best-luxury-halong-bay-cruises
Best Luxury Halong Bay Cruises

Halong Bay Cruise Overview

Halong Bay, one of the World Heritage Sites, is the most attractive tourist destination in Vietnam.

Before you start choosing the best cruise to visit Halong Bay, we would like to provide you with the most frequently-asked question that we get from travelers.

  • The question is: How do I pick the best cruise in Halong Bay?

Actually, the selection of a suitable cruise operator for a Halong Bay Itinerary can satisfy even the most experienced visitors. There are currently many different itinerary options available, ranging from luxury to super economical, with dozens of operators to select from. Not to worry! We are here to assist you in selecting the best cruise to Halong Bay with a special itinerary at the most affordable price!

When to visit Halong Bay

  • Cruises are available all year round, allowing tourists to visit Halong Bay at any time of the year. However, the best season to travel is from October to March, when it comes to pleasant temperatures and little rainfall. During that time, you would have to face more crowds, so it is wiser to plan and book tours in advance.
  • The months between April and September are characterized by hot, humid weather and the highest annual rainfall with August being the rainiest month.

What is the best length of cruise?

Determining when to start the trip and how long to stay is the first step when planning your itinerary. You have three options to select from, depending on your time and budget: day trip, two days and one night, or three days and two nights.

Halong Bay Day Trip

A day trip is the shortest and most reasonable option to take into account. The cruise will offer visits to well-known tourist sites throughout the bay and last from four to eight hours. Tourists will have to stay on board most of the time while the cruise sails through amazing islets. In addition, it will stop by some famous spots where tourists can kayak, swim, and do other activities.

===>  Explore BEST Deluxe Halong Bay Day Trip 6 Hours Cruise

Overnight Halong Cruise (2 days and 1 night or 3 days and 2 nights)

If you prefer to spend more time on the bay, overnight Halong Cruise may be an ideal option. The longer you stay, the more experiences you can have. Actually, the overnight cruise will provide additional opportunities for visits to tourist attractions and more activities to do.

Moreover, attentive arrangements for meals and accomodation are also included in your overnight cruise. You will therefore have to pay more for itineraries lasting 2 days and 1 night or 3 days and 2 nights, but you will undoubtedly receive worthwhile experiences.

Out of the two possible itineraries, the 2-day, 1-night Halong Bay Cruise appears to be the better choice. The majority of the cruises along a given route will share quite similar itineraries. They consist of all activities offered by every Halong Bay cruise. In other words, whether you select 1-night or 2-nights itineraries, you can engage in the activities almost the same, except for more tourist sites to visit.

How to Choose the Best Halong Bay Luxury Cruise

As there appears to be plenty of cruise options available, it is quite a hard task for travelers to pick up the best Halong Cruises for your trip. If you are about to take a cruise to Halong, do not miss out our detailed guide below. Let’s see what we should do to have the Best Luxury Halong Bay Cruise

halong-bay-cruise-map
halong bay cruise map

Check the route

The second thing to be considered is where you want to visit. If you continue to believe that every Halong Bay trip is the same, it must be your mistake. In fact, there are three typical tourist areas, namely Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Lan Ha Bay.

In general, the three tourist areas mentioned above have geographical characteristics in common, which are limestone pillars, caverns and turquoise water. Though, your experiences will vary depending on the tourist destination.

Route 1: Cruise to Halong Bay

This is the busiest and most well-known route, departing from Bai Chay port for day cruises or Tuan Chau harbor for overnight cruises, respectively, and traveling through the most well-known tourist attractions in Halong Bay. Tourists will be able to see well-known islets, caves and beaches that frequently appear in the media. Halong Bay has the most cruise operating and providing a wide variety of overnight itineraries. Here are some suggestions for the best 2-day cruise:

  • Ambassador Cruise
  • Pelican Cruise
  • Indochina Sails

Route 2: Cruise to Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island

Lan Ha Bay, which is a part of Hai Phong, resembles Halong in many ways. Though its area is not too large, Lan Ha Bay owns beautiful and crystal-clear beaches. Additionally, the stunning Cat Ba Island in Lan Ha Bay is home to forests with distinctive ecological systems, regarded as another reason why tourists flock to the bay. Cruises on Lan Ha Bay typically depart from Binh wharf or Cat Ba’s Beo wharf for the attractive tourist sites of the bay.

