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The best way to fully explore Halong Bay is on an overnight cruise, you can choose 2Days 1Night or 3Day 2Nights on boat. There are so many different cruise options to offer overnight on Halong Bay. It could be a boutique wooden boat with sails or a modern steel boat with spacious cabins. You might need a private trip with family or socialise with friends in a bigger group.

All the request will be carefully consulted by local experts of Hanoi Explore Travel Team. We also find the best deals to help you save time and money in choosing a suitable cruise among hundred cruising boat options of Halong Bay

What Halong Bay is Famous For?

Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is well-known for its stunning limestone mountains rising from the jade-colored waters which were formed thousands of years ago.

Coming here, you can also have the chance to learn more about Halong’s culture and fascinating caves.

What Things to do in Halong Bay?

There are always a lot of things you can do in Halong because it is a large location that caters to both economic and tourism demands.

In Halong, a variety of itineraries are available, from outdoor and physically demanding activities to trips that are more leisurely and food-focused.

Along with visiting the well-known attractions while traveling Halong Bay, tourists should engage in the following extra activities.

Explore Agriculture Tour

Tourists will find a variety of healthy and unique Vietnamese plants through experiencing and learning how farmers grow the organic foods served on board


Is one of the things you should definitely do in Halong Bay. However, this activity is only suitable and possible to do at specific times of the year, so it might be ignored by many tourists.


Trekking can be easily found in many famous sites in Halong, particularly on Cat Ba Island and in the primeval forests. You will definitely have a lot of fun with this experience.


Similar to trekking, cycling may be done throughout most of the major areas of HaLong Bay and HaLong City, including Cat Ba Island and the city center.


Kayaking through Ha Long Bay is one of the best ways to discover the bay for those who like to explore on their own and for those with an active lifestyle.

Rock Climbing

Climbing is advised for sport enthusiasts, from amateur to expert, however there are few choices as it is currently only offered by one travel company in Cat Ba Island.

Tai Chi Exercises

Doing Tai Chi is among the most popular early-morning activities for overnight tourists in Halong Bay cruise. It is a fantastic alternative for morning exercises on the cruise.

Join Cooking Class

Also one of the most popular activities on overnight cruises, cooking classes usually take place in the late afternoons just before everyone gets ready for dinner.

Spa & Wellness

Spa and wellness services are frequently offered on opulent cruises for those wishing to make the most of their relaxing time in Ha Long Bay, ideally while cruising the tranquil waters of the bay.

Squid Fishing

Going squid fishing is the onboard activity that everyone looks forward to when the night falls. In addition to uniting people, this activity also brings a lot of fun.

What’s the Best Time to visit Halong Bay

October through December is the peak travel season for tourists. As the weather is not too hot, less storms and the sea is calm as in the summer, it may be the best time to visit Halong Bay for some people.

The main drawback is the huge influx of visitors from all over the world to Halong Bay during this time, especially during the Christmas to New Year season.

In addition, the winter in Northern Vietnam often begins at the end of November and can linger until the beginning of April, so the weather can be frequently gloomy, grey, and rather chilly. It hence can be considered as another drawback of visiting Halong Bay during this peak season.

Most Popular Halong Bay Cruise Routes

The Halong Bay Management Board provides tourists and travel agencies with three different ticket kinds (following the three routes listed below) in an effort to manage the overflowing tourist population in Halong Bay. If you purchase a ticket for route 1, you may only visit the attractions that are permitted along this route.

You will need to buy additional tickets to the attractions if you want to visit more attractions of different routes.

The majority of tour companies will only purchase tickets for one route, so you should talk to the tour operator about the places you would like to go before booking a tour.

Route 1

Tien Ong Cave

Although it has just been put into operation, Tien Ong Island with its pristine beauty will surely captivate visitors.

Cua Van Fishing Floating Village

A visit to Cua Van village, which is ranked one of the world’s most picturesque small villages by Huffington Post, will provide tourists an opportunity to learn more about the long-standing local culture.

Viet Hai Village

A typical example for a peaceful place in the crowded Ha Long Bay is Viet Hai village. As a village on Cat Ba Island, Viet Hai with a unique local identity offers up a whole new world to its tourists.

Three Peach Island

Ba Trai Dao Islet features a beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear waters, which is ideal for kayaking or swimming.

