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Battle of the Clarke Quay river cruises

Gerard Ward rates two Clarke Quay river cruises

The ORIGINAL DUCKtours

Highlights Fountain of Wealth, Singapore Flyer, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Merlion Park, Civic District (Cenotaph, Tan Kim Seng Fountain and more), St Andrew's Cathedral.
The ride No humorous out-of-work actors on this yellow utilitarian deck of a boat, crammed with loud tourists – just a generic aeroplanestyle recording, spouting a fairly generic history of the Read, Elgin and Cavenagh bridges, with only the odd fact to wake us from our slumber (eg during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, the severed heads of criminals were hung from the bridge). The audio voice also tells us the boat will stop at five jetties, but we end up making only one stop at Boat Quay. Distinctly underwhelming.
Full day unlimited rides pass at $23/adult, $17/child (3-12 years). 10am-6pm daily

The Tale of Two Quays by Singapore River Cruise

The route River Valley, Robertson Quay, Clemenceau, Read Bridge, Clarke Quay, South Bridge, Boat Quay, Fullerton, Esplanade, Merlion park, Bayfront South, Promenade, Marina Barrage
The ride By far the best-looking boat, this wooden bumboat is also quieter than the Hippo Tour boat on our visit. Alas, no live tour guide here either, just a dozy driver who doesn’t speak much English – but there is a DVD commentary, so you get swooping scenes of Clarke Quay to go with the more modern commentary, which focuses more on the malls, bars and restaurants than the history. The DVD’s attempts at slang (‘chocablock’) and humour (‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a UFO? No, it’s The High Court of Singapore’) are nice tries but, er, not quite.
$15-$24 for 40-minute ride. 9am-11pm (last boat departs at 10.30pm).

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