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Tips for an unforgettable cruise in Ha Long Bay

Updated: 4 days ago

Planning a cruise in Ha Long Bay? You’re in for a treat! This UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for its emerald waters, towering limestone islands, and lush landscapes. To help you make the most of your adventure, here are some friendly tips for an unforgettable cruise in Ha Long Bay.

an unforgettable cruise in Ha Long Bay
An unforgettable cruise in Ha Long Bay (Source: Internet)

When should I go on a Ha Long cruise?

Ha Long Bay weather has 4 seasons a year, so each season will have different weather conditions, however we would like to suggest some times you should choose as follows:

  • Summer (From April to July): This is the time when domestic tourists travel in general and visitors to Ha Long in particular are very crowded. The sunny weather is suitable for swimming, kayaking, mountain climbing, visiting caves... if it rains on any day, it clears up very quickly. And most importantly, at this time, cruise ship prices always have promotions and discounts.

  • Fall (From August to November): This is also a beautiful time in Ha Long Bay, the sky is clear, the cool climate is very suitable for taking photos and other activities. However, there are often storms at this time, so ships will not be allowed to go to the bay.

  • Winter - Spring (From December to March): This is the time when foreign tourists, especially American, Australian, European, and overseas Vietnamese tourists travel quite a lot, cruise prices are often higher than other seasons. The weather is also quite cold, the sky is cloudy, and there is often drizzle. Moreover, because it is a resort tour and sightseeing on a yacht, today there are still many domestic tourists participating.


Transportation to Ha Long Bay

Most Ha Long Bay cruises will depart from Tuan Chau port, an island located south of Hung Thang ward, Ha Long city. Only the Ambassador cruise will depart from Ha Long international cruise port (SunGroup port) to visit Ha Long Bay.


Most Ha Long Bay cruise tour programs will depart to pick up guests from Hanoi Old Quarter (7:30am - 7:45am for day boats and 8:30am - 9:00am for overnight boats) following the Ha Noi - Hai Phong - Ha Long expressway route for about 2.5 hours to Tuan Chau port and about 3 hours to Ha Long international cruise port.


The tour price usually includes a shuttle bus from Ha Noi - Ha Long - Ha Noi, but if you want to be self-sufficient or have your own car to travel to Ha Long on your own, the train company will deduct the bus fee (Fee for using the vehicle is from 300,000 - 600,000 VND depending on the cruise ship), on some cruise ships, if you do not take the shuttle bus, this fee will not be deducted.

  • Option 1 - Ha Noi - Ha Long National Highway route: The travel distance is about 160km and takes about 3.5 to 4 hours.

  • Option 2 - Ha Noi - Hai Phong - Ha Long highway route: travel time only takes about 2.5 hours.

  • Option 3 – Seaplane Ha Noi – Ha Long.


Note: If you travel to the pier on your own, just note that you must be present at the pier between 12:00 and 12:45 to check in and board the ship. In case the boat is late, you will have to hire a small boat to transport it to the bay, and you will have to pay the transportation costs.


Outstanding attractions in the Ha Long Bay cruise tour

Titov Island
Titov Island (Source: Internet)

Titov Island (Dao Ti Top)

Famous for its panoramic views of Ha Long Bay. Climb to the top for a stunning vantage point. The island also has a nice beach for swimming.


Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave)

One of the largest and most beautiful caves in the bay. The stalactites and stalagmites formations are truly impressive.


Thien Cung Cave

Located on Dau Go Island to the north, Thien Cung Cave is located right near Dau Go Cave, famous for its wide cave and diverse shaped stalactites. Entering the cave, visitors feel like they are lost in a fairyland world inside the mountain, going from one surprise to another. As a beautiful cave, Thien Cung cave along with Dau Go cave is one of the prominent sightseeing routes on Ha Long Bay.


Luon Cave

With an extremely unique geomorphological structure, Luon Cave on Bo Hon Island is the only cave on Ha Long Bay with underground water flowing through the mountain, creating a large cave dome to help visitors explore the natural world. on the other side of the cliff. To visit Luon cave, visitors can choose to take a bamboo boat or kayak. With its unique characteristics, Luon Cave attracts tourists because of the charm that only this place possesses.


Cua Van fishing village

For many years, Cua Van fishing village has become an attractive tourist destination for domestic and foreign tourists every time they visit Ha Long Bay. It is the residence of local people who live by fishing. Cua Van helps visitors learn more about the culture and life of local fishermen in the heart of the heritage through bamboo boat rowing activities, visiting floating houses, fishermen's seafood rafts...


The best Ha Long Bay cruises

5-star cruise in Ha Long Bay

  • Ambassador Cruise: As the largest and most modern 5-star cruise ship in Ha Long Bay to date, the Ambassador cruise ship with its sophisticated luxurious design, 5-star standard service and world-famous Michelin-starred menu will definitely Make your trip on Ha Long Bay truly different and classy.

Ambassador Cruise in Ha Long Bay
Ambassador Cruise in Ha Long Bay (Source: Internet)
  • Paradise Cruise: Famous for its 5-star luxury yacht class, owning both a fleet of traditional wooden ships (Paradise Luxury) and modern steel ships (Paradise Elegance), the yacht collection from Paradise Group always leads with the motto of operating Bringing the best experience to customers. With perfect and classy service, Paradise Cruise is a great choice for you when coming to Ha Long Bay.

