Halong Bay FAQs - frequently asked questions
Being local people with many years of experience specializing in Halong Bay Cruise, we would like to share with you all of the questions from our customers with the hope that this information will answer your concerns pre-departure to Halong Bay. We wish that our work is useful for you that somehow contribute to your a comfortable and memorable trip in Halong Bay.
The distance between Hanoi and Halong Bay is around 150km that often takes you around 3.5 - 4 hours of driving by the national roads to reach the ports in Halong Bay (Tuan Chau or Hon Gai harbor). However, recently the new expressways Hanoi – Haiphong – Halong have put into operation that helps to reduce the travel time from Hanoi – Halong to around 2.5 hours.On the way, you can have a short break in a complex which is full of hand-made souvenir and pottery shops. You can use the restrooms, window-shop or buy a lovely gift. After about 15 - 30 minutes, the car will continue to transfer you to the port.
If you choose shuttle bus transfer, please kindly notice that the shuttle bus only picks up and drops off customers at hotels located in the Old Quarter at around 7.30 - 8.30 am with cruises in Tuan Chau/Hon Gai harbor and at around 9.00 - 9.30 am for Got Port – Haiphong. Outside this area, you are advised to take a taxi to a meeting point in the Old Quarter (maybe the cruise office) and wait for the shuttle bus to pick you up there. The pick-up time cannot be fixed as the bus has to move around to pick up several ones.Meanwhile, the private car is much more convenient because it can pick you up anywhere in Hanoi at 8.00 am to Halong Bay and at 9.00 am to Lan Ha Bay.
Pick up request at Hanoi Airport is not available with shuttle bus transportation. It can be handled by a private car only.You should inform our travel consultant the arrival time to check whether the pick up is available and suitable for the cruise.
Pick up request at Hanoi train station (Sapa arrival) is not available because you arrive Hanoi early at about 5:00 AM from Sapa while the shuttle bus pick up time is at around 7.30 - 8.30 am with cruises in Tuan Chau/Hon Gai harbor and at around 9.00 - 9.30 am for Got Port - Haiphong.
You can choose to go to either the Opera House or the cruise office to be picked up. Normally, the cruise office will be the first pick-up point at about 7.30 am with cruises in Tuan Chau/Hon Gai harbor or at about 9.00 am with cruises in Got Port - Haiphong and the Opera House is the last pick-up point at 8.00 – 8.30 am with cruises in Tuan Chau/Hon Gai harbor or at about 9.30 am with cruises in Got Port - Haiphong.Note: The Opera House pick-up is now not available for some cruises. Please contact our travel consultant for details.
If you book the shuttle bus Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi (Tuan Chau/Hon Gai harbor), the driver will drop you off at your hotel at around 4.30 - 5.00 pm if you travel via the national roads. While if you travel via the expressways or from Got Ferry Port, the shuttle bus will transfer you back to your hotel at around 2.30 - 3.00 pm.If you book a private car, you will come back to your hotel at 2.00 - 2.30 pm.
There are 02 ways for you to get to Hanoi Airport after cruising:
If you book the shuttle bus, because it is impossible for you to be dropped off at Hanoi Airport by the shuttle bus, you will come back to your hotel in the Old Quarter at about 2.30 - 3.00 pm (Got Port) / 4.30 - 5.00 pm (Tuan Chau/ Hon Gai harbor). Then, please ask the hotel staff to book you a taxi to transfer you to Hanoi Airport which will take you one more hour.
If you book the private car, we can drop you off directly at Hanoi Airport on the way back. You are supposed to reach Hanoi Airport at about 3.00 - 3.30 pm.In case you have an early flight, please advise our travel consultant so that we can arrange with the cruise and the transportation to drop you off at Hanoi Airport earlier.
There are 02 ways for you to get to Haiphong Airport from Got Ferry Port after cruising:
Most cruises disembark at around 12.00 noon at Got Port – Haiphong. Because it is impossible for you to be dropped off at Haiphong Airport by the shuttle bus, please ask the cruise lounge staff to book you a taxi to transfer you to the Airport which will take you one more hour.
