8 Questions To Ask Before You Book Halong Bay Cruise

Nowadays, choosing a company with which to do a cruise of Halong Bay is so difficult. What does matter is not that there isn’t enough choice, it’s that there’s too much choice. So it’s never really clear what exactly you’re choosing.

Tourists can see everywhere selling some types of trips to Ha Long with the titles “1 Day 1 Night 49$”, “Halong Roman”, and “Luxury guaranteed”,... However, after booking, there are some of the risks you may have like: issues of surcharges, being cheated (the cruise in the real looks nothing like the photos you had been shown), service not guaranteed, and so on.

Cycling on Viet Hai village

Cycling on Viet Hai village

This is why we think travelers need to ask questions before their trip to Halong so they can save themselves some. And then, we want to provide you with 8 Questions To Ask Before You Book Any Halong Bay Cruise. Hopefully, you’ll get the best decision before your trip with Halong Bay Cruise Deals!

Why I Should Book A Cruise In Halong Bay Trip?

You may be wondering why should book a cruise in Halong Bay for your trip and the main reason is that some of the beautiful island sights to see can truly be enjoyed when going on a cruise.

Allowing yourself to enjoy the classy and luxurious hotel service could be a nice experience in any destination in the world, but only in Halong Bay, do you take an opportunity to admire a night on the water under the moonlight of the sea, and especially surrounded by thousands of mysterious karsts. Rather than a normal hotel in the city center, the visitors book an overnight Halong Bay Cruise package that includes many other interesting experiences on the bay.

When Should I Book?

Here we provide your pros and cons for each season of weather in Halong Bay and then you can easily choose the best time to book that is most suitable to your schedule, budget…

  • Spring (March-May): Halong Bay spring weather is not hot yet an average of 24°C but it will be more likely to rain especially during March. With pleasant weather and sunlight, travelers absolutely can take part in many outdoor activities such as swimming and kayaking in the daytime.
  • Summer (June- September): In this season, the temperature and humidity will start to increase but the Halong scenery is very charming with crystal clear sky and emerald water. There will be more time for kayaking, swimming, and other water activities in this beautiful bay.
  • Fall (October- December): This is the peak season in Halong because of its pleasant weather. Travelers can enjoy more sunshine, which is not as harsh as in the summer. For this occasion, there will be more deals and special programs. Because in this season, Halong is expected to be more crowded, travelers should contact their tour company to have them arrange the activity for them.
  • Winter (January- February): Halong Bay’s temperature is around 13-20°C which is very pleasant and perfect for relaxing. In the morning and late afternoon, you will mostly see fog and drizzle. But during this time you can see a completely different look of Halong Bay.

How To Book?

Here we give a few suggestions of the main channels to book tours:

  • Booking directly with a tour organization company.
  • Booking through a Travel Agent.
  • Booking via an OTA (Online Travel Agent site).

However, with a large number of travel companies today, choosing a trustworthy company to book is not easy. So we would like to offer some tips for travelers as follows:

  • Step 1: Check information through the Internet (you should choose the site with the address, phone number, and email to be able to contact clearly).
  • Step 2: Send the request through the website to see the time they answer you or call directly to the company for advice.
  • Step 3: After the information is clear, you can go directly to the company to pay for the tour and complete the tour booking reservation.

Here, we provide a comparison for those who are wondering between booking at arrival and booking in advance. Please keep reading for more details!

Booking at Arrival:

  • Tourists will be able to speak in person with someone about the cruise that they’re booking and see with their own eyes the ship rather than having to rely on online pictures.
  • You can also bargain down the price or have a last-minute deal, unlike paying just a set price online.

Booking in Advance:

  • You can be missing out on a better deal when booking upfront.
  • You can book based on information provided online without being able to see the cruise companies in person.

Which Cruise?

This depends on the following 3 factors:

Do you like a wooden boat or steel vessels, the boat big or small?

Whichever cruise company you choose, it’s important to check the number of cabins before you book. For those who want to spend your trip with worldwide tourists, go for a medium to a large boat. Or if you’re on a honeymoon or traveling with your family or friends, consider chartering your small boat. Next step, after choosing the boat size, we will select a boat that fits our preferences.

There are 2 main cruise groups:

  • Wooden boat which usually has under 16 cabins (about 15m2 with bathrooms and toilets).
  • Steel vessels that have more than 16 cabins or more spacious rooms and it makes you more comfortable.

Generally, The steel vessel prices are higher, but, there are many options for us. Moreover, about standards of service, you can refer to TripAdvisor reviews for each cruise.

How long do you want to go?

