Today, let’s check out the Duck tours with a ride through the uniquely Singapore tour around the Marina Bay. Interestingly, the ride and guided tour bring you along the Singapore civic district and a water boat ride all in one through a unique wheeled boat vehicle. It comprises of both land and water elements on the same vehicle. Let’s take a sail today as a walk-in guest.
Notably, your tour starts getting to the Suntec City duck tours offices and departure point. It is a very accessible location, located on the ground floor just after the exit of the Esplanade MRT station. A friendly greeter welcomes you by your name in your pre-registration and hands you an information leaflet of the tour as a well a brochure of the various other tours the company provides. Notably, the company also operates the Hippo bus tours. It is synonymous to the big bus tours where you get unlimited hop and off along notable tourist landmark spots in Singapore, typically in the Central business and Chinatown districts.
Introducing the Duck Tours LARC-V vehicle
Moreover, your bus-and-boat for the day is the LARC-V vehicle. In a nutshell, you might had seen on occasion several large chunky 4-wheeled vehicles shaped like a boat roaming the Marina Bay area.
Also, this vehicle is known as the LARC-V. It is an aluminium-hulled boat with military origins as an amphibious assault and transport vehicle. It is able to transverse both land and sea without any modification or preparations. The vehicles had been given a new life as excursion vehicles with a duck-themed paint job livery. Getting up the ride requires going up a flight of stairs and is not quite wheelchair accessible.
Your amphibious tour departs off from Suntec city mall towards the Singapore Flyer observation wheel and going past the Singapore Grand Prix (GP) pit building. Here, you can check glimpse of the Gardens by the bay in the distance as well as Marina Bay Sands building from the roads.
Also, an area behind the Formula 1 pit building is where a coastal concrete sea ramp resides. Here is where your vehicle enters the water transitions into the boat portion of your tour.
Your tour guide speaks in English and uses an on-board speaker system as the vehicle engines and tire can be rather loud at times. He or she will introduce you to the various sights, facts and history of the landmarks as we pass them.
Additionally, with every ride water entry, your guide will ask how adventurous, or rather forceful would the group would like the boat captain to enter the water. A faster entry is more forceful and offers a wetter but exciting experience.
Also, this splash down is also one of the highlights of the tours as its the unique element where the amphibious vehicle transitions from land to the sea and back.
A land and river boat ride
You start your river journey southbound towards the central business district area of the marina Bay reservoir. In your journey upon hitting the water, you sail away from the Kallang basin towards the gardens by the bay. Also, the boat moves considerably slower on water than in land.
However, the views from the boat makes up for it. Also, it does provide a fresh perspective of the Marina bay from the reservoir. The boat is confined within the boundaries of the Marina Bay fresh water reservoir. Here, you can catch view of the Gardens by the bay conservatories and the Marina Barrage from afar from the reservoir itself.
Here, you sail past the Singapore flyer, under Benjamin Sheares and the Helix bridge before passing by the floating platform.
Also, the floating platform is an event space and is a spot where the National Day parade was held this year offering additional sights of the work behind the scenes. You sail towards the central business district towards Clifford pier before stopping in front of the Merlion.
It is currently Singapore’s largest Merlion statue since the Merlion at Sentosa was demolished. You circle back past Marina Bay Sands integrated resort and Casino in view, catching views of the Lotus shaped art science museum and the Apple store, before backtracking towards the Gardens by the bay.
Duck Tours Land tour
Furthermore, after exiting the water, the boat makes a journey past back to the F1 paddock past the Singapore flyer and along the Esplanade Boulevard. Also, here you can see notable landmarks such as the MBS building, Sheares bridge as well as the Esplanade theater.
You carry along Connaught Drive along the Padang in from to the National Gallery building before circling back past the world War 2 War memorial, around the Suntec fountain of wealth and back to the Suntec city mall duck tours office for unloading.
In addition, the tour offers about a 50-50 split between the sea and land elements in terms of time allocations. Also, the vehicle is notably rough to ride on the road. This could be attributed to the hard off road tires allowing you to feel every bump on the road. Not quite the most comfortable ride.
Wrapping up, a typical Duck tours adult ticket price cost $48 SGD. However, the operator was running a discount, I was able to book my duck tours trip at $34/adult. It is also redeemable using your Singapore Rediscover Vouchers (SRV). As far as I know, this is an on-going regular discount which offers very good value.
Also it is advisable to book direct your tickets with duck tours. I would recommend avoiding third party tour groups which typically mark up their duck tours itinerary to a conveniently SRV-priced $100/pax with a cheap dinner included. It is better to book directly with Duck tours company direct.
All in all, you are good for duck tours for its 90 minute journey, give and take you are prepared to spend about 2 hours for a Duck tour.