Although touring Singapore is simple enough for DIY travelers, visitors with little time or those who want to delve deeper into local sights can take advantage of convenient organized activities.
Tour East (tel. 65/6738-2622) organizes typical half-day coach tours of the city every day (adults S$30/US$20/£14, children S$15/US$10/£6.75), and full-day coach excursions on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday to some of the main attractions around the island (adults S$73/US$49/£33, children S$36/US$24/£16), some with meals included. The Peranakan Trail (Tues-Sun) takes visitors out to Katong, a suburban neighborhood that is the focal point of Peranakan heritage (adults S$45/US$30/£20, children S$22/US$15/£9.90).
For something different, go for the DUCKTour (tel. 65/6338-6877; www.ducktours.com.sg), a combined coach and boat tour in an amphibious vehicle, a decommissioned military craft, that circles you around the Historic District for a tour of the harbor. The hour-long tour starts every hour, departing from the Suntec City Mall Galleria, with additional transfers from the DUCKTours office on Orchard Road (at the corner of Cairnhill Rd.). Reservations are highly recommended, and tours cost S$33 (US$22/£15) adults, S$17 (US$11/£7.65) children ages 3 to 12, and S$2 (US$1.35/90p) kids 2 and under. DUCKTours also operates the HiPPO Tour aboard an open-top double-decker bus, cruising Orchard Road, Little India, Kampong Glam, Chinatown, and the Historic District. Pick it up at the DUCKTours office on Orchard Road or at Suntec City, then get on and off at sights that interest you along the way. The day ticket costs S$33 (US$22/£15) adults, S$13 (US$8.70/£5.85) children 3 to 12, and S$2 (US$1.35/90p) for kids 2 and under. Call DUCKTours for information.
Singapore Walks (tel. 65/6325-1631; www.singaporewalks.com) is a reputable outfit that organizes guided walking tours of the Historic District, Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, and other neighborhoods Monday through Saturday, except for public holidays. Call them to find out the meeting time and place for the tour you want; for most walks, adults pay S$28, children tour for S$15.
River Tours & Cruises
Singapore River Cruises (tel. 65/6339-6833; www.rivercruise.com.sg) operates boats up and down the Singapore River and into the harbor from 9am to 11pm daily. A bumboat ride with recorded info about the riverside sights costs adults S$18 (US$12/£8.10) and children S$8 (US$5.35/£3.60). You can also use the river cruise boats as a taxi, as it has pick-up points from the Merlion (Fullerton), Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, and Robertson Quay.
The Imperial Cheng Ho, operated by Watertours (tel. 65/6533-9811; www.watertours.com.sg), is a huge boat modeled after the sort of Chinese junk that Admiral Cheng Ho might have sailed when he explored this region in the 15th century. A 2 1/2-hour cruise takes you from Marina South Pier past the Singapore skyline, the mouth of the Singapore River, then out past Sentosa, with a stop on Kusu Island. I recommend the Morning Glory Cruise at 10:30am (adults S$27/US$18/£12, children S$14/US$9.40/£6.30). There's also a High Tea Cruise at 3pm (adults S$32/US$21/£14, children S$16/US$11/£7.20) and a dinner cruise at 6:30pm (adults S$55/US$37/£25, children S$29/US$19/£13). Watertours can arrange hotel transfer with your booking.
These cycle rickshaws were once a staple form of public transportation. Now they're permitted on busy streets only with special permits, and only for guided tours. Singapore Explorer (tel. 65/6339-6833; www.singaporeexplorer.com.sg) coordinates regular outings through Chinatown from 10am to 7pm daily. You can either call ahead to book a ride or just show up at the corner of Sago and Terrenganu streets; you'll see the collection of trishaws under cover. The half-hour trip takes you through Chinatown's quaint streets for a charge of S$39 (US$26/£18), children S$20 (US$13/£9) per person. Singapore Explorer can arrange pickup from anywhere if you book in advance.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.