As Halong Bay is one of the top tourism locations in Vietnam and there are a variety of cruises available in the area, including half-day, full day, and overnight boats, finding the best cruise options from the available choices might take some time, even for the most experienced tourists. Understanding that, Halong Bay Cruises assists you in selecting the ideal cruise through this comprehensive 8-step guide.
Easy Guide To Choose The Best Halong Bay Cruise
1. Choose Your Halong Bay Cruise Route
Currently, there are 3 main cruise routes in Halong Bay corresponding to 3 separate bay areas:
Halong Bay: sail within the core of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Bai Tu Long Bay: further to the east of Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is calmer and less visited. In comparison to Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay makes it easier to interact with local inhabitants of the floating fishing villages and learn about their customs.
Lan Ha Bay (including Cat Ba Island): slightly south of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is less touristy but lacks the stunning caves of Halong Bay. Instead, the tiny bay is famous for picturesque beaches, water activities, and excursions on Cat Ba Island.
There are now 2 ship ports from which all cruises embark and disembark: Tuan Chau Marina and Halong International Cruise Port, Bai Chay Ward.
2. Decide Your Halong Bay Cruise Duration
Halong Bay day trips are a possibility, although this is only appropriate for tourists with a limited amount of time. The 3-day 2-night cruise is for people who can take their time and want a more immersive experience, while the 2-day 1-night cruise is typically sufficient for the majority of passengers.
3. Define Your Halong Cruise Budget
Keep in mind the saying "you get what you pay for" as there are no set classifications for overnight cruises in Halong Bay. The onboard facilities, stateroom amenities and decor, as well as the quality of the cuisine and service, are often where budget, mid-range, and luxury cruises differ from one other. The greatest option for individuals on a tight budget is a low-cost cruise, which is often priced under USD 110 per person. Travelers who have a little extra cash to spend might choose a mid-range cruise, which typically costs between USD 110 and USD 140 per person. A luxury overnight cruise often costs USD 140 and above.
4. Select Your Right Halong Bay Cruise
Finding out the top cruise companies in Halong Bay nowadays couldn't be simpler thanks to the internet. You may learn which cruise lines have received positive reviews from other passengers by visiting websites like TripAdvisor or looking at the websites of Halong Bay cruise companies that interest you, you may also narrow your search even more. Ask your travel agency for advice or even friends who have been to Halong Bay before if you don't like using the internet.
After deciding on your cruise operator, pick the boat you believe would best suit you. There are only two types of vessels in Halong Bay: wooden junk and steel boat. Three types of décor are available: contemporary, modern, and traditional Asian. You may get additional details about the ship, the accommodations, the amenities, the dining options, and safety on the websites of the cruise lines. It can be wise to think about your traveling companions as well.
5. Choose Your Best Halong Cruise Cabin
If you want to have a great time while cruising in Halong Bay, be sure to pick a cabin that suits you well. Where it is, how big it is, and what it offers are all things to think about. A general guideline is that the higher cabin is better. It is also suggested to have a private balcony or a big window for the nicest bay views. Only some cruise lines use bed sheets made entirely of cotton because they are expensive. Therefore, it is important to check if your cabin includes them. You might have the option to upgrade if there are empty rooms and if you are willing to pay extra.
6. Go For The Right Time To Cruise Halong Bay
There are several holidays you should consider when deciding on your cruise time. Tet (Vietnamese New Year in January or February, the dates change each year) and Christmas usually require a surcharge for a gala dinner. The 30th of April, 1st of May, and 2nd of September are public holidays, so there will be a lot of Vietnamese tourists visiting Halong Bay. While domestic and Asian people often travel from June to July, most of the travelers from Europe, America, and other countries in colder areas prefer trips during December to February, causing the shortage of room availability and 10 - 20% higher prices, therefore, book your cruise early to make sure you get the dates and price you want. The off-peak season runs from April to May and from August to September.
The weather in Halong changes depending on the season. Spring (March and April) is known as the most gorgeous time of the year, with pleasant and mild temperatures. Summer (May - August) is hot and ideal for exploring different islands and water activities. Fall is from September to October with a lot of rain but the atmosphere is serene and tranquil. The last 4 months of the year are considered Winter, which is a good time for those who prefer a slower pace of travel and like a colder climate.
7. Determine Extra Services
Most cruises provide transfer options between Hanoi and Halong Bay or any other location. These options include shuttle buses, private cars, seaplanes, or helicopters. We also offer hotel and cruise packages that are cheaper than booking a hotel and cruise separately. Many cruise lines have additional services while you are on the ship, such as spa treatments and renting kayaks. It is highly recommended to get a massage or a facial treatment for an ultimate relaxing experience onboard.
8. Make Your Halong Cruise Reservation
If you are using the internet to book your own travel, make sure to watch out for fake and scam websites. We suggest booking your cruise directly through the cruise line itself, or through online travel websites like Expedia, Agoda, Booking, and Halongbaycruises.com. If you want the cheapest price, please check with travel agent. If you're traveling during peak time, book ahead of time to make sure you get a spot. No matter how you booked your cruise, make sure to carefully read what is included, what is not included, and the terms and conditions of the booking.
Overall, we hope our 8-step guidelines on selecting the perfect cruise in Halong Bay will help you find a boat that meets your requirements. If you need more information on the best-rated Halong Bay Cruise options, please feel free to contact our cruise experts at any time.