Let’s refer to our recommendations for the best Lan Ha Bay cruises below:

  • Orchid Cruise
  • Mon Cheri Cruises
  • Peony Cruise
  • Heritage Cruise

Route 3: Visit Bai Tu Long Bay – A hideaway from the bustling life

Compared to Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay, Bai Tu Long is the least popular tourist destination. Therefore, a Bai Tu Long cruise will be the best for those who are seeking some tranquil days. The lesser-known tourist destination, Bai Tu Long Bay, is the perfect location for kayaking and swimming in the crystal-clear water of super clean pristine beaches. The following are some suggestions for a cruise around Bai Tu Long Bay:

  • Emperor Cruise
  • Signature Cruise
  • Paloma Cruise

How to decide your budget?

Among hundreds of cruises, tourists are absolutely able to choose the one that suits your budget. After comparing various cruise pricing, you can choose the best cruise standard with ease. A good cruise pricing should be reasonable in terms of quality and not too inexpensive. Therefore, in order to ensure the quality of the overnight itineraries, tourists typically favor 3-star cruises. As shown below, we can provide you with almost exact price for different overnight itineraries (per guest, per night):

  • 3-star cruise: USD 120 – USD 141
  • 4-star cruise: USD 142 – USD 160
  • 5-star cruise: USD 148 – USD 250

Along with affordable cruises, Halong Bay offers a variety of 5-star luxury cruises with prices starting at $350 USD a night, including the Emperor, Paradise Peak, Orchid Premium, Ginger Cruise, Violet Cruise, and others.

For further information on how to select the best cruise by price, please see the following three pricing ranges

Standard Boat

When having a moderate budget, you will find it quite challenging to choose a suitable cruise. Don’t worry! We can recommend some cruises that fit your budget while still ensuring you the best experiences.

  • Swan Cruises – The most spacious budget cruise
  • Aclass Legend Cruise – The most experienced budget cruise
  • Le Journey Cruise – The best service cheap cruise overnight
  • Pegasus Cruise – The largest cabin budget cruise

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Mid-range cruise

A mid range budget will make it easier for choosing the best cruise. The standard of best mid-range cruises is equivalent to a 4-star standard hotel. Therefore, almost all of the activities and amenities provided on luxury cruises are available to you.

If you opt to take a mid-range cruise, let’s take a look at some highlights of 10 recommended 4-star Halong Bay cruises right now:

  • Sena Cruise
  • Peony Cruise
  • Dragon Pearl Junk
  • Calypso Cruise
  • Starlight Cruise
  • Signature Cruise

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Luxury Cruise – 5-star cruise

It’s possible that a luxury overnight cruise is comparable to a stay at a 5-star hotel. It includes a sizable boat with opulent, contemporary furnishings, beautiful cabins, high-class amenities, and top-notch services. Depending on your budget, you can choose the most luxury cruise that suits your preferences. View our list of the Top 10 luxury cruises in Halong Bay below:

  • Au Co Cruise
  • Era Cruise
  • Paradise Elegance Cruise
  • Le Theatre Cruise
  • Indochina Junk
  • Orchid Cruise
  • Stella of Sear Cruise
  • Mon Chéri Cruises
  • Hera Cruise

let-find-a-best-cruise

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Luxury-halong-cruise
Luxury Halong Cruise

How to pick a BEST Halong Cruise by category

Choosing the best Halong Cruise will be simpler if you get to know how to choose the suitable one for your special needs. The factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing a cruise may include your accompanions (your family, friends or lover), types of traveling (for young backpackers, middle-aged travelers or retirees) and so on. Here are some common special needs you may have and possible solutions to help you pick the best Halong Cruise:

  • Cabin type

In general, there are only 2 to 3 different types of cabins available on cruises, including double cabins, twin cabins, and family cabins, which are all designed in cruise standards ranging from 3-star to 5-star. The availability of triple cabins, family cabins, and connected cabins varies by cruise. Therefore, before making your cruise reservation, you must carefully consider whether you require a double cabin or a family cabin. Some cruises providing family cabins and connecting cabins with reasonable prices are listed as Swan Cruise, Paloma Cruise and Peony Cruise.

