As someone who loves cruising and being out on the open seas, I always wanted to set sail on the Royal Albatross.
The Royal Albatross is a luxury tall ship, also known as a superyacht. The traditional sailing vessel features four masts, 22 sails, along with a modern engine.
Fun fact: Her sails and rigging were specially designed by Jim Barry, who also designed the ship used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Sailing on the Royal Albatross is akin to sailing on a olden-day pirate ship, with modern luxuries of course. Oh, and this ship was featured in ‘The Dark Knight’ as Bruce Wayne’s private yacht!
The ship is currently home-berthed at Resorts World Sentosa, and runs breakfast, lunch and dinner cruises on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. . They’ve even introduced a weekday sunset sailing exclusively for dog owners and their furkids, with a gourmet menu provided for both.
Of course, sailing on a luxury ship comes with a considerable price tag. A 2.5 hour lunch or dinner sail starts from $195 per pax, and typically includes a 3-course dinner, welcome mocktails as well as free-flow soft drinks.
You can also use your SG Rediscover vouchers to offset some of the cost when booking with Klook. If you’re on a tighter budget, consider the 1.5 hour ReDiscovery Breakfast Cruise. This is available on Saturday mornings, and costs $125 per person - which is pretty reasonable considering you get a three-course fine-dining style meal.
The ship may also be booked for private charters and overnight stays in their luxury cabins - but I suspect you’ll need to be in a whole other tax bracket to afford that.
The cruise was a birthday present from my partner, so he decided to get the Sunset Sail dinner cruise and added on VIP early boarding with canapés (from $35 per person), as well as a 6-course dinner (add on of $50 ++ per pax). The total cost added up to around $300 plus per person.
On the day of our sailing, I was a little nervous because it was pouring near my house, and the weather forecast showed scattered thunderstorms around Singapore.
Fortunately, we got to enjoy the first half of our sailing in dry weather. The weather was overcast throughout , but it didn’t stop us from having a great sail.
When we reached the ship, the crew were already preparing for wet weather. Our dining area on the ship’s upper deck was covered on top and on the sides (with a transparent covering) to keep out the rain.
You're required to remove your shoes before boarding as part of traditional yacht etiquette, likely to protect the deck's surfaces. So don't bother wearing any fancy footwear like high heels or dress shoes for men!
As we got the VIP boarding package, we were allowed to board at 3:40pm. The other guests get to board only a little later at 4pm though. As such, I would say it's fine to give the VIP package a miss as it doesn’t give you much more time to enjoy the ship.
I would have appreciated a ship tour as part of the VIP package - perhaps a sneak peek at the cabins and crew quarters, how the ship operates and its history. But with health & safety protocols in place, I understand how this may be difficult now,
The other perks are canapes (very delicious, but the dinner menu is enough to fill you up), and priority in choosing your dining seats- these are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
For the best views, I would recommend a table at the foredeck (ship’s front) rather than the aft (back). The bar is at the aft though, so get a table there if you’ve purchased an alcohol beverage package (avail as an add-on) or would like to keep ordering more drinks.
Also, try to pick a table at the sides of the ship rather than the centre aisle too - this gives you better ocean and scenery views.
After boarding, we had a look at the ship’s lounge and bar, also known as the Grand Salon, on the second deck. Whilst guests aren't given a tour of this section, this is right next to bathrooms so you’ll see it on your way there. As no food or drinks are served here, we didn’t see any passengers hanging around and it was pretty empty.
The lower decks were sealed off for the crew, but I understand there are four en-suite queen cabins and a king size owner's cabin, sleeping a total of 10 guests. The pictures of these cabins certainly look luxurious!
We headed to the upper deck for our meal, and picked a table at the foredeck and the side of the ship. We were greeted by our friendly servers, who offered us a welcome drink (consisting of ginger ale) and our delicious canapes.
For hygiene purposes, our dining cutleries were freshly cleaned and sealed in plastic. The table setting was lovely and elegant too. It did get a little humid with the sides of the ship wrapped up in plastic covering, but thankfully the crew took it down and let us enjoy the breeze when we started sailing.
After a brief safety announcement by the crew and captain, we begin our sail at around 5pm. With strict safe management measures in place, we weren't permitted to walk up and down the aisles, but we were happy to enjoy the sea views from our seats.
Our ship sailed out from Resorts World Sentosa and past Harbourfront and Keppel Bay on the opposite side. It made a turn around Fort Siloso and sailed past Sentosa’s beachfront, giving us views of Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa and Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong beach.
