Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) have made it possible to travel again, but some of us are still a little wary about travelling to another country due to the uncertainties. And since we’ve been cooped up in our own country for about two years now, most of us have probably visited every attraction there is in Singapore.
But here’s some good news!
SkyHelix Sentosa is a new attraction that was first introduced in April of this year, and was slated to open in the first quarter of 2022. However, thanks to the consolidated efforts of all stakeholders involved, the attraction will be opening ahead of schedule on 15 December 2021, just in time for the upcoming school holidays and year-end festivities.
SkyHelix Sentosa is Singapore’s highest open-air panoramic ride, and is the first carbon-neutral attraction on Sentosa. It features a vertical 40-metre helix-like structure, with the gondola gradually ascending from 35 metres above ground to 79 metres above sea level. The gondola also gently rotates, providing passengers an unparalleled 360-degree view of Sentosa and the developing Great Southern Waterfront.
Passengers can board the open-air gondola for a 12-minute ride. Of which, 10 minutes will be spent at the peak. As it gently rotates during this time, passengers will be able to enjoy the views of Singapore with their legs dangling as they sip on a cool beverage exclusively created for the attraction by the team at Dusk Restaurant & Bar located at Mount Faber Peak.
The experience of the ride is different in the day and at night, making this an attraction that guests can frequently visit without feeling bored of it. Furthermore, various events will be carried out in the area so you’ll always have a reason to visit.
In the day, the SkyHelix Sentosa structure is easily spotted as it is white and unique. After the sun sets, energy-efficient LED lights will illuminate the attraction, making it a beautiful beacon of light on Sentosa. Those standing from afar would also be able to admire its beauty as an addition to the Singapore skyline.
The SkyHelix Sentosa structure is designed and constructed by French company Aerophile, which is a leading expert in high-point attractions.
Three electrical winches that are managed on the ground are used to power the gondola completely. Of course, to prepare for an event that something unexpected occurs, emergency brakes and power supply systems will kick in to ensure passengers remain safe. There is also an electronic safety mechanism that makes sure all passengers are properly secured to the ride.
Unfortunately, since passengers would have to be harnessed to the seats on the gondola, there is a height requirement of 1.05 metres in order for one to take the ride. Those between 1.05 metres and 1.2 metres, and those under the age of 12 have to be accompanied by an adult when taking the gondola.
The gondola can seat 16 passengers, but in light of the current Safe Management Measures (SMM), only eight vaccinated passengers and accompanying children under 12 years old will be allowed on the ride at any given time. A trained attraction host will be on the ride to ensure safety protocols are adhered to. The host will also introduce the surrounding views and key landmarks as the gondola ascends.
The balloon hovering over the seats will provide guests some shelter when it drizzles. However, when there is heavy rain, operations will be halted until the skies are clear again for the attraction to operate. This is not just for the safety of the passengers on board the gondola, but it is also to ensure that the experience of each passenger to take a look at the scenic view is satisfactory.
Since the gondola is open-air and allows your feet to be dangling, you will not be allowed to bring bulky items with you when you take the ride. This is to ensure that you do not accidentally drop your belongings while ascending. Smartphones will be allowed on the ride and you can take photos. However, you are reminded to ensure that your phone is securely strapped to you to prevent any incidents from occurring.
SkyHelix Sentosa is fully electric, but thanks to its energy-efficient design, minimal electricity is used for its operations.
The attraction was originally meant to be air-conditioned. It was later revised to become open-air so that it is not only more sustainable, but passengers would also be able to experience what it’s like to be up in the air taking a look at the scenic surroundings, with the wind in their hair, and a cool beverage in their hands.
The operator, Mount Faber Leisure Group, will continue to look for renewable energy sources to lower emissions. This includes looking into installing solar panels to offset the electricity used.
Another effort to increase sustainability is the usage of environmentally-friendly packaging for food and beverage.
Significant Role in Tourism
The opening of SkyHelix Sentosa also serves a significant role in the tourism industry now that Singapore is trying to open up its borders to more countries.
Ms Jean Ng, the executive director of attractions, entertainment and tourism concept development at the Singapore Tourism Board, said that attractions like SkyHelix Singapore will “enhance our attractiveness and signal to international travellers that Singapore is ready to welcome them”. Furthermore, this attraction “adds to the wide variety of family-friendly offerings that locals can enjoy”.
While the attraction only opens for operations on 15 December 2021, tickets are already available online for you to reserve your visit date and time slot. One adult ticket costs S$18, and a child ticket for those between four and 12 years old costs S$15. The ticket prices are intentionally priced as such to ensure that the attraction will be accessible to both Singaporeans and travellers travelling on the VTL.
Tickets are also available for purchase on-site, and you can do so at the kiosks once the attraction officially opens.
One ticket entitles an individual to the ride, as well as a non-alcoholic beverage or SkyHelix Sentosa souvenir. Once you’ve redeemed your tickets, you can proceed to the Snack Bar to redeem your complimentary beverage. You can also choose to purchase alcoholic beverages for an additional fee, or purchase snacks to munch on.
An adult ticket costs S$18, and a child ticket costs S$15. Members of Mount Faber Leisure Group’s Faber Licence annual membership programme are entitled to a 20% discount on tickets all year round.
SkyHelix Sentosa is situated within Imbiah Lookout, and is just a short walk from Singapore Cable Car’s Sentosa Station.
To get here, you can either take a cable car ride from the Singapore Cable Car Harbourfront Station to Sentosa Station, or walk along the boardwalk outside Vivo City.
Address: 41 Imbiah Road, Sentosa, 099707