  • Honeymoon Cruise

Some overnight Halong Bay cruises offer a private ambiance created by cabin décor, dining sets, and special deals for newlyweds and couples. What could be more romantic than sharing a sweet moment when watching the sunset or enjoying a wonderful dinner on the deck with candles, flowers, and wine?

There are currently numerous cruises that have affordable honeymoon packages available. Some recommended Halong Bay honeymoon cruises can be named as Emperor Cruise, Valentine Premium Cruise, Violet Cruise – Heritage Line, L’amour Junk and so on.

honey-moon-on-cruise
Honeymoon Cabin on halong cruise
  • Kid-friendly cruise

Not many cruises have kid clubs to babysit your kids. Though, if you truly need to take some time to yourself, you can ask the cruise staff for assistance. In case they are not too busy, they will definitely assist you in caring for your kids for a short while.

  • Food and Beverage

How to choose the best Halong Bay cruise if you have a certain preference for food and beverage? On overnight cruises, lunch and dinner are frequently served from a buffet, fixed menu, or à la carte. You can make additional special requests, such as those for kid-friendly meals, meals for people with allergies, vegan food, and Indian food. In this case, it is preferable to get in touch with the cruise line before making a reservation to ensure that your request will be met.

swimming-pool-on-cruise
swimming pool on Halong bay cruise

Pick your preferred activities on board

Considering what activities a Halong Bay cruise can offer to tourists is considered as the most effective way to pick the best one. In general, tourists will have access to a greater choice of activities on overnight cruises than on day trips.

Paddling out in a kayak is one of must-try activities in Halong Bay. This activity is included in almost all 2-day and 3-day itineraries. Tourists will be able to kayak amid limestone karsts that emerge on turquoise water or through dark and bright caves to get closer to the charming beauty of Halong Bay.

  • Joining yoga classes: Some cruises offer yoga classes as a fitness activity on board. It will be perfect to do a meditative retreat while soaking in the refreshing atmosphere.
  • Taking part in cooking classes: For individuals who love traditional Vietnamese cuisine, engaging in this activity is a great opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Vietnamese cooking, specifically through lessons on how to make spring rolls.
  • Practicing Tai Chi: Tai Chi exercises are frequently offered as morning exercises on the rooftop deck of overnight cruises. Tai chi is a form of gentle exercise that promotes relaxation as well as a healing retreat.
  • Night squid fishing: This is an interesting nighttime activity on the cruise. Tourists will be guided on how to use a fishing rod to catch a fresh squid.
  • Sunbathing: After a full day of activities, sunbathing on the deck’s lounge chairs or occasionally while reading a good book may be a wonderful way to unwind.
  • Taking part in a pool party: If you’re on a cruise with a group of friends, you might want to think about picking one with an outdoor pool to enjoy a fun pool party. Some cruises with jacuzzi that you should try include Stella of the Sea, Jasmine Cruise, Orchid Cruise, Mon Cheri Cruise and so on.
  • Getting spas and massages: This activity is a helpful way to feel re-energized and relaxed. If you love spa treatments, let’s reserve a Halong Bay cruise with spa, which is offered in almost all cruises.

Our Halong Bay Luxury Cruise Recommendations

Let’s come to see the top Luxury Cruise in Halong Bay to have an amazing your trip:

Orchid Cruise

  • Year operated from 2018
  • Cruise type: Wooden
  • Itinerary: Got Ferry Terminal, Trung Trang Cave, Cat Ba National Park, Tra Bau area, Viet Hai Village, Ba Trai Dao Beach, Frog Lake.
  • 14 Cabins: -> It is big ( Bigger is better, Like Hotel on the land)
  • Smallest Size Board: 36Sqm
  • Itinerary: 2 days/ 3 days/
  • Star: 5 Star
  • Average Price From: $175/Person (Cabin is bigger so Price will be higher)

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Bhaya Cruises

  • Operated from 2007
  • 15 to 20 Cabins
  • Smallest Size Board: 12Sqm
  • Itinerary: 2 days/ 3 days/
  • Star: 5 Star
  • Price from: $175/Person

Genesis Cruise

  • Cruise type: Wooden
  • Year operated: 2017
  • Itinerary:Tuan Chau Marina –Luon Cave – Sung Sot Cave
  • Duration: 2 days/ 3 days/
  • Star: 5 Star
  • Price from: $175/Person

La Regina Cruises

  • Best for: Nature-and-culture-loving children.
  • Price: Starting from US$169
  • Itinerary: Tuan Chau Marina, Elephant Feet, Tra Bau area, Viet Hai Village, Viet Hai Cultural Farming Conservation Houses, Ba Trai Dao Beach, Dark & Bright Cave.

