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.
If you choose shuttle bus transportation, please kindly notice that the shuttle bus only picks up 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 Hanoi Opera House 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 at 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 private car only.Please kindly note that the shuttle bus cannot pick you up or drop you off you in Hanoi Airport but the private car can.
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 – HaiphongYou 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 am with cruises in Tuan Chau/Hon Gai harbor or at about 9.00 AM am with cruises in Got Port - Haiphong and the Opera House is the last pick-up point at from 8.00 – 8.30 am with cruises in Tuan Chau/Hon Gai harbor or at about 9.30 am am with cruises in Got Port - Haiphong.
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 4.00 – 4.30 pm. While if you travel at Got Ferry Port in Haiphong province, the shuttle bus will transfer you back to your hotel at around 2.30 – 3.00 pm.If you book the private car, you will come back to your hotel at 3.00 to 4.00 pm from Halong harbors and at 2.00 – 2.30 pm from Haiphong harbor.
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) / 4.00 – 4.30 pm (Tuan Chau/ Hon Gai harbor). Then, please ask the hotel staffs 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 in the way back. You are supposed to reach Hanoi Airport at about 3.00 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 Hanoi Airport by the shuttle bus, please ask the cruise lounge staff to book you a taxi to transfer you to Haiphong 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 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 2 night cruise because of some reasons as below:
- It takes you 04 hours on the way to Halong Bay and 04 hours back to Hanoi, if you do 3 days 2 nights program, you have more time to spend on boat.
- The 3 days 2 nights itinerary allows you to explore further parts of the 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 be longer time for kayaking and swimming as well.
You are recommended to bring: sun glasses, sun block, wide brim hat, insect repellents, swimming suites (in summer) or warm clothes (in winter) and original passport.Tips: You can also bring some Candy, cakes, books for your children.
Passengers are not allowed to bring on board things listed as below:+ Intoxicating liquors
+ Any kind of weapons
+ Explosive substances
+ Any kind of animals
You should bring with you the necessary ones as there is not much space on shuttle bus and the cabin.
We will drop you at the same hotel after Halong Bay trip so you can leave your big suitcase at the hotel.If you need to go directly to Airport or train station after cruising, you can bring your entire luggage.
If you are satisfied with the quotation we give you, we will send you the payment link to pay 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.
After your payment, our system will send you an invoice immediately. Then, we will make 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 menu to suit your food requirement.If you have any diet restriction, please kindly advise us so that we can make well preparation for you in advance.
All meals on board 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 vest in cabins and public area. Not to mention, all of them are maintained every six months with the technical supervision.
When checking in on board, you will be guided carefully about safety instructions and equipment.Also, the staffs are well trained to deal with emergency situation.
Halong bay has a humid tropical climate. There are four seasons in a year. Winter lasts from December to March; temperatures can drop down to 12°C-17°C. Summer is from May until September, mostly sunny but rain showers are frequent as the humidity is higher. Spring and Autumn are nicely warm.
Summer is good time to 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 travelling 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 on board such as:+ Swimming and kayaking
+ Go sightseeing
+ Cooking demonstrations
+ Squid catching
+ Doing Tai chi on the sundeck
+ Joining sunset party
+ Playing board games or watching film in the restaurant
Smoking is not allowed in the cabin and inside the cruise.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 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 an explore boat in 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.
If you need to amend your departure date, please kindly contact our travel consultant so as to check the availability of the cabin for you.If the cabin is available, we will amend the booking for you with no surcharge.
Cancellation by customer will be charged as follow:+ More than 30 days before the beginning of the trip: No charge
+ From 15 to 30 days before trip commencement: 50% of the total trip cost
+ From 7 to 14 days before trip commencement: 75% of the total trip cost
+ No refunds for cancellations 7 days before the commencement of the journey.
Cruising and sailing in Halong Bay is strictly regulated by a local board: the 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 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 or you can get the refund on board.Refund by credit card: the refund amount will be transferred via 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 Letter
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 me Passports Scan (or picture) + Vietnam Visa Expiry Date to complete overnight in Halong procedure
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 20 to 40 minutes for the processing.If you choose option 2: You just need to send me your Passport Scans (if you do not have scan you may use your camera and take a picture of your passport) and your Arrival Flight to complete Vietnam Visa Letter and overnight procedures. After we finish making 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 .
However, all vessels are equipped with First Aid Kits and a 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, please ask the staffs on the cruise to show you the place to buy tickets for the ferry from Tuan Chau Island to Cat Ba island. It is only about 300 – 500m from your cruise to the ticket counter.If you cruise is located in Hon Gai harbor, please ask the cruise staffs 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 08:00 AM to 17.30 from Monday to Friday. At weekend, the cruises’ offices are closed so we cannot check the availability for you. We could not check availability of the cruise too during lunch time from 12:00 PM until 13:30 every day.In case of emergency situation, we always send you the office number and personal phone number so that you can reach us at anytime.
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 itinerary. Kayaking is always included in 3 days 2 nights program.However, kayaking is excluded in the 2 days 1 night one. Please contact our travel consultant for the best offer.