When do you get to take such an empty MRT train in Singapore?
Answer: When you are going to Marina South Pier MRT Station!
Singapore Maritime Gallery has been around since 2012. If not for the opening of Marina South Pier MRT station, I probably would never have made it there. But I’m glad I finally did. Get this: Singapore Maritime Gallery was absolutely FREE and totally FUN!
Entrance of Singapore Maritime Gallery
The moment we stepped out of the lift at the second floor, we were welcome by a super cool Ship’s Telegraph.
The kids tried moving the lever – and it could be moved!! But it required quite a lot of strength to do so.
Next, we saw a row of wooden ships. Some of it had a hole in the side and the boys squirmed inside. They discovered the ships had wheels underneath and they could push it front and back!
There were also many of those boards for you to stick your head in to take photos. It was clearly for kids – because of the height and size of the hole. The height was just right for 4 year old MF, but 2 year old MY was too short. MF insisted on taking photo with EVERY SINGLE BOARD. A habit he picked up from our Japan trips.
The boys also discovered an anchor and anchor chain. They tried lifting the chain and discovered that it was super heavy! After trying for some time, they were exhausted and decided to sit on it for a break.
After they had rested enough, we finally entered the Singapore Maritime Gallery. What you saw earlier was just the corridor outside the gallery. The actual gallery was indoors and full air-conditioned! Woohoo!
There was a beautiful Lego picture decorating the entrance. That definitely helped to attract the kids to go inside. (They were having so much fun at the corridor outside they didn’t want to go in initially.)
You can check-in to Singapore Maritime Gallery on Facebook to receive a free gift. I didn’t bother checking in. I was too busy taking photos while chasing after the boys.
There was a map showing the layout of the gallery. It looked so big and happening! Let’s GO!
Our Place in a Sea of Change
This first section was a video presentation of Singapore’s maritime industry. The boys were inside watching the movie while I was taking photos of the entrance. By the time I joined them, the movie was over, so not sure what it was really about. According to the brochure, you can “get an insight into the workings of cargo terminals, the diversity of the different sectors and the progressiveness of this global business”.
The Sea in Our Lives
In this exhibit, you could learn how Maritime Singapore brings us our daily necessities through the interactive ‘Connectivity’ table. The table was too short for my boys, so we passed.
What I found a lot more interesting was the corridor. It was an actual 20-foot container! I thought it was super cool and creative to use a container to make a corridor!
A Cruise Through History
Here, you could peep into the wooden cartons to see videos of Singapore’s transformation from a fishing village into a major port today. Again, it was too high for my kids and I was lazy to lift them up to see the videos, so we passed.
Singapore as a Major Hub Port
From this point onwards was where it got super fun for the kids. See that cool table shaped like a ship? It allows you to learn about the different ships commonly found at the port.
As you can see above, each ship had a number labelled on it. To find out more about that ship, you approach the computer screen with the corresponding number. As you flip through the pages of description of that ship, the model will move along the track.
MF had tons of fun playing with it! MY, sadly, was too short.
So what was MY doing in the mean time? He was checking out the many many ship models in the room!
Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS)
Next, we arrived at the VTIS exhibit where you could learn about the latest technologies used to manage traffic in a port. It was under maintenance when we were there.
Ship Bridge Simulator
This was MF’s FAVOURITE exhibit! It simulates an actual ship bridge and allows you to pretend to be a ship captain!
There were some instructions before the simulation began.
And once the simulation began, VOILA! All the screens changed into a view of the sea, as seen from an actual ship bridge!
It was pretty realistic and MF had so much fun playing with it! He went through the simulation twice. (We were the only people there on a weekday, so he could play all he wanted.)
Sailing Into Tomorrow
Just now at ‘Singapore as a Major Hub Port’, we saw the white ship interactive table. On its other end was a similar black table. This table introduced the various jobs in the maritime industry.
There were more descriptions of the various jobs on the walls.
Singapore in the International Maritime Community Viewing Gallery
The next section, technically, tells us about Singapore’s place in the international maritime community. However, I’m going to call it the viewing gallery. Because the moment the kids saw the binoculars and gigantic window with panoramic views of the sea, they ignored the exhibit and just wanted to look outside.
There was a stool for kids to climb up to the binoculars. Even then, MF had to tip toe before he could reach it. MY was obviously too short.
MF was super excited to see the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. That was where he went on his first (and only one to date) cruise when he was a toddler!
All Hands on Deck
Next, we passed through the ‘All Hands on Deck’ exhibition that was dedicated to the pioneers of Singapore maritime industry. Want to know what Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong had to do with it? Visit the gallery to find out!
Fun At Sea!
And the moment the kids have been waiting for… Fun at Sea!
There were those little tables, but I’m not sure what the kids were supposed to do there? There was a bowl of crayons, but no colouring pages were provided.
The boys discovered a trunk of Duplo bricks which they emptied out. And the gigantic Lego board! Who doesn’t love Lego? Oh right, me.. There are times I don’t like Lego.. Like when I step on a stray piece on the floor in the middle of the night.
There were some (two to be exact, and one of them was not working when I was there) touch screen games.
And a interactive floor projector game which reminded me of Fun N Laughter!
And that was the end of the Singapore Maritime Gallery. The kids had so much fun and didn’t want to leave!
Overall, I felt the gallery was excellent for children aged 4 and above. The 2 year old was pretty left out of the fun because most of the interactive exhibits were too tall for him to reach. Nevertheless, admission was free, so no complaints!
You may want to note that there was no nursing room at Marina South Pier. There was a diaper-changing sign on the handicap toilet door. However the door was locked and you needed to get the keys from the security guard to access it.
Rooftop Playground at Marina South Pier
The rooftop playground here was suitable for children aged 2 to 12.
There was absolutely no shelter and crazy HOT when I was there in the afternoon!
The main play structure was shaped like a ship – clearly intentional.
And you can get a panoramic view of the sea from the playground! How’s that for playground-with-a-view?
And the rocking horses were all rocking sea creatures.
When we were there, we even saw some fighter planes flying by. NDP rehearsal perhaps? Gave me the idea of picnicking here during National Day! I think this would be an awesome place for families with kids to hang out during NDP.
Stewards Riverboat Restaurant at Marina South Pier
The only restaurant at Marina South Pier was the Stewards Riverboat Restaurant. The kids were super excited over the thought of having lunch on a riverboat – until we discovered that it was closed for renovations when we were there! So upset!
Information on Singapore Maritime Gallery
Address: Marina South Pier Level 2, 31 Marina Coastal Drive Singapore 018988
Getting Here: Marina South Pier MRT (NS28)
Tel: 6325 5707
Opening Hours: 9am – 5.30pm (Tuesday – Sunday). CLOSED ON MONDAYS.
Children’s Season 2016 (June Holidays Event)