If you book the private car, we can drop you off directly at Haiphong Airport in 45 minutes (1.00 pm).Please advise our travel consultant on your flight information so that we can arrange with the cruise and the transportation to drop you off at Haiphong Airport in time.
It depends on your budget and your time. If you have enough time and can afford the longer option, we highly recommend you to book a 2-night cruise because of some reasons as below:
- It takes time to travel from Hanoi to Halong, if you do 3 days 2 nights program, you have more time to spend on the boat.
- The 3 days 2 nights itinerary allows you to explore further parts of the Bay and experience different activities like swimming, kayaking, boat rowing, trekking (in Cat Ba National Park), etc. that the 2 days 1 night itinerary cannot offer.Most cruises use a day boat on their second-day program, which will be able to take you to the more secluded caves and beaches in Halong Bay. There will have a longer time for kayaking and swimming as well.
You are recommended to bring: sunglasses, sunblock, wide brim hat, insect repellents, swimming suites (in summer) or warm clothes (in winter), original passport and your camera to save your memorable time at Halong Bay.Tips: You can also bring some candies, cakes, books for your children.
Passengers are not allowed to bring on board things listed below:+ Intoxicating liquors
+ Explosive substances
+ Any kind of animals
You should bring with you the necessary ones as there is not much space on the shuttle bus and the cabin.
In case you stay the same hotel before and after the cruise, we highly recommend you leave your big suitcase at the hotel as you only travel to Halong Bay for 2 or 3 days.If you need to go directly to the Airport or train station after cruising, you can bring your entire luggage. Please kindly check your luggage carefully before leaving the hotel or the cruise.
If you are satisfied with the quotation we give you, we will send you the payment link to pay a deposit or pay full for the booking.
Normally, you just need to deposit 50% total of the price (easy and secure with One Pay payment system).
The remained balance will be paid by credit card via ONEPAY system 15 days prior to your departure date.
In case your departure date is so close, according to the policy for booking less than 15 days, full payment is required.
Using credit cards in Vietnam, you will be charged from 3% of the amount paid for the bank fee whether you pay online or present your credit cards in Vietnam.
After your payment, our system will send you an invoice immediately. Then, we will make a reservation for your booking. We will send you an email to confirm and ask for the passengers’ information to complete the booking for you.After receiving your personal information to complete the overnight procedure for you in advance, we will send you another email to confirm with the brief itinerary and our personal contact so that you can call us in case you need our assistance.
We have alternative menus to suit your food requirements.If you have any diet restrictions, please kindly advise us so that we can make well preparation for you in advance.
All meals onboard are included in the price.You will pay extra for drinks as a part of personal expenses.
All the boats in Halong Bay are well equipped with life vests in cabins and public areas. Not to mention, all of them are maintained every six months with technical supervision.
When checking in onboard, you will be guided carefully about safety instructions and equipment.Also, the staffs are well trained to deal with emergency situations.
Halong Bay has a humid tropical climate. There are four seasons in a year. Winter’s temperatures can drop down to 12°C-17°C. Summer is mostly sunny but rain showers are frequent as the humidity is higher. Spring and Autumn are nicely warm.
Summer is a good time for Halong Bay because you can enjoy swimming and kayaking. However, summer is not the high season in Halong Bay because of its hot weather.In fact, the high traveling season in Halong Bay is during fall and spring (from October to April) because the weather seems to be cool and you experience the best time of a year.
There are many exciting activities available onboard such as:+ Swimming and kayaking
+ Cooking demonstration
+ Squid fishing
+ Doing Tai chi on the sundeck
+ Joining the sunset party
+ Playing board games or watching a film in the restaurant
Smoking is not allowed in the cabins and inside the cruises.However, there are smokers’ areas in the sundeck and outside space.
