also has a very convenient (and affordable) Left Luggage service.
Singapore Postal Services Website:
Tourist Info in Singapore
You will find a tourist information counter in the terminal. There are also Tourist Information aka Visitor Centers booths around the city’s downtown.
Duty-Free Shopping at the IPT Terminal
Cruise travelers looking for duty-free shopping will be disappointed to know that there are only a few shops at the cruise terminal. However, just next to terminal you will find all major brands and chain stores at the VivoCity Shopping Mall, which is the largest retail venue in Singapore.
Transportation at the International Passenger Terminal
Cruise travelers planning to explore Singapore on your own will find that the city has a efficient, modern and affordable transportation network.
Limousines and Taxis
The Limousine Counter is on Level 1 (Main Concourse just outside the Arrival Hall) with fares to top attractions around SGD$50 (US$36). Taxis are available right outside the Terminal building. All taxis are metered and take around 10 to 15 minutes to the city center and around 30 to 40 minutes to the airport.
Underground and Public Bus
The MRT is am excellent underground/subway network with stops close to all main attractions in Singapore and also with a connection to the airport. There is a stop right at the HarbourFront on the North East Line (NEL), which has stops close to Chinatown, Clarke Quay and Little India. Right outside the main exit of the HarbourFront Terminal there are bus stops to most directions, with buses taking around 20 minutes to the city center.
Singapore Public Transportation Website:
To See and Do Close by the International Passenger Terminal
Just outside the HarbourFront Terminal building, on your right (east) cruise travelers will find the VivoCity shopping mall. On the left side of the Terminal, there is a Cable Car to the Sentosa Island. If this top attraction of Singapore is on your plans, you may also consider using the Sentosa Express monorail, which has a stop located at VivoCity (Lobby L, Level 3).
Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore Cruise Port
The Marina Bay Cruise Centre (aka MBCCS) where larger ships dock is located on the south shore of the city-state around 2 miles (3 km) from the downtown.
Pier and Berths in Marina Bay Cruise Centre
There is one long pier on Marina Bay which is perpendicular to the coastline with two berths for two cruise ships. This is where large ships of up to 220,000 GMT and up to 360 meters (1,181 feet) in length dock. However, small ships of cruise lines like Azamara, Seabourn or Silversea also dock at the Marina Bay Cruise Center.
Cruise travelers will find in the port one modern cruise terminal on two levels where you will find all basic services and amenities.
Once you walk out of the ship you will be on a covered corridor at no more than 500 feet/150 meters to the entrance to the Terminal building. Before entering the terminal, all passengers will be checked by Singapore Customs. Insiders Tip: make sure to have your passport ready.
Amenities and Services in Marina Bay Cruise Centre
Cruise travelers will find at the terminal (on level 2) amenities and services such as a restrooms, the CIMB Bank currency exchange kiosk, 3 ATM's, a Mobilephone shop, a cafeteria and Watsons convenience store. Wi-Fi is provided by the Marina Bay Cruise Centre FREE inside the terminal. On Level 1 (ground-floor) cruise travelers will find restrooms, a left luggage service and the CruiseFly counter that offers affordable transfers to the airport.
Tourist Info in the Marina Bay Cruise Centre
You will find a tourist information desk (look for Visitor Center) at the Terminal on (Level 2). Cruise travelers will also find “Visitor Centers” on the main touristic areas or close to top attractions.
Duty-free Shops in the Terminal of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre
Cruise travelers looking for duty-free shopping will not fin any shops at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre cruise terminal.
Transportation at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre
Cruise travelers planning to explore Singapore on your own will find just outside the terminal taxis and public buses. The underground-subway-metro is within walking distance.
Taxis are metered and reasonably priced. Uber operates in Singapore and can also be a good option to get around the city.
Public buses are efficient and very affordable. Just outside the terminal you will find the #402 bus stop located at the coach bay with a direct service to the city center. Buses operate between 6:00am and 11:00pm and a single fare costs S$2.00 (under US$1.00). Insiders Tip: make sure you have exact fare as no change will be given back.
The MRT (Mass Rail Transit) is Singapore’s underground/subway/metro. It covers the entire city and is efficient, safe and modern. The Marina South Pier MRT Station is an extension of the North-South Line and the closest to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. After exiting the terminal, look for a covered walkway on your right. The station is around 1/3 mile/600 meters away.
Outside the terminal you will see a City Sightseeing stop. However, be aware that this popular Hop-On Hop-Off bus only stops at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre to pick cruise travelers with booked tours either with the cruise line or with online services.
City Sightseeing Website:
Within walking distance of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre
Although the Marina Bay Cruise Centre is located relatively close to Singapore’s many attractions, there is nothing of interest to visit or explore within walking distance. However, with public transportation cruise travelers will be in the city center in less than 20 minutes.
Some luxury cruise lines docking at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre may offer a shuttle bus to the city center.
Embarking and/or Disembarking in Singapore
Singapore is a major Home Port with most cruise ships Embarking and Disembarking passengers in the city-state for the start and/or end of cruises in South East Asia.
Cruise travelers that have never been in Singapore before should consider flying to Singapore at least 2 days before the cruise to explore the many attractions of the city. For those traveling from far away continents like Europe and America, flying at least one day ahead of the cruise is mandatory. Firstly, to assure that you will not miss the ship (and the beginning of cruise). Secondly, to recover from a long flight (any thing between 18 and 30 hours). Last but not least, to overcome jet lag and adapt to a new time zone - around 12 hours. Even for those traveling from Australia, it should be noted that a flight from Sidney to Singapore is around 8 hours long and that there is a 3 hour time difference.
Public Transportation between Cruise Port and Airport
Naturally your may prefer to explore the highlights of Singapore after a cruise and fly home a couple of days latter. Whatever you choose to do, cruisers will eventually need to travel between the cruise port to the Changi Airport (Singapore's main international airport). Transportation to and from the Airport to or from the Cruise Terminals in Singapore is affordable, fast and efficient. Uber has been the Editor's choice but there taxis, public buses and the MRT have excellent connections.
Check the Changi Airport Transportation Website Page for more details.
Singapore has very harsh laws regarding smoking in public and many cruise travelers are aware of this. However, not all are aware that if you bring cigarettes into Singapore you MUST declare and pay tax to customs at the airport.Check the Singapore Customs Website. to know what to expect.