In the days when Singapore was known as Temasek, being part of the maritime trade meant going fishing. Nowadays, the maritime trade is a little bit more complicated and at the Singapore Maritime Gallery, you can chart the development of Singapore’s maritime trade and plunge into the country’s deep relationship with the sea.
Singapore Maritime Gallery: An Insider’s Guide to the Maritime World
For those who are curious about how the port works, or have dreamt of captaining a boat, the Singapore Maritime Gallery is the place to visit.
The Gallery starts from the beginning – Raffles’ landing in Singapore. Back then, Singapore was still a village community that relied on the sea for subsistence. The story then quickly fast-forward to the rise of Singapore’s modern port and a behind-the-scenes look at how it operates to make our modern lives possible.
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The Gallery provides the the inside story on how Singapore’s port, which seems like a sure-win on hindsight, was not always a foregone conclusion.
Here are some highlights at the Singapore Maritime Gallery that you must
sea see on a visit to the Singapore Maritime Gallery.
Ship Handling Simulator
This is one of the highlights at the Singapore Maritime Gallery that any visitor must try. It is a chance to sail a ship, without a boating license! There are different missions available on the Ship Handling Simulator ranging from relatively simple missions like ferrying a group of passengers from St. John’s Island to Marina South Pier, to more challenging ones such as responding to a search and rescue situation off Sentosa.
The Ship Handling Simulator is a fun way to experience the sea without feeling seasick. And there’s no need to buy game tokens either!
Interactive Ship Spotter
Are all ships the same? The answer is “no, they are not”.
Just as there are different forms of land vehicles such as jeeps, vans, sports cars and tow trucks, there are also different marine vessels. The display at the Interactive Ship Spotter exhibit lets you view the different types of ships found floating on the water.
Explorer’s Corner for Kids
Little ones can head to the Explorer’s Corner which has been tailored just for them. Inside, they can dress-up at a digital screen, get behind a ship’s wheel or pick up knotty skills.
They can also imagine they are a crane loading up TEUs on a container ship.
Lighthouses act as reference points for ships. They allow ships to be aware of their surroundings and warn them of threats such as shallow reefs under their hull. Singapore administers five lighthouses. There are two impressive models of lighthouses on display at the Singapore Maritime Gallery. These are of the Horsburgh Lighthouse and Raffles Lighthouse.
Also on display are other naval equipment including a sextant and lights which are used out at sea.
Step into a 20-foot Container
Some may associate shipping containers with hipster hangouts and overpriced truffle fries but an exhibit at the Singapore Maritime Gallery provides a reminder of their actual purpose. By some estimates, 90% of the world’s goods are moved around the globe by container ships. These huge ocean-going vessels transport everything from food to the latest iPhones from one country to another.
Goods are packed into containers such as the one on display in the Singapore Maritime Gallery (which in shipping jargon is known as a TEU or twenty-foot equivalent unit). You can step into one at the gallery and learn all about the important role that these metal containers play (besides being used to serve truffle fries).
When you are done at the main gallery, go up to the rooftop where you can view the actual workings of the Marina South Pier from a high vantage point. Pretend you are a ship’s lookout and use the signages to spot the landmarks in the distance.
Unfortunately, as of July 2022, the rooftop outdoor children’s playground is undergoing maintenance works.
Getting to the Singapore Maritime Gallery
Singapore Maritime Gallery is located on the second floor of the Marina South Pier building. The pier is where you can take a boat out to the Southern Islands.
Take note that parking at the Marina South Pier is limited and the next closest parking is a far distance away at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre.
Alternatively, you can take the MRT to the Marina South Pier station. Exit B will bring you to Marina South Pier.
Singapore Maritime Gallery
Address: Marina South Pier, 31 Marina Coastal Drive, Singapore 018988
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 am to 6 pm daily, Closed on Mondays, except Public Holidays