In general, there are four schedules in Halong Bay as follows:

  • Day trip cruise (usually 4 hours on boat): travelers who have limited time but still want to get a glance at the amazing Halong Bay to get a variety of options for their trip. With at least 3.5 hours or more (4 hours, 6,5 hours, 8 hours, or 10 hours) cruising time in the Bay, you can have an overview of  Halong Bay or Lan Ha Bay. You won’t be limited to attending various activities in the Bay even if with a limited time frame. You still can join in plenty of activities such as exploring Heaven Cave, kayaking or boat rowing in the deep blue sea waters, paddling through Luon Cave by a sampan, swimming in Soi Sim Beach, and much more,…
  • 2 days 1- 1-night tour (1 night onboard).
  • 3 days 2 nights tour (2 nights onboard).
  • 4 days 3 nights tour (3 nights onboard).

For an overnight cruise, tourists will have enough time to visit limestone islands, and caves, participate in visiting fishing villages, sailing, watching the sunset on the deck (especially, cruising on Halong Bay for 2 days and one 1-night is very popular with foreign tourists).

What is your budget?

We can say that your budget is an important factor that decides your trip. According to a travel expert, the difference between a more expensive budget cruise and a midlevel cruise is the quality of the food in that you’ll be feasting like a king with a slight price difference.

  • Budget Cruise: The price starts from $90.
  • Mid-range Cruise: price starts from $107.
  • Luxury Cruise: The price starts from $120.

Below, we provide you with the best Halong Bay cruises available to pick out your ideal cruise:

Cruise Name Rating Launched Year Design Style Hull Minimum Price Number of Cabins Cabin Size
Scarlet Pearl Cruise 5* 2019 Modern & International Steel 150 23 28 - 150
Mon Chéri Cruises 5* 2018 Modern & International Steel 170 18 35 - 70
Perla Dawn Sails 5* 2018 Modern & International Steel 170 18 27 - 45
Aphrodite Cruise 4.5 2012 Classic & Traditional Wood 150 17 17 - 22
Violet Cruise 5* 2009 Classic & Traditional Wood 270 6 36 - 43
V’Spirit Premier Cruise 4* 2019 Modern & International Steel 140 25 24 - 29
Jasmine Cruise 4* 2007 Classic & Traditional Wood 170 24 17 - 24
Pelican Cruise 4* 2012 Classic & Traditional Wood 140 22 17 - 36
La Paci Cruise 3.5* 2019 Classic & Traditional Steel 120 10 18 - 33
Huong Hai Sealife Cruise 4* 2013 Classic & Traditional Steel 120 26 22 - 26

Which cruise routes and destinations to choose?

Halong Bay is divided into three bay areas: Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay. Generally, these bays have a similar landscape, and structure to the limestone mountains, caves, and beaches. However, each bay has its unique beauty. Here, we give an overview of them so that visitors can better visualize their destination:

Halong Bay

Considered one of Mother Earth’s most amazing natural wonders and one of Vietnam’s most prized treasures, Halong Bay deserves to be the most ideal destination for those who have a chance visit to Vietnam. Reportedly, Halong might reach millions during its high peak season and get more crowded year after year. Accordingly, Halong City and the bay now have become busier than ever with the rising of services including entertainment, restaurants, and accommodation. Once visiting Ha Long, travelers should allow a few days to discover this magical bay as its attractions are extremely numerous. The summer, from March to June, is the best time to visit Ha Long Bay. With the beautiful weather, you can enjoy your trip with a variety of experiences like kayaking, canoeing, diving, fishing, and so on.

Bamboo Boat on Halong Bay

Bamboo Boat on Halong Bay

Lan Ha Bay

Nowadays, tourists switch from Halong Bay to this place which is confirmed to be in the developing phase and everything is just getting started. Belongs to the Cat Ba islands area, Lan Ha Bay is considered the second Halong Bay because it also has hundreds of islands like Halong Bay. However, it has about 400 islets covered with green trees and vegetation and a more isolated appeal that you cannot see in another place. Lan Ha is home to 200 species of fish, 500 species of mollusk, 400 species of arthropod, and numerous hard and soft corals, while larger marine animals in the area include seals and three species of dolphins. This bay reserves a more pristine scenery with an intense concentration of limestone mountains, which the sea surface has partitioned into smaller bays and gulfs. Moreover, it’s a good spot for swimming, organizing a private beach BBQ, or an overnight camp thanks to a hundred beautiful, small beaches lying at the feet of the mountains.

Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay

Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay

This bay occupies three-quarters of the Halong Bay World Heritage site, but it seems that people hardly know of this place. Bai Tu Long Bay is an ideal destination for those who are not good with the crowd and want to experience a private and peaceful atmosphere. Bai Tu Long is outstanding with a long range of islands that were created when the whole limestone upland sunk below sea level. Once coming Bai Tu Long, you will have the chance to visit a great many amusing destinations such as the Cong Do area, Vung Vieng fishing village, Cong Dam area, Thien Canh Son cave, and much more. In that, we must mention its national park which is the home of many endangered species of birds and animals, as well as plants. It is because of its less rowdy and touristy, Bai Tu Long remains pristine, and residents are more local fishermen than tourism service workers. In addition to traveling by boat here, you can also enjoy an enjoyable bicycle ride watching insightful dense forests on the islands.

