Marina South Ferries: Marina South Pier to St. John’s Island by Ferry

Marina South Ferries is one of two ferry operators plying the Southern Islands route from Marina South Pier, with heavy competition between the two companies. Checking both companies’ schedules, I chose Marina South Ferries as they had an inter-island shuttle to speed up the travelling time based on schedule for a short trip to St. John’s Island and Kusu Island, whereas Singapore Island Cruise and Ferry Services does a fixed bi-hourly circular route.

I was to learn that the published schedules were mostly “for reference only” for both companies, and not everything is what it seems on paper, which I’ll explain in this series of articles.

I had also booked my Marina South Ferries tickets on KLOOK as I had lots of expiring vouchers since I’m not able to purchase stuff frequently during this period – thank you to all of you who have signed up through my link!

Click here to purchase your Marina South Ferries tickets on KLOOK!

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Marina South Pier is directly connected with Marina South Pier MRT Station.

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Heading to search for the Marina South Ferries counter to redeem my ticket.

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Both Marina South Ferries and Singapore Island Cruise are at a cluster away from the harbour launch counters.

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Marina South Ferries is the yellow counter in the middle.

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My white ticket for the Marina South Ferries. The ticket colour plays a part when boarding ferries from St. John’s Island and Kusu Island where staff make sure you belong to the correct company.

KLOOK’s ticket conditions in the .pdf voucher says that this is a 1-day travel pass for unlimited rides on Marina South Ferries on the selected date, but it seems that only the inter-island shuttle trips allow for unlimited rides. The ticket stubs will be torn off upon departure from and on the trip to Marina South Pier respectively – so you technically can’t joyride departing from Marina South Pier 5 times a day on a single ticket if you really wanted to.

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Heading down the pier to the Marina South Ferries ferry.

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Marina South Ferries‘s MSF Natsu is on duty for my ferry trip. As I would find out when travelling around the islands, MSF Natsu is Marina South Ferries‘s only ferry.

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Temperature is taken by the Marina South Ferries staff before tearing off the ticket stub.

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Boarding the MSF Natsu.

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The lower deck of MSF Natsu is air-conditioned with reversible benches, reminiscent of the Penang Ferry and Star Ferry but more modern in look.

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The upper deck of MSF Natsu is open-air with reversible benches in the sheltered portion of the deck.

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Ready to depart from Marina South Pier.

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Allowing the 1pm Singapore Island Cruise ferry to depart first.

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Another Singapore Island Cruise ferry gets ready to head into the now-empty berth to pick up more passengers. Hmm, looks like Singapore Island Cruise is the truly more frequent one with more ferries than the published timetable.

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A Singapore Island Cruise harbour launch heading to the vacated berth.

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Slipping off from Marina South Pier.

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The facade of Marina South Pier from the harbour.

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Lots of anchored harbour launches in the harbour.

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The SuperStar Aquarius at Marina Bay Cruise Centre, housing foreign workers who have recovered from Covid-19. The SuperStar Gemini is on the other side.

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Anchored Singapore Island Cruise ferries currently off service.

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Exiting from Marina South Pier and speeding up.

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Following behind the Singapore Island Cruise ferry which departed a few minutes ahead.

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The Singapore skyline angle that not many people see often.

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The Red Ensign of Singapore flown by MSF Natsu.

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I quite like the open-air deck, makes the few dollars extra for Marina South Ferries worth it as compared to Singapore Island Cruise‘s enclosed ferries.

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SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Aquarius at Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

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The front portion of the upper deck is empty, presumably allowing for event space.

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Can you see the COVID-19 facilities on the Singapore skyline?

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The mega COVID-19 facility at Tanjong Pagar Terminal to house up to 3500 patients if there’s a need to.

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The rest of Tanjong Pagar Terminal now sits empty, awaiting for the redevelopment into the Greater Southern Waterfront.

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Sentosa Cove houses seen from the sea.

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Decorative lion head symbol flags line the perimeter of MSF Natsu’s upper deck during the National Day season.

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Heading between Pulau Tekukor and Pulau Seringat.

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Looks like the 1.20pm inter-island shuttle to Sisters’ Islands departed from St. John’s Island very on time.

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Sisters’ Islands are two of the Southern Islands, one bigger (Pulau Subar Laut) and one smaller (Pulau Subar Darat). For now, only Big Sister’s Island (Pulau Subar Laut) is publicly accessible, while trips to Small Sister’s Island (Pulau Subar Darat) must be pre-arranged with relevant agencies.

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The 1.20pm inter-island shuttle heading for Big Sister’s Island (Pulau Subar Laut).

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Heading into the “harbour” of St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island and Pulau Seringat.

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There is just one boarding pontoon at St. John’s Island despite the high traffic.

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The welcome sign (?) of St. John’s Island.

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Approaching the St. John’s Island jetty with the Singapore Island Cruise 1pm ferry berthing first.

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Drifting around the pier waiting for our turn to berth.

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That’s a lot of people queuing. Not what I had expected.

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Docking alongside the Singapore Island Cruise ferry, thinking that it was time to disembark.

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Heading down to the lower deck to prepare to disembark.

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But nope, looks like they were just passing something over, and it’s not for us to disembark through the Singapore Island Cruise ferry.

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Berthing at St. John’s Island after the Singapore Island Cruise ferry departed.

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Disembarking from the MSF Natsu.

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Heading up to the pier from the floating pontoon.

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Looking back at MSF Natsu. This view slightly reminded me of the ferry from Ketapang to Gilimanuk.

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The welcome sign to St. John’s Island at the pier.

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Dreading the long queue back already – but turns out this was not going to be the case. More information in the next post.

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The overall map of St. John’s Island. Despite the land reclamation merging St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island, Pulau Seringat and Pulau Seringat Kechil already, these do not all show up on one map.

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The view of the St. John’s Island jetty with the Singapore skyline in the background.

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What an apt time to visit St. John’s Island.

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The causeway over to Lazarus Island. As I was more interested in the ferry rides rather than island exploration, I skipped that in order to catch the next inter-island shuttle to Kusu Island.

Overall, a pleasant ride on Marina South Ferries‘s MSF Natsu for the open top deck to see downtown Singapore from the other side from what most tourists would see.

Click here to purchase your Marina South Ferries tickets on KLOOK!

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