Halong Bay is one of the most popular destinations on many travelers’ bucket list. There are many different ways to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Bay, but none is as fulfilling as taking an overnight cruise trip. Explore Halong Bay cruise options, halong bay cheapest cruise including day trips and budget-friendly choices. Get pricing info and dive into the cruise price halong bay cheapest cruise Athena Halong Bay experience.
The trip not only takes you deeper into the most secluded part of the Bay but also organizes many activities for you to understand more about the local culture. There are both day trip, 2-day trip, 3-day trip halong bay cheapest cruise and even longer trip available. Pick the best one and you will have your moment of a lifetime.
About Halong Bay Cruise From Hanoi
The Halong Bay Cruise lets you relax your mind and body with the mesmerizing views of Halong Bay, regarded prominent as the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Grab the opportunity and capture your halong bay cheapest cruise unbounded joy as well as happy moments, accompanied by the scenic beauty of Halong Bay.
The Halong Bay Cruise with transfers from Hanoi lets you catch the glimpses of the limestone bedrocks, along with cliffs of beautiful tiny islands. You shall also get hold of the other unique creatures available on the location such as Fighting Cocks (symbol of Halong Bay), Duck, Swan, Incense Burner, and Stone Dogs.
What is the best cruise in Halong bay?
It’s difficult to say which is the best cruise in Halong Bay, as it depends on your personal preferences, budget and travel style. However, you can find the best cruise in Halong bay by considering the following factors:
- Quality of the boat: Look for a cruise with a high-quality boat that is well-maintained and equipped with modern amenities.
- Itinerary: Consider the itinerary of the cruise and choose one that includes activities and destinations (Halong bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay) that interest you.
- Food and service: Read reviews and find out about the quality of the food and service provided on the cruise.
- Price: Compare prices and find a cruise that fits within your budget.
- Reviews and ratings: Read reviews and check the ratings of the cruise on travel websites such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com or Halongbaytours.com.
Some of the most popular cruises in Halong bay are:
- Orchid Classic Cruises
- Paradise Elegance Cruise
- Capella Cruises
- Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan
- Stellar of the Seas
- Elite of the Seas
- La Siesta Superyacht (To be launched in April 2023)
How to book a cruise in Halong bay?
There are several ways to book a Halong Bay cruise:
- Online: You can book a cruise online through various travel websites, such as Halongbaytours.com, Booking.com, Expedia, or TripAdvisor. These sites allow you to compare prices, read reviews, and book your cruise directly.
- Directly with a cruise operator: You can book a cruise directly with a cruise operator. Most cruises have their own websites where you can find information about their cruises, prices, and availability. Be aware of fake official cruise websites!
- Local travel agencies: Alternatively, you can book a cruise through a local travel agency. Many travel agencies in Vietnam offer cruise booking, and they can help you find the right cruise for you.
- Upon arrival: It is possible to book a cruise upon arrival in Vietnam. Many tour operators have booths at the airports and in popular tourist areas such as Hanoi old quarter, Cat Ba Island, and Tuan Chau Island, where you can book a cruise directly.
Tips: It’s recommended that you book your cruise in advance, especially during peak season to ensure availability and to get the best deals.
How much money should I bring on board?
In general, all cruise fares already include transportation, accommodation, food and entrance fee. However, drinks are not included, and you may also take part in the paid activities on board such as spa or bar services. You may expect to spend extra $20-100/person for your cruise trip. Also, you do not need to bring too much cash as all cruises accept payment by credit card.
Tips for Taking a Halong Bay Cruise
If you’re like me, taking a cruise around Halong Bay will become the highlight of your Vietnam trip. But since vacation snags can happen, I’ve put together these tips to help increase the chances of your trip running smoothly.
1. A Day Trip Is Possible
Many people recommend taking at least a 1-night cruise around Halong Bay. Having taken a 1-night cruise myself, I have mixed feelings about it. More on that towards the end of this post.
The good news is that if you’re short on time, a Halong Bay day trip is possible.
The most popular route for taking a Halong Bay day cruise is from Hanoi. You’ll find countless agencies in old town Hanoi offering these excursions.
But most offer a similar experience—lunch, kayaking, a cave visit, and a hike with panoramic views.
2. Overnight Trips Are Recommended
it is necessarily recommend an overnight Halong Bay cruise, but this is the typical recommendation.
One and two-night cruises are the most popular options in Halong Bay. The advantage of spending at least one night on a cruise ship is that you’ll get to enjoy your Halong Bay experience at a slower pace. you’ll also experience at least one sunset and sunrise in Halong Bay, which is nothing short of spectacular when the weather cooperates.
You might even get to participate in more activities. But “might” is the operative word, depending on your chosen cruise itinerary.
3. Hanoi and Ninh Binh Are Popular Bases
Hanoi and Ninh Binh are the most popular starting points for a Halong Bay tour. Since Hanoi is about a 2.5-hour drive from Halong Bay and Ninh Binh is about 3.5 hours, also recommend basing yourself in Hanoi if you want to see Halong Bay in a day.
That said, there’s no limit on how much luggage you can bring onboard.
So, some people travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay (or vice versa) before continuing to Ninh Binh or elsewhere in the country. There’s little suitcase lugging you’ll need to do if you choose this option, given that the cruise staff will help carry your bags onto the boat.
4. Transportation Fees Are Often Separate
No matter where you travel from to start your Halong Bay cruise, double-check to see if the transportation fees to the port are included.
Since travelers come from many parts of Vietnam, including accommodation near the port, tour agencies often list the cruise price with an asterisk indicating that it doesn’t include ground transportation.
Have no fear, though, for most tour agencies will be able to arrange a shuttle bus for you. you have to paid $25 for the round-trip Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hanoi journey.
Keep in mind that if you’re traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay, it’s unlikely the shuttle will pick you up if you’re staying outside the old town. Grab is the Uber of Vietnam, so you can get a ride to Hanoi old quarter for cheap, especially if you book a scooter rather than a car.
5. Fall Is the Best Time of Year
Fall is the best time of year to visit Halong Bay for the following reasons:
- Rain is infrequent.
- There’s little fog.
- The temperatures are moderate.
Since Vietnam is in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn encompasses the months of September, October, and November. However, December is also a great time to take a Halong Bay cruise.
There’s one caveat to this recommendation: September falls during typhoon season. More on that next.
The downside to visiting Halong Bay during its best weather months is that it’s the high tourist season. So, crowds abound, and cruise prices are often higher.
January to March are the coldest months in Halong Bay, and you can expect to encounter the fewest tourists during that time. In contrast, the months of April and May serve as a shoulder season where the weather conditions are moderate and there aren’t as many crowds as possible.
6. Plan Around Typhoon Season
Typhoon season in Vietnam runs from June to September. Typhoons are often strongest during the heart of the summer, which corresponds with the hottest temperatures, highest humidity, and most rain.
I recommend checking the refund policy with halong bay cheapest cruise your travel agency if you book a Halong Bay cruise during the typhoon season. Most agencies honor refunds for weather-related cancellations.
Purchasing travel insurance is also wise.
According to my Halong Bay tour guide, the area either has a direct typhoon hit or feels the impact of a typhoon five or six times per year. Needless to say, those are troubling statistics for tourists with their hearts set on taking a Halong Bay cruise.
7. Fog Is a View-killer
You can enjoy the views in Halong Bay when it’s cloudy, but you can’t when it’s foggy.