Thien Canh Son Cave in Bai Tu Long Bay

Thien Canh Son Cave in Bai Tu Long Bay

What Are Cruise Activities?

Don’t forget to check what activities are included during your cruising tour. However, the activities that are available on your cruise will vary with the company. It’s necessary to find a cruise with an appropriate length and the activities that you want to experience the most.

Here we provide you with some activities to look for including:

Kayaking

For travelers who have been to Halong Bay, the kayak is considered the best way to feel all the grandeur of Halong nature and explore cliffs below the waves rolling up thousands of years, watch birds on the cliffs, or touch thousands of years old stalactites.

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Attending a traditional Vietnamese cooking class

This is an interesting experience for visitors to better understand Vietnamese cuisine.

Swimming

Halong Bay is an ideal place with a beautiful beach with calm tides, clean, and green water, and sunbathing with dazzling sunlight. Ban Chan, Vung Ha,… are considered the best beaches in Ha Long that you should visit.

Swimming in Halong Bay

Swimming in Halong Bay

Exploring caves with guided tours

A wide range of destinations for tourists who love discovery: Sung Sot Cave, Drum Cave, Dark and Bright Cave, Me Cung Cave, and so on.

Tai Chi exercise

Start your new day on board with an exercise that helps improve your balance by moving your body slowly, gently, and privately, while breathing deeply.

Spa

Not only stop at a normal relaxing method, with comfortable beds in a private quiet room along with highly high-qualified essential oil and other facilities accompanied with personal attention from skillful hands, the spa onboard also ensures to give you true relaxation on every inch of your skin, muscles, and mind.

Spa in  Halong Bay

Going night squid fishing

Those who are a night owl should consider a popular nighttime activity in Halong Bay which is night squid fishing.

Hiking

For those who love nature and don’t have a huge amount of time to explore Halong Bay, this is a good pick as you will get to see a wide range of species in a short amount of time.

Diving

With tourists who love discovery, scuba diving will be a favorite activity on Halong Bay. We believe that the underwater adventure is the heart, the soul of Ha Long Bay that visitors should not miss.

Visiting Fishing Village

Once visiting the fishing village in Halong Bay, tourists will also have the chance to experience the aquatic life of residents and explore diverse seafood.

Gym

A fitness center that will serve you 24/24 and is free to use. With the beautiful view open to the sea, you will have a chance to commune with nature while running the treadmill, taking the bikes, or trying the step machines.

Seaplane tours

For those who want to splash out and see Halong Bay from a height then consider signing up for a tour on a seaplane that will take you up to a height of 300 meters above the water and you will fly over spots of interest like Dau Go Cave, Tuan Chau Island and plenty of other highlights.

Cycling

There are many different types of vehicles for travelers exploring the famous attractions in Ha Long. However, if you want to deeply enjoy the quiet atmosphere, scenic setting on the beach, or the hectic pace of life most clearly cycling and trekking will be a perfect suggestion for you.

Cycling in Halong Bay

Cycling in Halong Bay

Have lunch in the caves

If you are seeking a different experience of Halong Bay, lunch in the caves is a must. It does not only come with a fine candlelit dining experience but also admires the great work of Mother Nature.

Shopping

For those who are staying on Cat Ba Island and want to try some of the local delights then head for the central market where you will find a variety of local fruits and vegetables and you can also check out the local seafood.

In general, an overnight cruise on Halong Bay is a package tour, including the cost of transportation, accommodation, meals, entrance tickets, and outdoor activities except for drinks and personal expenses. What is included in the price?

Especially, we suggest checking whether the price of transportation that included or not. If you book via some OTAs, the price will not usually have a car, you need to contact them to arrange more car service offline. And if the section is not clear, you need to contact the travel agency and ask clearly before deciding to book.

How much do we have to pay for the Halong Bay Cruise Tour Package?

With the information through the Internet or contacting companies, and tour agencies, tourists will see there are many different prices for the same tour.

  • A low-price tour (less than 1 million VND / person for a night program): tourists can stay on an old boat, or the quality of meals, and service is not as expected…
  • The 2D-1N tour: tourists should pay 2,500,000 VND/per person to choose a suitable cruise operator.
  • The 3D-2N tour: tourists should look for options from 4,200,000 VND/ person.

Tips: The summer (From May to September) is the best time to go to the Halong bay and you can get excellent prices from the high-class boats, only for Vietnamese people.

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