Lazarus Island to Sentosa Cove Ferry by Marina South Ferries
Marina South Ferries has launched ferry services between Sentosa Jetty @Cove in Sentosa Cove and Lazarus Island using Seringat Island Pier from 23 October 2021. On the first day of operations, I hopped over to Sentosa to try out this new Southern Islands ferry route.
The S$18 ticket is for a two-way trip, with the return journey to be made on the same day at any departure to Sentosa Cove. As my trip was just to try out this ferry service, rather than spend time in the Southern Islands, I got the next ferry back at 2.30pm.
Seringat Island Pier
The Sentosa Cove ferry departs from Seringat Island Pier on Seringat Island.
The St John’s Island Pier for all public ferries to Kusu Island and Marina South Pier is right across this lagoon.
When there are no boats berthed, visitors also use Seringat Island Pier as a fishing spot.
A few minutes before departure, the first harbour launch for the Sentosa Cove ferry can be seen arriving.
Interestingly, there are a couple of passengers on board. It appears that this is a special trip from Marina South Pier to “Lazarus Island” during the Kusu Pilgrimage Season 2021.
As there were more than 12 passengers heading back to Sentosa Cove, the fist batch of 12 boarded first, with a second harbour launch called to collect the rest of us.
The first 2.30pm ferry to Sentosa Cove departing, with the MSF Happy in the background at St John’s Island Pier bound for Marina South Pier.
The second 2.30pm ferry to Sentosa Cove arrived about 15 minutes later.
Boarding at Seringat Island Pier
Boarding the second ferry with the second batch of passengers to Sentosa Cove.
Boarding is very easy from this floating pontoon with just 1 short step up to the harbour launch.
Having been in the sheltered area on my onward trip, I decided to pick a seat in the open deck for this return trip, which was a lot more enjoyable.
Departing from Seringat Island Pier
Departing from Seringat Island Pier.
On the outside deck, fake grass have been laid, similar to the open deck on board the MSF Natsu. There’s plenty of space for 12 people with bulky items on board this harbour launch.
The harbour launch made its way to St John’s Island to drop off a member of staff before proceeding on to Sentosa Cove.
St John’s Island Pier
Making a brief stop at St John’s Island Pier for a quick drop-off.
Less than 30 seconds later, and we’re off to Sentosa Cove.
Passing by the Penguin Redeem, used by Sindo Ferry for their various sightseeing and meal cruises.
Sentosa Cove can already be seen from the lagoon of St John’s Island and Seringat Island.
The hop from from the lagoon of St John’s Island and Seringat Island to the entrance to ONE ̊15 Marina took just 5 minutes.
Entering ONE ̊15 Marina.
Most of the journey time from Seringat Island Pier to Sentosa Cove was spent within the ONE ̊15 Marina with the 3 knots harbour speed limit.
Passing by the opposing 3pm ferry from Sentosa Cove to Lazarus Island (Seringat Island Pier).
Passing by various yachts and condos in Sentosa Cove.
Passing by a lock to North Cove houses.
More yachts around.
Sentosa Jetty @Cove
Approaching Sentosa Jetty @Cove.
A Sentosa Ranger and staff approach the harbour launch to prepare for bag checks.
A requirement by ICA, passengers will remain on board the harbour launch and only disembark after his or her bags have been checked.
Unlike Marina South Pier with full and formal customs facilities, the bag checks here are conducted manually.
The bag check was quick with my half-empty bag, and I disembarked after.
Disembarking from the harbour launch. The ferry ride from Lazarus Island (Seringat Island Pier) to Sentosa Cove took 15 minutes.
More signs by ICA to remind passengers of prohibited, controlled, and dutiable items.
Heading up from the floating pontoon.
After all passengers had gone up, the gates of Sentosa Jetty @Cove were locked once again.
Onwards from Sentosa Cove Village
To head out of Sentosa Cove Village, follow the path beside Cold Storage supermarket.
Take the staircase up 1 level to the Sentosa Cove Village Bus Stop.
Sentosa Cove Village Bus Stop
At Sentosa Cove Village Bus Stop, you may continue your journey by bus, taxi, or ride-sharing.
Sentosa Cove Shuttle Bus Service to HarbourFront Bus Interchange
The most direct way out of Sentosa Cove is by taking the Sentosa Cove Shuttle Bus Service to VivoCity or HarbourFront Bus Interchange for S$2. This journey would take just 12 minutes. More details here.
Sentosa Bus B to Beach Station
To leave Sentosa Cove and go back to mainland Singapore for free, take Sentosa Bus B to Imbiah or Beach Station, and catch the Sentosa Express monorail out to VivoCity station. This journey would take around 30 minutes.
I have mixed feelings about this ferry service.
Aside from Sentosa Cove residents, it’s actually quite a hassle to get to Sentosa Cove if looking at this ferry service purely as a form of transport. For reference, 99% to 100% of you reading this article are not staying in Sentosa Cove. After getting from your home to HarbourFront MRT Station, you require a paid shuttle bus or a free monorail-bus transfer (mentioned above) in order to get to Sentosa Cove, before catching the ferry to Seringat Island. If you are staycationing in Sentosa, aside from W Singapore Sentosa Cove, you will also require a bus transfer.
On the other hand, for the novelty factor, and perhaps combining it with a visit to Sentosa, this new ferry potentially links up the Southern Islands seamlessly, and give regular locals a glimpse and whiff of how luxury living might be, albeit with a low frequency of 4 return trips per day.
I say “potentially”, because going back to the ticket conditions, this pink Sentosa Cove ticket is not valid for Marina South Ferries to Marina South (white ticket). Which then means, the inter-island shuttle, which Marina South Ferries has a trump card over Singapore Island Cruise, does not come with the pink Sentosa Cove ticket, which is probably not coincidentally not advertised with this ticket. This means that you cannot go to Kusu Island and Big Sisters’ Island from Sentosa Cove.
If you want a whiff of luxury from a harbour launch, or just looking for a novelty day trip, go for the new ferry from Sentosa Cove to Lazarus Island. Otherwise, Marina South Pier is far more convenient, especially with the direct link to the North-South Line with frequent MRT train services. Also, it’s S$3 cheaper.
The good news for Marina South Ferries, and a smart move by them, is that each boat only fits 12 people. At S$18 a return ticket, each boat makes $216 for a return trip. A regular harbour launch charter costs S$180 return, so Marina South Ferries is technically making more money on this new service, assuming every boat gets full. It’s not a big risk, and it’s not difficult to fill up 12 seats.
With the low capacity, resulting in reasonable demand, I think this Sentosa Cove ferry service will be successful.