Sneak Preview: Amazon River Quest, Singapore

Today, we had a sneak preview of the soon-to-be opened Amazon River Quest boat ride at River Safari, Singapore.

This happened either because I’m considered a Very Influential Blogger (VIB) or because we were at the right place at the right time talking to the right people about nothing at all to do with blogs whatsoever. And you know, just reading that back (and given my track record) I’m not sure which is the more unlikely, but they say if you watch an infinite number of apes over an infinite number of generations one of them will eventually evolve into Shakespeare, or something, so I guess anything can happen.

River Safari!!!

River Safari!!!

Back to the beginning. Last week I spent a considerable amount of time deciding not to get kidnapped in South America for the school holidays (and/or received a rather lukewarm response from the Grandparents about babysitting, I’m not saying which), but I thought we’d do the next best thing: River Safari Singapore; the new exhibit by the people who brought you the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari; showcasing the wonders of the world’s eight, great rivers, including the Amazon*.

The first hour or two of our visit was reminiscent of Robert Neubecker’s work of quiet genius: Wow! Ocean!

Meanwhile, I ran along behind, feverishly snapping information panels against that part of the day when the kids inevitably slowed down enough to ask a million and one questions about everything they’d just seen.

Eventually P’s brain was so full he stood vacantly for a full five minutes before responding to an offer of fresh strawberries and ice-cream, upon which he returned, without speaking, to the Mekong River aquarium and followed a giant sting ray up and down the tank for forty-five minutes until he’d recovered from the overload. I took advantage of the rest stop:

Then the magic happened. They were doing staff run-throughs of the new River Quest ride in preparation for its opening and whoever was standing around at the time looking more than 106cm tall got a free preview. Was it awesome?

Yes, it was awesome. I tried to take a selfie of us both smiling at the camera, but P was too busy spotting capybaras.

Yes, it was awesome. I tried to take a selfie of us both smiling at the camera, but P was too busy spotting capybaras.

The best thing was that we didn’t know what we were getting into when we boarded the boat. I say this as a kind of spoiler alert, in case you want to click rapidly away so you can experience it fresh for yourself – and because I take my spoiler alerts seriously (unlike P, who told most of today’s River Safari visitors about the River Quest ride whether they wanted to listen or not) I’m also going to pause to list five random but interesting things you could be reading other than my River Quest spoiler.

  1. Democracy as perpetual failure
  2. Gödel’s fourteen philosophical beliefs
  3. Siri, have those people killed
  4. Oxford university is older than the Aztecs
  5. Stalin as Editor

Okay, well, since you’re still here, I’ll presume you’re the kind of person who detests the unknown, and would like to be pre-warned of even the smallest details. Let’s begin!

The staff managed us all into a series of orderly queues next to a hold-em-steady boat-conveyor-belt, loaded us into our vessel with the weightiest in the middle, and made sure we were all buckled in.

Why on earth do we need to be buckled in?

Why on earth do we need to be buckled in?

P looked ahead and asked where the river part of the River Quest was.

Good question.

Good question.

We soon found out:

(If you didn’t catch all that, P is already very practised at describing it in detail.) The ride then meanders steadily down past a number of animal exhibits:

…and back to the starting point after eight to ten minutes.

If you have a child less than 106cm in height (and at least two adults), don’t fret. You can always leave the little one and a guardian at the ominously-named Child Swapping Station, from where the second adult can join the next boat without queuing from scratch.

Unfortunately, no alternatives were available today.

Unfortunately, no alternative children were available today.

T’s disappointment at missing out on the River Quest ride was soon put to rest with a much more exciting pretend ride:

...with a noisy and vicious dragon.

…with a noisy and vicious dragon.

In any case, it was almost certainly more enjoyable than being kidnapped. Or babysitting.

You can find out the latest at the Singapore River Safari visitor’s website, which has a page dedicated to the Amazon River Quest Ride.

Update: The Amazon River Quest Ride is now open to the general public. There is an additional charge for the boat ride on top of the general entrance ticket, and a limited number of time slots are available each day. More information.

Remember to check the maintenance dates before you head down (there is one maintenance day per month and the ride will be closed on those days – and also during storms). You might also like to check these visitor guidelines, especially if you’re pregnant, use a wheelchair, or have a health condition (many of these passengers will not be allowed to ride).

Sneak Preview: Amazon River Quest, River Safari, Singapore.

*I’m kind of hoping a grammar nazi comes through to teach me a thing or two about colons and semicolons. They’ve always confused me.

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