Some cruises in Halong Bay offer you a triple room including a double bed and a single bed.However, in case your favorite cruise does not have a triple room, we can add an extra bed into your cabin. Please kindly note that there is a surcharge for the third passenger.
With 3 days 2 nights itinerary, you will be transferred into a day boat on the second day from about 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.The day boat is smaller which can reach places in the shallow water and explore further parts of the Bay.
If you need to amend your departure date, please kindly contact our travel consultant as soon as possible to check the availability of the cabin.If the cabin is available, we will amend the booking for you with no surcharge.
Cruising and sailing in Halong Bay are strictly regulated by a local board: the Halong Bay Management Board (also known as Halong Bay Port Authority). Every morning, the Port Authority delivers a permit to each cruise company allowing them to sail in Halong Bay. Both day cruises and overnight cruises are regulated this way.
In case of bad weather conditions and risks of tropical storms, the Port Authority might limit the possibilities of cruising and even decide to cancel all cruises.
In those cases, we will inform you as soon as the information is available, which unfortunately might only be upon the guest's arrival at the harbor.You will be refunded money for the itinerary that you have not experienced and only pay for the service you used.
There are 02 ways for you to get the refund:
Refund by cash: we will come to your hotel to give you the refund by cash.Refund by credit card: the refund amount will be transferred via the Onepay system, to the account you used to make the payment. Please be noted that it takes about 15 - 20 days for you to receive the money.
When you enter Vietnam, you will need the Vietnam Visa. There are 2 options for the visa to Vietnam.
Option 1: You get the visa stamp from your city by contacting the Vietnam Embassy in your country or your state.
If you choose option 1, you need to send us the passengers’ Passport Scans (if you do not have a scanner, you may use your camera and take a picture of your passport) + Vietnam Visa Expiry Date to complete the overnight procedure in Halong Bay.
Option 2: We will apply the Visa Letter for you – Single Entry for 01 Month (it is free) and you can get the visa stamp on arrival at the airport. The stamp fee will be 25.00 USD/person by cash. You may have to wait in line for about 45 to 90 minutes for the processing.If you choose option 2, you just need to send me your Passport Scans (or pictures) and your Arrival Flight to complete the Vietnam Visa Letter and overnight procedures. After we finish making the Visa Letter, we will send you the Visa Letter file via email. You will print this letter and bring it with you when you come to Vietnam for checking in at the airport.
Please prepare some local currency because it is better for you to pay by VND rather than in USD when you stay in Vietnam.However, on the cruise, you can pay in USD if you want.
There is no doctor available neither on board nor on the bay .The water in Halong Bay is calm. Therefore, it is hard to get sea-sick.
There is no doctor available neither on board nor on the bay.
However, all vessels are equipped with First Aid Kits and basic medicine supply.If there is a serious medical emergency, the tender can take you back to the harbor. We can take you to the nearest hospital within 01 hour.
After your cruising from Tuan Chau Marina, please ask the staff on the cruise to show you the place to buy tickets for the ferry to Cat Ba Island. It is only about 300 – 500m from your cruise to the ticket counter.If your cruise is located in Hon Gai harbor, please ask the cruise staff to book you a taxi to take you to Tuan Chau harbor to buy the ticket for the ferry to Cat Ba island.
You can send us emails in the office hour.
We work from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm from Monday to Friday. At the weekend, the cruises’ offices are closed so we cannot check the availability for you. We could not check the availability of the cruise too during lunchtime from 12.00 noon until 1.30 pm every day.In case of emergency situations, we always send you the office number and personal phone number so that you can reach us at any time.
Booking in advance is definitely better than late booking because you will have much time to check the prices of the cruises and select the best cruise for you.
Famous cruises are often fully booked far in advance so you will not have many choices in the last minutes.Booking in advance also helps us and the cruise to prepare your trip better and you will also get to know everything about your trip before you go.
Kayaking is a part of the itinerary. Kayaking is always included in the 3 days 2 nights program.However, kayaking is excluded in the 2 days 1 night trip. Please contact our travel consultant for the best offer.