Marina Bay Cruise Centre completes $7m upgrading to improve passenger experience

The baggage drop off counter outside the departure hall.  -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The baggage drop off counter outside the departure hall.  -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
An additional passenger boarding bridge has been added.  -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
An additional passenger boarding bridge has been added.  -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The new taxi stand layout allows for more passengers to board the cabs simultaneously. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The new taxi stand layout allows for more passengers to board the cabs simultaneously. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The waiting area of the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal.  -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The waiting area of the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal.  -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
Passengers checking in at the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal on level 1. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
Passengers checking in at the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal on level 1. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
A former feature wall outside the arrival hall has been removed. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
A former feature wall outside the arrival hall has been removed. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The customs queue at the arrival hall. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The customs queue at the arrival hall. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The additional passenger boarding bridge. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The additional passenger boarding bridge. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The waiting area of the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The waiting area of the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 

SINGAPORE - The operator of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre has completed a $7 million upgrade of facilities and services to make arrivals and departures more pleasant for holidaymakers.

The enhancements include a fourth passenger bridge to expedite boarding and disembarking, and enhancements to the baggage handling system at the departure area so that more bags can be processed faster.

The taxi area area has also been re-designed to allow several taxis to be boarded at the same time, instead of one at a time, as was the case before.

The improvements are in response to problems such as immigration bottlenecks and a lack of cabs during that were encountered in April when two big ships called at the same time.

Chief executive officer of terminal operator Sats-Creuers, Bob Chi, told reporters during a media tour on Friday that he is "quietly confident" the situation will be much better when the peak season comes round in November.

"On average, we are aiming for about 15 minutes from the time the passenger leaves the ship to the time he leaves the terminal," he said.

This is a significant improvement over last year when some people ended up waiting for up to 45 minutes.

Sats-Creuers has also been working with other agencies including the Singapore Tourism Board and the Land Transport Authority to ensure that getting to and from the terminal is a breeze.

There is no more illegal parking by lorries along the road leading to the facility and a new taxi holding area will ensure that private vehicles are not blocked when there are too many cabs, Mr Chi said.