Coc Cheo Islet

Hon Chen Islet with an interesting shape is known as filming location for Kong: Skull Island. For movie fans, exploring this islet’s unspoiled beauty is like going on a treasure hunt!

Me Cung Cave

Me Cung Cave (Maze Cave), like its name, has an oddly complicated structure and is a remnant of the early Halong civilisation (7,000 – 10,000 years ago). With lighting effects, caves currently become more stunning.

Route 2

Vung Vieng Fishing Floating Village

Kayaking through Ha Long Bay is one of the best ways to discover the bay for those who like to explore on their own and for those with an active lifestyle.

Tung Sau Pearl Farm

The isle has the appearance of a finger pointing upward. Visitors can take highly distinctive backdrop shots on this isle thanks to its surroundings.

Finger Islet

This island is one of the most hidden gems of Halong Bay, surely bringing fresh experience to visitors.

Dau Be Island

When viewed from above, the beach looks like a crescent moon. With its beauty, Titop Island is well-known among travelers throughout the world.

Route 3

Titov Beach

When viewed from above, the beach looks like a crescent moon. With its beauty, Titop Island is well-known among travelers throughout the world.

Ho Ba Ham Islet

Ba Ham Lake offers incredibly tranquil moments thanks to the water, which is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Surprise Cave

As the largest cave in HaLong Bay, the interior of this cave will leave you in awe during your visit.

Trinh Nu Cave

Every cave frequently has a legend that increases the cave’s appeal! Let’s visit Trinh Nu Cave to get to know its interesting story and take in its amazing beauty that nature has offered.

Luon Cave

When admiring stalagmites and stalactites in the close distance, visitors will be mesmerized by the picturesque and tranquil scene. Additionally, you can take a boat ride on the pure and calming water to pass through the beautiful cave.

Cong Do Island

Cong Do Island in Bai Tu Long Bay is less well-known than other islands, but it has a diverse ecosystem that is constantly developing.

Best Itinerary for Halong Bay Cruise

With an overnight cruise, you will be able to take in Halong Bay’s stunning natural beauty. In addition, there is also a wide variety of activities available, such as swimming, kayaking, taking photos, learning about local life and history by visiting mysterious caves and floating villages, practicing Tai Chi, taking cooking classes (demonstrations), singing karaoke and making new friends, or trying your luck at squid fishing on the boat. These activities will undoubtedly give your trip unforgettable memories.

Estimated cost for 2 Days 1 Night Cruises

We only collaborate with the top Halong Bay cruises, ranging from 3-star to 5-star standard, to ensure both your best experience and our reputation. Check out the price for a cruise in 02 days and 01 night below:

Cruise Star Rating Price from per person
La Pandora Cruise
  • 4 Star
  • From 149USD
Peony Cruise
  • 4 Star
  • From 159USD
La Casta Cruise
  • 5 Star
  • From 163USD
Scarlet Pearl Cruise
  •  5 Star
  • From 178USD
Orchid Cruise
  •  5 Star
  • From 179USD
Stella of the Sea Cruise
  •  5 Star
  • From 196USD
Le Theatre Cruise
  •  5 Star
  • From 182USD
Mon Cheri Cruise
  •  5 Star
  •  From 185USD

Typically, all meals, activities, and excursions on the cruise are included in this price. Therefore, you only need to make a reservation and enjoy your trip.

A two-day, one-night cruise to Halong Bay

In 2 days and 1 night, there are 3 different Halong cruise itineraries based on the bays: Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long, or Lan Ha Bay. Take a look at the various itineraries below:

  • Most popular Halong Bay Cruise: You will take part in the activities offered by the cruise, such as swimming, kayaking, and visiting Surprise Cave. You can also climb to the top of Ti Top Island for a spectacular view of Halong Bay. Squid fishing and karaoke are available for you to experience after dinner. In addition, you will get the chance to visit a local pearl farm and observe the pearl-making process there. Then, take a cooking class to learn how to prepare spring rolls, which is one of the activities that will help you meet new people during the trip.
  • 2-day and 1-night Lan Ha Bay Cruise: Tourists mainly visit Lan Ha Bay, which is located south of Ha Long. During this itinerary, you will visit the magnificent Dark and Light caves and explore more caves with the help of kayaks or Sampan Boats rowed by locals. Additionally, there are other exciting activities available for you to explore Cat Ba Island with its beautiful and enigmatic caverns such as a visit to Quan Y (military hospital) cave, Trung Trang cave, Hoa Cuong cave, or a guided tour of a fishing village.
  • 2-day and 1-night Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise: In contrast to many touristy destinations, Bai Tu Long Bay still has all of its pristine traits. This itinerary will let you explore the unique and stunning Thien Canh Son cave. You can also kayak, swim, and visit a nearby floating village to get a feel for local life.