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Indochina Junk Cruise

  • Activities: Kayaking., Barbecue on the beach, Fishing trip
  • Prices from: $185 USD.
  • Duration of Trips: 1 day cruise, 2 days 1 night, 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights.

Athena Cruise Line

  • Operates: Athena Cruise and Signature Cruise
  • Activities: Tai Chi, Tour of Thien Canh Song Cave, Kayaking, Visit to Vung Vieng Floating Village, Cooking Class,
  • Prices from: $298 USD.
  • Duration of Trips: 1 day cruise, 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights.

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Stellar of the Seas Cruises

  • Operated from 2017 (Quite new)
  • 22 Cabins
  • Smallest Size Board: 30Sqm
  • Itinerary: 2 days/ 3 days/ 4 /
  • Star: 5 Star
  • From: $180/Person
  • Luxury features: Mini-golf course and a swimming pool open year-round.
  • Itinerary: Tuan Chau Marina, Lan Ha Bay, Viet Hai Village, Dark & Bright Cave.

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Azalea Cruise

  • 24 Cabins
  • Itinerary: 2 Days 1 Night
  • Star: 5 Star
  • Price: Starting from US$346
  • Itinerary: Got Ferry Terminal, Trung Trang Cave, Tra Bau area, Viet Hai Village, Ba Trai Dao Beach, Frog Lake.

Le Theatre Cruises

  • Price: Starting from US$390.
  • Itinerary: Gia Luan Harbor, Ao Ech area, Viet Hai floating village, Van Boi area, Dark & Bright Cave.
  • What kids will love: Cooking class, sunset tea break, and beach activities.

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Paradise Luxury Cruise

  • Cruise type: Metal
  • Star: 5 Star
  • Year operated: 2019
  • Price from 178$/Person
  • Itinerary: Halong Bay – Sung Sot Cave – Titop Island – Luon Cave
  • Itinerary highlight: You have an opportunity to walk through hundreds of stone steps to explore Sung Sot Cave – the biggest and most beautiful cave in Halong Bay; visit Luon Cave by a bamboo boat or kayak; finally, you can take a dip swim under cool water of Titop Beach or hike to the top of the mountain to capture panoramic bay views.

Scarlet Pearl Cruise

  • Price: Starting from US$404 
  • Itinerary: Halong International Cruise Port, Viet Hai Village, Dau Be Island or Ba Trai Dao Beach, Dark & Bright Cave.
  • Activities: Swimming, Kayaking, Squid Fishing, Spa

Peony Cruises

  • Cruise Duration: 2 Days 1 Night
  • Launched: 2018
  • Cabins: 20
  • Type: Metal
  • Star Rating: 4*
  • Itinerary: Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island

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Mon Chéri Cruises

  • Best for: Families taking pleasure in Kosher or Halal food.
  • Price: Starting from US$341
  • Itinerary: Got Pier, Dark & Bright Cave, Viet Hai Village, Van Boi Bay, Cat Ba Island, Trung Trang Cave.
  • What kids will love: Swimming, kayaking, and beach activities on charter program.

Hera Cruise

  • Itinerary: Halong Bay – Tung Sau Pearl Farm or Me Cung Cave – Sung Sot Cave or Titop Island

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Ambassador Cruise

  • Luxury features: Michelin-starred cuisines, all you can eat lobster dinner and a vast selection of world-sourced drinks, and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
  • Price: Starting from US$277
  • Itinerary: Tuan Chau Marina, Sung Sot Cave, Luon Cave, Titop Island, Trinh Nu Cave, Cua Van Fishing Village

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All in all, we hope our guidelines on how to choose the best luxury cruise in Halong will help you pick the right boat that suits your needs. Follow our travel tips and experiences then opt for one of our top-rated Halong Bay cruise recommendations.

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