Halong Bay Cruise – A comprehensive guide

Best hotels in Halong Bay

Currently, the demand for resort tourism is increasing day by day, Halong Bay cruises are also becoming more and more popular among tourists around the world. Most visitors to Ha Long Bay want to “float” once on the most luxurious and comfortable yachts. This post will give you all the knowledge you need to fully explore this natural beauty.

Halong Bay Cruise Overview

halong bay cruise
Halong bay cruise

Halong Bay, a well-known tourist site that takes only two hours to drive from the city of Hanoi, should be on any itinerary for a trip to Vietnam. Spread across 1,553 km2, it is made up of around 2,000 different-sized and shaped limestone islands and islets situated on green waters. Halong Bay has been included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage twice, in 1994 and 2000, because of its noteworthy geographic significance and breathtaking natural seascapes. In 2011, it was also selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Many fleets of Halong Bay Cruise (Cruise Halong Bay) have been developed in response to the growing desire to experience the unspoiled natural environment and give visitors a closer look at the bay. Throughout your journey, you will have the opportunity to discover every inch of the bay and take part in exciting activities.

cruise Halong bay
cruise Halong bay

There are five cruise terminals in Halong Bay (Halong Bay Vietnam cruise port) from which visitors can depart to explore the entire bay. Both foreign and local ships are welcome at international cruise ports including Cai Lan and Halong International Cruise Port. Most domestic ports, including Got Pier, Hon Gai Harbor, and Tuan Chau Pier, serve as embarkation points for domestic cruises.

“How to choose a Halong Bay cruise?” is a question that comes up before boarding a ship. If this is your first time visiting Halong, you will need to consider a variety of factors like duration, boats, finances, itineraries, and onboard guidance and suggestions in order to select a cruise that properly fulfills your expectations.

How to choose the best Halong Bay cruise

At least 500 vessels are currently cruising Halong Bay and its surrounding regions, including Bai Tu Long and Lan Ha. Picking the ideal best cruise in Halong Bay Vietnam for you will be difficult with so many options available, don’t you think? We’ve put up a quick guide to assist you pick a cruise Halong Bay so you can locate your ideal trip more quickly. So let’s see what we can do to make the most of our time at Halong Bay.

Step 1: Choose which particular bay to go on your Halong Bay cruise 

The first thing to decide is where you specifically want to go. Although Halong is the first place that tourists think of when they arrive, the region really consists of three nearby bays: Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Halong Bay. These three bays were similar to one another in terms of their geomorphology and geography. They are all characterized by karst caverns and grottos, turquoise water, and limestone pillars. But, the three locations provide distinct experiences that you may have.

Halong Bay, the largest bay designated as a UNESCO Natural Heritage site

Halong bay
Halong bay

This is the busiest bay since it is the most well-known to visitors. Cruises will set off from Bai Chay Dock or Tuan Chau Harbor, and they will circle Halong Bay’s well-known tourist destinations. You will go to well-known beaches, islands, and caves that are frequently featured in the media, such as Ba Hang floating town, the Fighting Cock islets, Sung Sot Cave, Ti Top Island, and Hang Luon Cave. Nonetheless, Halong is typically packed with travelers because of its well-known name.

Lan Ha Bay, a pristinely beautiful hidden gem

Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay

As stunning as Halong Bay itself, Lan Ha Bay is situated to the south of it and offers as pure scenery in a less visited form. The bay, albeit small in area, has beautiful beaches and crystal-clear seawater. With its stunning Cat Ba Island, which features evergreen woods with remarkable bio-ecological systems, Lan Ha also wins over tourists’ hearts. Cruises around Lan Ha Bay often depart from Cat Ba’s Binh Pier or Beo Pier. It is the ideal location for a tour that deviates from the usual path.

Bai Tu Long Bay, a secret location to take in peaceful scenery

Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long Bay

Locals refer to Bai Tu Long Bay as the location where young dragons descending from Halong Bay kowtowed to their mother dragon. This bay, which is a big region that includes Bai Tu Long National Park, is situated northeast of Halong Bay. The bay is characterized by an abundance of tall and rocky islands, dotted with white sand beaches and floating settlements, and is currently experiencing the early stages of tourism exploitation. Comparatively speaking, Bai Tu Long Bay is among the best off-the-beaten-path places in Vietnam since it has the most breathtaking views of the three bays. If you want to avoid the tourist crowd, enjoy peace and quiet, and cherish the untamed environment, Bai Tu Long Bay is a wise choice.

Step 2: Determine your budget and the kind of cruise you want to take 

When planning a Halong Bay cruise, budgeting is crucial since it will help you with other decisions down the road, such as itinerary selection, cruise line, and personal spending.

The cost of a journey to Halong Bay can range from a few hundred dollars for a dayboat to thousands of dollars for an opulent overnight stay. Therefore, before you go, make sure the money is ready. Since everything is already included in a Halong Bay cruise package, most of your money will go toward making the cruise reservation. Therefore, thoroughly review the cruise’s offered services before departing.

Halong Bay Cruise
Halong Bay Cruise

There are now four primary categories for a Halong Bay cruise: Standard, Budget, Middle-range, and High-end & Private.

