Since we planned for our 2-week trip in Vietnam, Halong Bay was our top of the travel bucket list and we spent a lot of time seeking a suitable cruise that we would love to stay onboard. At first, it was a difficult choice since everyone knows that Halong Bay is very crowded with hundreds of cruises. We couldn’t decide on a name until we found Ambassador Signature Cruise.
Ambassador Signature Cruise: A fantastic highlight of our Vietnam Tour
Ambassador Signature Cruise Overview
This is a new cruise, 5-star luxury with 39 opulent cabins; each has a balcony and an ensuite bathroom. We chose it because this cruise would sail in Lan Ha Bay, a less-touristy and more peaceful area rather than Halong Bay. It is also the sister cruise of Ambassador Cruise sailing Halong Bay, we read many good reviews from this cruise. We are not afraid of trying new things so we quickly booked a 2-day 1-night trip on this cruise through HalongBayCruises.com with a good deal.
Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay
We booked the cruise with an included transfer so on our trip date, the driver came to our hotel, Apricot Hotel, at around 8:30 and found us in the lobby (we were informed that the bus would pick up from all hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter). The bus was actually a limousine van for 8 guests, it was clean and spacious, and the driver helped us to take our luggage to the car. Our first impression about the tour was very good.
It took us more than 2 hours via the new highway to get to Halong, with a short break in the midway where we could stop for the restroom or see some local products. At around 10:30, we arrived at the cruise lounge at the 1st Floor of Halong International Cruise Port. It was a very large lounge with chairs and tables. We came to the check-in deck to receive our tickets, keys, and the staff would take care of our luggage. We just waited to go to the pier.
Ambassador Cruise 2-day 1-night itinerary
After being transferred to the pier, we got onboard a speedboat and met Jonnathan, the cruise manager. He was young, helpful and super friendly. He said welcome to all passengers and gave us a short introduction on Lan Ha Bay, the cruise, and the programs that we would experience while the speedboat went far from the mainland. After 20 minutes, we saw the main boat, Ambassador Signature Cruise, and got greetings from young ladies and men with smiles on their faces.
We went straight to the restaurant on the third floor. There, the manager introduced the crew, the safety regulations and a short briefing on the afternoon schedule. We then enjoyed a hearty buffet lunch while the cruise slowly glided through the bay.
We finished the lunch at around 13:30, came to our room on the second floor where we found our luggage left in the front of the room. Our room was Executive with a private balcony for great views, the space was 28 sqm with all necessary items such as hair dryer, bathrobes, toiletries, etc. It was really comfortable.
At 15:00, there was an announcement through the in-room speaker that we would visit the Viet Hai fishing village. As we searched, Ambassador Signature is the only cruise including Viet Hai village in the 2-day-1-night itinerary which is often for the 3-day 2-night trip exclusively. We love local experiences so we decided to join the excursion. We were taken to Cat Ba Island and visited the village. There, we saw the local houses, learned about their daily life, visited fish lakes and bee houses. My partner even experienced a fish foot massage.
We came back to cruise at around 17:00, took some rest in our cabin then head to the sundeck for a stunning sunset view and small canapes. At 19:00, the dinner was prepared with the chef’s special menu. We loved it. The dishes are all delicious and decorated beautifully. After dinner, we spent some time at the Piano Lounge, enjoyed live music, some other passengers also joined and made the night so lively.
We woke up early at 6:00 and participated in a Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck. It was new to us but still a fun experience. Then enjoyed a light breakfast with coffee and baked pastries as we would explore Dark and Light Cave after then. We could choose two options: kayaking or sitting on a bamboo boat rowed by locals. Since we loved the feeling of discovering around ourself, we chose kayaking. Paddling through an arch-shaped cave with sparkling stalactites, we found a peaceful lake surrounded by limestone cliffs. We took a lot of photos and we felt so lucky as the weather was fabulous during our trip.
Back to the cruise and we had a full breakfast at the restaurant at 8:30-9:30. Then we returned to our cabin, packed our luggage and put them outside the room, settled the bill and check-out at the reception at the first deck.
Around 10:00, we said goodbye to the crew and were transferred back to the pier by speedboat. The bus brought us back to our hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter at around 14:30. It was the end of our Halong Cruise trip.
Though we wished we had booked a 3-day 2-night tour instead, we had a totally wonderful experience with Ambassador Signature Cruise and it was an outstanding highlight of our Vietnam tour. If you’re considering a Halong Bay cruise trip, you can take a look at Ambassador Signature Cruise.