Flight of the Albatross

The one year anniversary of the start of the pandemic has come and gone, and we are still no closer to getting to travel without restrictions. With this in mind, it was time to look for interesting activities to simulate travel experiences. As an island, there are actually quite a lot of sea based activities to do in Singapore. So how would you like to take a cruise on a sailing boat and experience how it was like in the age of sailboats?

While modern Singapore is all about mega-sized container ships and fuel tankers driving the country’s economic engine, and small bumboats plying the Singapore River for tourists, there is an old fashioned sailing ship where you can have dinner onboard while sailing the seas like in the old days before the industrial revolution.

Information boards with interesting nuggets of information about the ship are placed along the pier. Like the guy who designed this ship was also the same guy who designed the ships in Pirates of the Caribbean. The ship started out in 2001 plying the Great Lakes of USA before it was brought to Singapore in 2008. It underwent 6 years of reconstruction and restoration to become what it is today.
Walking down the gangway to board the ship, I got a better view of the masts and rigging. All the sails were folded up for our trip, leaving just the bare rigging, It definitely looks very different from the pictures in the advertising.
Royal Albatross is the name of the ship.

No street shoes were allowed onboard and we had to take off our shoes to be stored onshore for safe keeping. Well, this was strange but they probably had a good reason for that. We were shown to our tables and given a short briefing about Covid19 restrictions onboard. One of which was that we couldn’t move around the ship as we like and could only hang around our allocated table, unless it was to go to the toilet.

We chose the 3 course dinner with a choice of starter, main course and desserts. On top of that, there was a welcome drink and hot bread rolls.

So while being confined to just our table seems like a bummer, it was actually not that bad as we got a table on the top deck by the side of the ship and had a good view of the scenery passing by.

How many types of knots can you see here? Being on a sailing ship means that you got to be familiar with all that rigging and sails.

The ship is actually fitted with an engine and doesn’t really need the sails to move. Though it would have been nice to have the sails out and really looking like a sailing ship.

The view out of the toilet’s porthole wasn’t too bad actually.

The sunset dinner cruise is a short 2.5 hours, where we sailed from Sentosa to somewhere near St John’s Island and back. In that time, we had our dinner onboard.

While we started the cruise with clear skies, the weather can change quickly out at sea. We sailed into a storm with heavy wind and rain, and the crew had to scramble to pull down and secure awnings to keep everyone dry.
After the storm we were rewarded with dramatic kaiju looking clouds and a fiery sunset.
Tealights at the table helped to set the mood as the ship sailed back.

After the dinner cruise, there is a subsequent night cruise where the ship is all lighted up. If you like night cruises then this might be your thing.

Overall, it was a pleasant cruise with a nice dinner despite the sudden storm which got us a little wet while providing some excitement at the same time. Don’t expect to see crew members climbing the rigging and shouting ‘Land ahoy!” as they will be busy serving dinner.

Reservations are required and you can directly book your cruise here. Your Singapore Rediscover Vouchers can be redeemed for this cruise, but you will have to redeem it through Klook. So if you have not used your vouchers, this can a good way to spend it.

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