  • Margaret Cruise: With a design influenced by European architecture, Margaret yacht is popular because of its extremely preferential price for a 5-star yacht. Possessing full amenities and rich and diverse cuisine, Margaret Cruise is suitable for families and couples who want to experience a vacation with luxurious space in Ha Long Bay.


4-star cruise in Ha Long Bay

  • Pelican Cruise: Operated by the same company and as a higher class cruise ship than Glory Legend, Pelican cruise owns modern and luxurious facilities, 4-star amenities and services, promising an enjoyable trip. A wonderful experience exploring Ha Long Bay for you.

  • Stellar Cruise: Designed to blend tradition and modernity, with standard modern services and amenities, along with extremely preferential room rates for the 4-star cruise segment, Stellar cruise is very suitable for travelers with With a modest budget, you want to experience top and classy service on Ha Long Bay.

Stellar Cruise
Stellar Cruise in Ha Long Bay (Source: Internet)

3-star cruise in Ha Long Bay

  • Glory Legend Cruise: Rated as one of the best quality cruise ships in the 3-star cruise line, with traditional design, professional and friendly service and staff, along with exquisite cuisine and meeting diverse needs. type of traveler, Glory Legend cruise deserves to be a great choice for a trip on a Ha Long Bay cruise.


Cruises visiting Ha Long Bay for 1 day:

  • Paradise Explorer Cruise: operated by Paradise Group, Paradise Explorer promises to bring you a 5-star experience on Ha Long Bay combined with extremely interesting 1-day world heritage sightseeing activities.

  • Luxury Cruise: is one of the few cruises in Ha Long that operates a 1-day bay tour program with private rooms like overnight cruises. Absolute comfort for guests is the operating motto of Paradise Luxury Cruise.


For an unforgettable trip, let's discover more about cruises in Lan Ha Bay and cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay.


Price for booking a cruise tour in Ha Long Bay

The price of booking a cruise tour in Ha Long Bay will depend on factors such as: how long you choose to travel, the star class of the cruise and the length of the itinerary, etc. For example, the lowest tour price is less than 1 million/person for a 1-night program, the price to book a 2-day, 1-night Ha Long cruise tour with a high-end 5-star class will cost from 2,500,000 VND, with a 4-star cruise priced from 1,900,000 VND.


In addition, according to previous tours, the price of booking a Ha Long cruise tour includes: bedrooms on the cruise, main meals on the cruise, tour guide, scenic tickets and scheduled activities.

  • Cruise Prices: Budget cruises start at $50 per night, mid-range at $100-$200, and luxury at $300+.

  • Additional Activities: Some activities like kayaking or visiting specific attractions might incur extra costs, typically $10-$20.

  • Tips and Gratuities: While not mandatory, it’s customary to tip the crew if you enjoyed the service. Around $5-$10 per day is standard.


Tips for booking a cruise in Ha Long Bay

Each type of yacht has a different space design for each bedroom as well as accompanying amenities. Choosing a yacht that suits your needs will give you a comfortable experience, as well as maximize your travel time. Currently, yachts usually have 2 main groups:

  • Wooden yachts usually have less than 16 bedrooms, each room is about 15 square meters with a bathroom and toilet in the room.

  • Iron yachts have 16 bedrooms or more with spacious rooms and more modern amenities.

Accordingly, iron yachts will look more luxurious and have a higher price than wooden yachts... From those basic differences, you can choose the type of yacht that best suits your needs.


Reference schedule for a cruise tour in Ha Long Bay

  • Morning: Exploring and Kayaking

    • Start your day with a delicious breakfast on board, usually included in the cruise cost.

    • Head out for some kayaking through the limestone caves and hidden lagoons. This is a must-do activity to get up close and personal with the bay’s natural beauty.

  • Midday: Relax and Enjoy the Views

    • After kayaking, return to the boat for a leisurely lunch while cruising past the stunning islands. Many cruises offer fresh seafood and traditional Vietnamese dishes.

    • Spend the afternoon lounging on the deck, taking in the breathtaking views, or maybe enjoy a swim in the bay.

  • Afternoon: Visiting Floating Villages

    • Visit one of the local floating fishing villages. It’s a great way to learn about the local culture and lifestyle.

    • Some cruises include a visit to pearl farms where you can see how pearls are cultivated and even buy some as souvenirs.

  • Evening: Sunset and Cooking Classes

    • As the sun sets, enjoy the magical view with a drink in hand. Many cruises offer happy hour on the deck.

    • Participate in a Vietnamese cooking class. It’s a fun way to learn how to make some traditional dishes, and it’s usually included in the cruise package.

  • Night: Squid Fishing and Stargazing

    • After dinner, try your hand at squid fishing, a unique experience offered on many cruises.

    • End your day stargazing on the deck. The clear skies over Ha Long Bay make for a perfect backdrop to unwind.


With these tips, you’re all set for an unforgettable cruise in Ha Long Bay. Beside that, you can explore more about things to do in Ha Long Bay and must-try dishes in Ha Long Bay for a smooth trip. Enjoy the stunning scenery, delicious food, and exciting activities.


Ha Long Bay is actually a complex including Lan Ha Bay and adjacent Bai Tu Long Bay, which also possesses natural beauty from the limestone island landscape like the core area of ​​Ha Long heritage. Therefore, current cruise tourism programs have developed not only in Ha Long but also expanded to Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.


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