With ultra-modern skyscrapers and Chinese, Indian and Malay influences, Singapore is rich in contrast and color, with a lovely blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. Seabourn utilizes the island-nation’s splendid maritime facilities, nearly unrivalled international airlift at its Changi airport and surfeit of top-quality hotels as a prime destination in which to begin or end voyages in Asia. The eye-popping architecture of the Marina Bay neighborhood in the HarbourFront district is Singapore’s new iconic postcard image. The towering Marina Bay Sands hotel, the verdant and surreal Gardens by the Bay botanical complex and the durian-shaped Esplanade arts and entertainment facilities embody the Merlion city’s assertively modern aesthetic. The Marina Bay Cruise Centre is an award-winning counterpart to the city’s older Singapore Cruise Centre in welcoming visitors arriving by sea. Nearby Sentosa Island is dedicated to fun and recreation, with theme parks, resorts, cinemas and restaurants. The cable car ascent of Mt. Faber is a classic Singapore experience, which includes views of the city, the famous Merlion statue and the distinctive Henderson Waves Bridge pedestrian walkway. The Civic District holds most of the city’s 19th-century colonial buildings, including the National Gallery and the Asian Civilisations Museum. Orchard Road is the venerable retail boulevard which still attracts shoppers seeking top-shelf brands and department store emporia.
Singapore boasts a large Chinatown with Buddhist and Hindu temples and a Muslim mosque on the same street. Little India is another traditional ethnic enclave that has been hybridized in the unique Singaporean style. Kampong Glam is a hip shopping and dining district marked by the gilded dome of the Sultan Mosque. The Joo Chiat/Katong neighborhood is a good place to see and experience the local Peranakan blend of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian cultures, and especially the multi-colored, two-story shophouses that line its streets. Although the city boasts numerous Michelin-starred restaurants owned by many of the world’s most famous chefs, visitors are well-advised to graze the city’s many multi-stalled Hawker Centres for a mouth-watering variety of ethnic cuisines and to sample the world-renowned Straits Cuisine indigenous to the area. No visit to Singapore would be considered complete without a requisite Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel. Nature lovers will also want to see the remarkable Jurong Bird Park in the suburbs, and if possible, indulge in a night safari in the large forest park reserved for nocturnal Southeast Asian species.