The routes they ply are pretty much the same. There are also 2 types of tickets you can buy - the express ticket, of the full tour ticket. We bought our express ticket for $3 per ride and that took us from one stop to another. (We rode from Esplanade to Boat Quay via Singapore River Cruise in the video). The ticket for the full tour costs $22 ($12 for kids below 12) and that gives you a 40 minute ride down the river with a video and audio commentary of the stories behind the historical landmarks. (Asian Civilisations Museum, statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, bridges etc.). Speaking of history, most of the shipping activity took place here in the 1800s and was the place for trade.
You can explore the area on foot as well, but we would highly encourage a boat ride too! Even though we have seen Marina Bay Sands (MBS), the CBD area, Esplanande and the Merlion many many times, we must admit that being in the middle on water and surrounded by all these structures was pretty amazing. (Thank God for the amazing weather!)
From the map below, you can see that the boat route will take you from one end of the river to the other. If you start off at Esplanade (like we did), you will pass by the Merlion Park and enter into Boat Quay first, then Clarke Quay and lastly Robertson Quay.
The best way to get to this area is by our favourite means - the MRT! Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station and cut through the shopping centre Central Mall and tadah! You will see the river!
The shops at Boat Quay are mostly pubs and restaurants that open in the evenings. They do have restaurants selling tze char (local Chinese cooked food, including chili crabs) as well. Clarke Quay seems to be a more happening place though. There are pubs, clubs and restaurants, as well as a shopping centre (Central Mall) situated just above Clarke Quay MRT station. If you are into roller coasters, you might want to try the reverse bungee ride that will slingshot you upwards 60 metres high ($45 per ride). If you want a slightly quieter place to chill, you can head to Robertson Quay where there's good selection of restaurants serving different cuisines for wine and dine.
Singlish used in this video
Singlish word: Ahberden
Of course! What else could it be? / Needless to say! / Obviously! (Used in a jokingly or as a matter-of-factly.)