We then went around Sentosa Cove, passing its fancy houses and condos. On the opposite side, we could spot the Southern Islands like St John’s Island and Seringat Island (though in all honesty, they just look like very large bushes).
After passing Sentosa, we had a nice view of the Singapore skyline in the distance, as well as landmarks like Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Flyer. Also up ahead was Marina Bay Cruise Centre - we caught a glimpse of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas currently docked there.
As it was an overcast day, the sun unfortunately didn’t show its face much. It would have been lovely to admire and photograph Singapore’s amazing sunsets from such a lovely ship!
As the ship begin to turn back - the rain started coming hard and fast. The crew were efficient and pulling down the protective coverings again, which prevented us from getting soaked. The coverings were excellent in keeping the rain out, and we were grateful we got to enjoy half of the sailing in good weather.
The rain did mean that the waters started getting a little choppier than usual. With its modern technology, the ship is extremely stable though. We definitely felt the waves but didn’t find ourselves rocking back and forth too much. If you’re prone to seasickness, bring motion-sickness medication or request a ginger ale from the waitstaff to help ease your nausea.
Despite the rain, we really enjoyed ourselves thanks to the amazing food and first-class service. Our servers were extremely friendly and attentive to our needs, offered to take countless photos for us and addressing our requests promptly.
Food service was timely as well. The first course was served just as we headed off, and each course was nicely timed so that they were neither too near or far apart from each other. Soft drinks are free-flow too, so feel free to order as much as you want.
As for the food, most dishes blew me away with their freshness and quality. With the six-course meal, we had fresh bread and butter (with complimentary bread top-ups) and two entrées each. I highly recommend the tuna tataki with truffle capellini. The capellini sauce was deliciously creamy with a strong infusion of truffle.
Another standout was the escabeche of octopus and prawn. The Spanish octopus tentacles and prawns were extremely fresh - just like they were caught straight from the ocean. Presentation wise- plating was nicely done for each dish as well.
I was pleased with the porcini mushroom soup as well as my main course. The mushroom soup was rich and creamy, and the slow-cooked braised beef was so tender that I didn’t even need a knife to pull it apart. It came served with savoury mashed potato, carrots and mushroom - a very substantial serving.
As for the marinated cajun-style chicken au jus, it was served in what looked like a giant glass box( presumably to preserve its moisture). The serving was more than enough for one, with roasted potatoes and eggplant caponata.
After our main course, we were served a very refreshing soursop sorbet as an intermezzo. Shortly after came our dessert of petit fours and panna cotta. I especially enjoyed the sweet crème brulee, crunchy macaroon and yummy panna cotta.
As if we aren't full enough, our six-course meal came with a cheese platter at the end. This included a tasty selection of 3 cheeses (brie, comte and blue cheese) with a small glass of port wine each. There was also a rectangular brown bar, which tasted like those Sancha candied haw flakes you used to eat as a child. It slipped my mind to ask the staff what it was - but I suspect it was Chinese hawthorn fruit made into a dessert bar.
As we went sailing a few days before my birthday, the staff also gave a complimentary chocolate cake with a sparkler on top. Admittedly, the ‘ birthday surprise’ segment was a little cheesy. Cake is served to all birthday babies born in that month, and they’ll play cheesy birthday songs in the background as well ( the cake is great, but I could have done without the birthday tunes).
I did love the thoughtful card they included though. It was exquisitely designed, with the words Royal Albatross embossed in gold on the front. Inside, there was a pop-up cutout of the ship itself, along with a personalised birthday greeting. A lovely gesture from the ship!
Looking back at my experience, I would 100% recommend Royal Albatross for any special occasion ( or if you just want to treat yourself and your family and friends). Although the rain meant that our sunset cruise did not include much of a sunset, I still had a fantastic and unforgettable time onboard.
The tall ship is clearly well-maintained with a romantic ambience - a perfect combination of a traditional sailing experience with modern comforts. The amazing crew and waitstaff made our experience that much more enjoyable too.
It is pricey of course, but much more affordable if you use SG Rediscover vouchers to offset the costs. Even without the VIP early boarding package (which you can skip anyway due to the lack of perks like a VIP ship tour or significantly earlier boarding), a three-course meal is more than enough to satisfy you.
Some of my favourite dishes ( like the tuna tataki and braised beef) were only available in the six-couse meal though, so get that upgrade if you want to go all out for that birthday, anniversary or family celebration!