Let’s plan a trip as soon as possible to relax, escape from your hectic life, and strengthen family ties. In particular, you also have the chance to meet more people from different countries.

3 Days and 2 Nights Cruises Overview

Three days and two nights will be the best duration for you to enjoy, unwind, and explore HaLong Bay if you have the time and want to experience and explore more of the most stunning attractions while on your vacation.

With this trip, you can participate in all of the 2-day and 1-night cruise’s activities in Halong Bay and travel further to the bay’s pristine area (on the second day).

The cost of cruises varies depending on the quality of their services offered. For general prices, see the list below:

Star Rating Price from per person
  • 3 Star Cruise
  • From 191USD
  • 4 Star Cruise
  • From 214USD
  • 5 Star Cruise
  • From 281USD

All meals, admission fees to attractions, and a ticket for bay sightseeing are all included in the cost. You just need to pay for your extras like beverages and massages.

Halong Bay Itinerary in 3 days and 2 nights

The 3-day, 2-night cruise also provides 3 various routes, including the classic Halong Bay route, the Lan Ha bay route, or the Bai Tu Long bay route, similar to the 2-day and 1-night cruise.

Day 1: Swimming and Kayaking

  • You’ll be picked up at your hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Then when you arrive at the harbor, the crew will welcome you on board. After checking-in, have lunch as the cruise sails by stunning limestone islands.
  • Activities like kayaking, swimming, and visiting fishing towns are offered in the afternoon to help you unwind and take in the ambience of the bay.
    Additionally, there is a sunset party on the sundeck that gives you the chance to unwind and drink beer with your new friends and family.
  • After dinner is served, you can relax by going squid fishing or singing karaoke, or you can rest on the deck and take in the calm and quiet of Halong Bay in the evening.

Day 2: Taking a boat tour for the day.

  • Join a Tai Chi practice and watch the sunrise to start the day. After breakfast, a boat will pick you up and take you on a day trip till the afternoon.
  • You will travel to many pristine locations on this day that only you can see and explore according to this plan. In the afternoon, you take the large cruise back.
  • Have dinner on board with famous dishes and then go squid fishing or relax in the open space on the deck.

Day 3: Concluding your three-day, two-night cruise

  • Following breakfast, you’ll go on a visit to a nearby cave or fishing village. Do check-out and say goodbye to the crew members after lunch.
  • Then, after being dropped off at the harbor, we will transport you back to the Old Quarter of Hanoi. The tour is finished.

How To Choose The Right Halong Bay Cruise?

This could be among the most crucial parts of your plan for an unforgettable Halong Bay Cruise.

You and your family will spend most of your time on the cruise for several days.

We’ll highlight the top cruise companies in Halong Bay that have an excellent reputation for their customer service, amenities, and their cruise license from the Management Board of Ha Long Bay.

Steps to have a great cruise:

Step 1

  • You will decide your itinerary length
  • How long do you want to spend in HaLong Bay?Day Cruise
  • 2 Day 1 Nights
  • 3 Days 2 Nights
  •  Days Cruise

Step 2

What is your budget?

  • High End & Private
  • Luxury Cruise
  • Middle-Range Cruise
  • Budget Cruise

Step 3

  • Do you go with your children?
  • Halong cruises usually can accommodate 2 people only.
  • If you are looking for a larger room for 2 adults and 2 children, or a connecting room, let’s consider mid-range to the luxury cruise.
  • Mid-range to luxury cruises are a better option for travelers with specific needs like special diets or more amenities.

Step 4

  • The entire Halong Bay area includes Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay.
  • Both Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay have many of the same geological features as Ha Long Bay but are less touristy.
  • However, you can miss famous attractions such as Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave), Luon Cave, Titop Island…

Step 5

  • Now that you have completed steps 1-4, you are better able to decide what kind of Halong cruise you want.
  • The question is, how do you pick the best one?
  • For the finest experience at Halong Bay, revise the points below.
  • Think about the rating and years of business on TripAdvisor.