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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Singapore Flyer has only been open since 2008 yet it swiftly became one of the city’s foremost tourist attractions.
Although the stunning harbor-side gem is brimming with high-rise hotels, restaurants and observation decks, there’s something particularly special about sitting in a comfortable air-conditioned cabin, admiring the breathtaking scenery from an altitude of 165 meters. Offering a different experience with every turn, the Singapore Flyer is one of the many unmissable things to see and do in Singapore. Until 2014 it was the tallest ferris wheel in the world, but since overtaken by Las Vegas' High Roller.
How it Came to BeThe concept of building an observation wheel in Singapore had been in the pipelines since the turn of the millennium, as the city strived to shift its image from stiff, business-oriented city to enticing and rewarding holiday destination. And as everyone knows, you’re only a real holiday destination if you boast an impressive observation wheel. A really, really big one.
Work on the Flyer started in 2003 and the structure, which comprises 28 cabins and is able to carry 784 passengers at any given time, opened to the public in March 2008. The futuristic design emphasizes the experience, as each pod is attached to the external frame of the wheel, thus granting blissfully unobstructed views for the entire, 30-minute long, rotation. Spacious and encased in perspex, the capsules are wheelchair accessible yet prior arrangement is advised. The rotational direction is clockwise (when viewed from the Marina Bay) as recommended by local Feng Shui experts. Ironically enough, the Singapore Flyer is arguably the least interesting landmark for locals, who deem it expensive and an eye-sore, mirroring the local’s reaction to the London Eye when it first opened.
What You Can ExperienceAlthough taking a ride on this enormous Ferris wheel is fun and rewarding at any time of day, dusk would have to rate as the most outstanding of all. There are several experiences to choose from, from a simple ride and go, to enjoying a sumptuous 4-course dinner on your own private cabin. Considering nothing about Singapore screams ‘cheap’, expect to pay a hefty price for the more exclusive experiences.
The Flyer is open for business from 8.30AM until the last ride takes off at 10.15PM. Tickets go on sale half an hour before opening each day.
Single FlightA single flight costs S$33 ($24) for adults and S$21 ($16) for children.
Singapore Sling & FlightCombining two Singaporean icons, this single ride includes one glass of the world-famous cocktail which was first created in Singapore’s Raffles Hotel in 1915. The curious fact is that at S$69 ($51) a ticket, this is not even the most expensive cocktail you could have in Singapore. That award goes to the ‘Jewel of Pangaea’, a S$32,000 ($24,000) concoction served at the very exclusive Pangae Club. By all accounts, the cocktail is really very good, but it doesn’t come with a flight on the Flyer, so it loses points on that account alone. If Singapore Sling is not to your liking, then you can opt for a Moët & Chandon alternative, which comes with chocolate and strawberries as well.
Sky DiningFor 1/120th of the price of the Pangae cocktail, you and your beloved could enjoy a spectacular and very romantic dinner aboard your own private Flyer capsule. With a flute of Moet on arrival, four delectable courses and a butler at your service, as well as two full rotations on the Flyer, this incredibly fun dinner option is really quite the bargain. Halal, vegetarian and special meals available upon request.
High Tea FlightFancy a pot of tea and home-made pastry while cruising above the Singapore skyline? Then book a seat, or rather standing spot, on the high-tea service and you’ll savor a selection of delicious finger foods along with several pots of freshly brewed tea and coffee. High-tea for two costs S$99 ($73).
Say I do!Nothing says ‘I Love You’ quite like a marriage proposal or, better still, a holiday wedding vow renewal. Make your visit to Singapore an affair to remember, and book out a special cabin for an Eternal Devotion Package. You love birds can be joined by 26 of your dearest and nearest, and enjoy a lovely ceremony atop the Singapore Flyer. The S$3,000 ($2,220) package comes complete with cocktail party and your chance to have your names engraved on your capsule for posterity. Eternal devotion will no doubt be guaranteed.
There is a multitude of retail space at the base of the Flyer so if you happen to encounter a queue for the cabins, it’s worth browsing the shops for a half hour waiting for the crowds to disperse. Pre-purchasing your tickets online will also save you time and 10% off advertised price.
How to Get to the Singapore FlyerOne of the reasons the Flyer is criticized by locals is that, according to them, it is in the middle of nowhere. The middle of nowhere happens to be the most-visited and frequented area for tourists, right on Marina Bay, which we assume is not a place Singaporeans visit regularly.
You’ll see the Flyer at the end of Raffles Road, right opposite the Marina Bay Golf Course. The closest MTR stop is at Promenade.
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Author: Laura Pattara. Last updated: Feb 07, 2015