How To Choose The Best Halong Bay Cruise

How To Choose The Best Halong Bay Cruise

If you’re wondering how to choose the best cruise in Halong Bay for your upcoming trip there, then keep reading the article below to find the answer!

As one of the most appealing tourist destinations in Vietnam, Halong Bay is always in the top choice for both foreign and domestic visitors. There is no doubt that taking a cruise ship is the ideal way to explore this breathtaking bay entirely.

However, picking the best cruise Halong Bay may be a hard process for those who have never experienced before. That’s why we are here to help you. Follow us!

Decide your duration

When it comes to deciding the most suitable cruise for your trip, define the length first.

The stunning scenery of Halong Bay

Day cruises without staying overnight may be too rushed as it takes you at least three hours drive from Hanoi and gives you a little taste of the bay.

With the time left of a day trip, you cannot cover all delightful activities including kayaking, exploring caves, Vietnamese cooking class or watching the fabulous sunset while sipping a glass of wine on the sundeck.

If you’re looking for memorable experiences and hope to make it a once-in-a-lifetime journey, a 3-day/2-night cruise is an ideal choice. Or in the limit, you should spend at least one night in the bay with the 2-day/1-night itinerary. Believe me, Halong won’t disappoint you with that decision.

However, keep in mind that the former often costs twice as much as the latter, so consider your budget before choosing the length of your holiday.

Choose your boat category

Once traveling, the budget is one of the most significant factors to decide the level of comfort and the cabin standard.

After finding your desired duration, go straight to the list of ships with similar schedules. Consider carefully before booking because once you get on the boat, you cannot ask for a tour stop or change it on your own.

Starlight Cruise

Firstly, think of these essential things such as financial ability, the people you go with or the activities you want to participate.

The cruise services in Halong currently developed strongly to meet the demands of tourists. There are loads of cruise lines, mainly focusing on three standards from three stars to five stars such as Paradise Cruise, Starlight Cruise, Emeraude Cruise, Paloma Cruise or Oriental Sails.

The important thing is to choose a reputable boat. Sometimes, the price cannot reflect the service quality. You can consult and ask for advice from friends who have traveled or view reviews at trustworthy websites.

Luxury Cruises

If money isn’t an issue, go for a high-end ship where you can enjoy facilities as in a five-star hotel such as air-conditioning, private bathroom, and balcony, minibar, tea and coffee makers, etc. Even some cruises offer gym and spa services.

Paradise Cruise

Mid-range Cruises

Mid-range level of the cruise is comparable to 4-star or 3-star hotel or of courses it has fewer amenities and activities than the luxurious ones. This option is suitable for those who are watching their finances.

Low-end Budget Cruises

If you’re on a tight budget, then look for a low-end boat which can be old and lack of essential facilities. You may have to prepare yourself toiletries. Forget the spa and gym as well.

In a nutshell, you will get what you pay for, so consider your budget and pick the most suitable cruise for you.

Check the cruise itineraries and activities

Most of the boats go to the same places in their itineraries which are the most popular spots in the area. However, some can take different routes with lesser-visited destinations.

The whole area of Halong includes three regions: Halong, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay which owns similar scenery with imposing cliffs and caves, picturesque beaches or stunning islets.

Nevertheless, Halong Bay is much more crowded than others with numerous boats and tourists that can make you disappointed.

Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are less touristy and would be preferable for those who are into off-the-beaten-track and pristine places.

When it comes to activities, there are differences between boats, but most of them provide excursions of visiting floating villages, exploring caves, swimming, kayaking or bamboo boat riding.

Kayaking in Halong Bay


So, carefully check included activities during your cruise tours and choose the most favorite one.

Check what the price of tour is included

Besides excursions, you should also pay attention to other onboard services and facilities. Check what the tour price is covered and what is not included such as the transfer, kayak and squid fishing fee or drink on the boat.

Some cruises will charge for transfers from Hanoi. There is a need to note the type of vehicle: shuttle bus, private car or taxi or ask if the bus will pick up the customers from other hotels.

The prior agreement will help you understand the schedule as well as the service price.

Book through a proper place

There are many ways to book a cruise tour in Halong Bay, in which the most common one is through reputable travel companies since they have many discount rates than when you book directly through the boat's website.

Another option is to book at the hotel where you stay, but this case is only when you do not schedule it in advance. The price would be higher and also you do not have to research the cruise.

Halong cruise tour booking services at websites provide a lot of objective and honest information about boats whether they are high-end ships or the budget ones. Assessment data is based on customers who have booked and traveled before.

Grouping/classifying yachts provides visitors with a useful tool to filter according to the price/location/customer rating.

Carefully read the boat information before booking. Location information and yacht policy can make a big difference between them. Some will have a surcharge for children.

Are you ready for your excursion after this best Halong Bay cruise recommendation? For any questions or further information, do not hesitate to contact us via our website. Hope to see you soon!