This island state is situated at the end of the Malaysian Peninsula and is separated from Malaysia by the narrow Strait of Johor. A causeway less than one mile (about one and a half kilometres) in length links the two countries. Singapore's strategic location enables shipping on the shortest sea route between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.
Concealed behind high-tech industries and high-rise buildings exists a society with an ingrained sense of conservative Confucian values. Strong beliefs centre on extended families, filial piety, discipline, respect, and Asian work ethics.
Singapore's name, which means 'Lion City', can be traced to the 13th century when, according to legend, the ruler of Palembang sought shelter on the island during a storm and thought he saw a lion. Today, the mythical Merlion (half-lion, half-fish) serves as Singapore's emblem.
Modern Singapore primarily owes its existence and prosperity to two men, both of them forceful characters and visionaries; Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and Lee Kuan Yew. Upon Raffles' arrival in 1819, he found a population of about 150, mostly pirates and fishermen, and a land blanketed by dense jungle. Within four years of its founding, Singapore grew into an international trading port. Raffles' influence in determining the direction of what is today one of the world's busiest port cities was invaluable, whilst Lee Kuan Yew is without doubt the 'Father' of modern Singapore.
This thriving metropolis of over four and a half million people is one of the most densely populated places in the world. In addition to being an enormous retail outlet, Singapore is also the region's trade, transport, business, and financial hub. The reputation the city has for law and order is well deserved; it is often referred to as 'A Fine City'. The double meaning may very well stem from the fact that Singapore imposes harsh punishment on locals and visitors alike for violations of the law.
Singapore is a melting pot of nationalities; the majority of the population is of Chinese extraction, followed by Malay, Indian, Peranakan, and a small Eurasian population. Officially, Malay is the national language but English is the language of administration and commerce.
The ship is scheduled to dock at EITHER the new Marina Bay Cruise Centre, located approximately 20 minutes from the heart of the city OR the Singapore Cruise Centre. Taxis are generally available outside the Cruise Centre, which also offers subway access. Shuttle service may be offered from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre when the ship is in port on days other than embark/disembark calls.
Singapore enjoys a reputation as a shopper's paradise. The most famous shopping area is along Orchard Road, but the more colourful, ethnic shops are found in the sectors of Little India, Arab Street and Chinatown. Handicrafts, cloisonné ware, antique porcelain, jewellery, and framed silk tapestries are just a few of the many tempting items offered for sale. Bargaining is an accepted practice in smaller shops and markets, whilst prices in boutiques and department stores are fixed. For many items, there is no import duty or sales tax. Hours are generally from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The local currency is the Singapore dollar.
Dining in Singapore can be a memorable epicurean experience. The island has an unparalleled variety of restaurants to suit every palate and budget, and ranges from excellent seafood to every ethnic cuisine imaginable.
Restored to its former splendour, this landmark hotel offers a shopping arcade and several restaurants. Sample a Singapore Sling at the famous Long Bar, or indulge in afternoon tea (reservations are required). On the third floor of the hotel is a museum with Raffles' memorabilia.
Built in 1827, this is Singapore's oldest government building.
Singapore Art Museum
Works of local artists as well as artwork from Southeast Asia can be viewed at this fine museum.
Formerly known as the 'Zoological Gardens', the Singapore Zoo is acclaimed as one of the world's most spectacular zoos of its kind. The use of natural barriers like streams, rock walls and vegetation to separate animals from visitors enhances the 'open' zoo concept.
As the sun sets, a different world comes to life at the Night Safari. This premiere night zoo houses over 900 animals of 135 exotic species in different zones, including the Southeast Asian Rainforest, African Savanna and Burmese Jungle, among others. This wild adventure can be experienced during a relaxing tram ride.
The resort is renowned for its beaches, musical fountain, underwater world, golf courses, and the Singapore Wax Museum. Located across from the Harbour Front Centre, Sentosa Island is normally accessed via cable car.
For those guests who are interested in touring at your leisure, we are pleased to offer Silver Shore Privato - both half-day and full-day private arrangements by private car or van. You may book this in advance at Silversea.com or it may be purchased on board, subject to availability. The number of guides and vehicles is very limited.