Halong Bay Cruise Guide
All You Need To Know As First-timers
Halong, one of the world's natural heritages, is a favourite destination of millions of domestic and foreign tourists every year. To enjoy spectacular scenery of thousands of limestone mountains hiding magnificent grottoes floating on the sea water, tourists can go on a boat tour around the bay for sight-seeing. However, it is the experience of fine dining and relaxing rest in the luxurious space of a junk boat, and discovering the bay’s beauty on this floating accommodation for a couple of days that make all the difference. There are now many options for cruise tours, both private and in a group, for you to choose from.
What to expect on a cruise itinerary
A common Halong Bay Cruise tour from Hanoi often takes two days- one night or three days- two night. On the first day, after being taken to Halong and welcomed onboard, tourists will have resting moments to contemplate the scenery of the Bay while fresh lunch with seafood is served. Soon enough, tourists will be taken to famous visiting sites of Halong like Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot grotto; Trong Mai, Thien Nga, Su Tu Bien islet; Ti Top, Tuan Chau island and so on in the morning.
Besides, tourists also have chance to visit local fishing villages like Cua Van, Vong Vieng to learn about fishing work and daily life of the local residents. Especially, you will be taken to the bay’s most untouched areas, like deep in Lan Ha bay. The late afternoon is often free time for tourists to play some water such as swimming, kayaking, diving… before coming back the junk boat for sunset cocktails and the dinner. Sometimes, the dinner may take place in a cave to create new and unique experience for tourists.
What to expect on a cruise vessel
Each Halong cruise offers a different level of comfort and luxury which are commonly experienced at three, four or five star hotels. One can expect elegant design and modern facilities like LDC TV, DVD player, mini bar, air- conditioner, in house phone, bath tub, Jacuzzi… Windows from rooms, balcony, or the deck is great place offering tourists breath-taking view to the dawn and the sunset. In addition, in leisure time, tourist may relax with massage, spa service or join entertainment activities like kite- flying, or enjoying traditional Vietnamese music performance on boat.
Joining in a cruise tour, travelers also have chance to have wonderful experiences when enjoying Tai Chi class on the top deck while watching the sunrise over the sea in early morning, or joining the chef in cooking class to learn more about Vietnamese culinary.
Cocktail, buffet and main meals, entrance fee to the world heritage site, sunrise Tai Chi class, insurance on board, and transportation fee Hanoi- Ha Long- Hanoi are all included in the tour price. So just buy a cruise tour to Halong, leave all worries of bustling daily life behind and enjoy your dream holiday in this wonderful bay!
Some recommended cruises
It's better to pay a bit more money in exchange for all the luxury - especially when it comes to enjoying a boat of safety and securiy standard and extreme comfort. Cruises in Halong Bay may range from $50 to a few hundred dollars per night and the level of luxury also vary accordingly. However if you are on a budget, there are some decent cruise choices as well.
Luxury Cruise: although you pay a similar amount of money, you will get more value in some over others. For example, Bhaya Cruise, Paradise Cruise and Violet Cruise are the most famous names. The cabin amenities are superb and food is unrivalled. Expect to pay at least $400 for a double room for a 2 day 1 night trip.
Mid-range Cruise: for many, this is a value option since the cruise is not too expensive and the quality is quite decent. A few good names include Pelican Cruise, Sena Cruise, Rosy Cruise
Budget Cruise: popular budget choices include Aclass, Dragon Pearl Junk and Swan Cruise. The price is low, and one can spend less than $80 for a night on board.
Some other recommendations:
- For the most luxury option: Stellar of the Seas or President Cruise
- For the best family experience: Orchid Cruise (luxury) Glory Cruise (Deluxe) and Phoenix Cruise (Budget)
- For the value triple stay: Aclass Stellar/ Scarlet Pearl/ Genesis Regal Cruise
- For the best charter: Bhaya Legend Vessel (1,2,3,4 cabins)
- For the best honeymoon: Bhaya Legend (1 cabin); Paradise Elegance Cruise (Captain Suite), Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan
How to book a cruise
There are a lot more resellers for cruise trip to Halong Bay than you can imagine. A simple search for "Halong Bay cruises" can probably bring up thousands of choices. Although some recommend that you book directly with the cruise to make sure everything is real, others support the idea of booking through agents for its much lower price. Sometimes, the agents can communicate in better English and be more efficient in processing your booking as well.
More Information about Halong Bay cruises
Halong Phoenix Cruiser is designed with Asian traditional junk combining classic beauty with modern comfort.
Indochina Sails is in operation from 2007 and has established a reputation in Halong ever since. It is a wooden cruise, with each vessel holding 15 cabins of 3 types: superior, deluxe and suite cabin.
A fleet of 4 vessels, Paradise Sails (formally Paradise Luxury Cruise) I, II, III & IV were designed incorporating the traditional Vietnamese style.