Standard day cruise – An ordinary day trip to see Halong Bay

A common day trip option to see the sights of Halong Bay is the standard boat cruise. A cafeteria for the guest’s lunch, a sundeck for sightseeing, and public restrooms are often provided for the voyage, but there isn’t a separate cabin or space for sleeping or relaxing. If you just have a short amount of time, this trip is an excellent way to see Halong Bay. The journey lasts between four and six hours, depending on the preferences of the visitors, and only costs a few hundred dollars for a day trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi including transportation, a tour guide, admission fees, lunch, and kayaking, etc 

Budget Halong Bay cruise – Popular among those on a tight budget

In order to visit Halong Bay and spend the night on a ship, it refers to a conventional overnight trip. Although the cost is less than for other kinds, the quality of the service is also worse given the budget. Due to the abundance of really affordable Halong Bay cruises that are offered daily from Hanoi and cost between 80 and 100 USD per person per night for a two-day, one-night itinerary, many backpackers like to select this choice.

Mid-range, three- to four-star Halong Bay cruises are good cruises at reasonable prices

Perhaps the most popular choice for a Halong Bay tour is a mid-range ship. With individual accommodations for an overnight stay and English-speaking guides, the majority of the ships market themselves as 3- to 4-star cruises. Without a doubt, the service is better than the budget boat in terms of experience, facilities, and service quality.

Mid-range cruises cost between 110 and 140 USD each passenger per night, which already includes meals and kayaking.

High-end, comfortable, five-star private charter Halong Bay cruise 

The best option for the pickiest tourists is a 5-star Halong Bay cruise. The opulent hotel is floating on the sea! This place offers luxuriously decorated private rooms, a large dining area, a lovely sundeck, and first-rate services. Additionally, there is a greater variety of activities, which should provide visitors with an amazing time on the Bay.

A luxurious stay would, of course, cost more. The average cost per passenger per night for a luxury cruise is between thirty and sixty dollars more than for a mid-range trip. You may reserve a private cruise just for your family to experience this wonderful occasion on this unusual bay if you want to have solitude with your loved ones.

Read more: Travel Agency Vietnam: Best Travel Agency for Vietnam Tours

Step 3: Define the length of your Halong Bay trip

The next step is to plan your schedule so that you can decide when to start and how long you can remain. You have three alternatives to pick from a day trip, two days and one night, or three days and two nights, depending on your time and money.

Day trip to visit Halong Bay 


For those with limited time who want to experience Halong Bay, even for a little while, the first circuit is an excellent option. The journey would take four to six hours, giving visitors time to quickly see the Bay’s most well-known sites. You are expected to remain on board when the ship passes by the amazing islands for the majority of the trip. There will be a restricted amount of time for you to explore the well-known locations where the ship will inevitably dock.

Overnight Halong Bay cruise

Halong Bay Cruise
Halong Bay Cruise

The overnight Halong Bay cruises are definitely the best option if you want to spend more time at sea resting and taking in the breathtaking scenery. This option offers the chance to experience Halong’s splendor in all its aspects, day or night. Enjoy a ton of amazing activities to start the day before a breathtaking dawn at sea; it’s truly delightful.

While Vietnamese travelers tend to choose day trips, Western visitors typically stay overnight on the Bay. A 2D1N or 3D2N cruise may cost more, but the experience would undoubtedly be worthwhile.

Step 4: Check the whole itinerary for the Halong Bay cruise

It is now time to think about the itinerary once you have chosen the destination and duration of the trip.

Sort through the cruises you may like to take first, and then go over the whole itinerary to discover what the tour will include. Because the software is not always the same for various operators, it is crucial to read the entire document. Additionally, the cruise line occasionally does not cover the transportation from Hanoi to the boat in Halong.

The main attractions in Halong Bay are usually included in a regular cruise itinerary, which may include a fast sail through the limestone islets to get a glimpse of the bay, a visit to the amazing karst caves, a stop at the sandy beaches, a kayak ride, or a tour of the pearl farm or fishing hamlet. Squid fishing, culinary lessons, Tai Chi exercises in the morning, sunset parties, etc. are some other things to think about doing.

This stage will help you identify the ship that best suits your needs and includes the activities you want to participate in while traveling – both crucial components of a memorable Halong Bay trip.

Step 5: Check the review of some best Halong Bay cruises 

Certain cruises have been carefully chosen for you at this phase based on your preferences for bay, itinerary, and price. Let’s continue our search to get additional information about the cruises you have chosen by reading the reviews for each.

  1. Elite of the Sea 
  • Number of cabins: 35 
  • Route: Tuan Chau Marina – Lan Ha Bay –  Bright Cave 
  • Facilities: an open year-round pool, a children’s play area, a mini golf course, a sauna, a spa, and massage chairs. There is also an indoor and outdoor bar.
  • Experience: squid fishing, swimming, kayaking, cooking classes, spa, and early Taichi 
  • Price: from $236 USD / pax 
Elite of the Sea 
Elite of the Sea

In September 2022, Elite of the Seas, the newest five-star cruise ship in Ha Long Bay – Lan Ha Bay, was introduced. The concept of modern, opulent, classic style served as the foundation for the cruise’s design. Meals were offered as buffets, À la carte, and Western-style menus with popular traditional Vietnamese cuisine presented as BBQ. Discover Lan Ha Bay on the Elite of the Sea cruise, which offers a wonderful adventure and leisure agenda. 

Why choose Elite of the Sea cruise ?

Elite of the Sea is the most ultra-luxurious cruise in Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay. It boasts the largest swimming pool onboard, providing a serene oasis for guests to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings. The cruise features an array of top-notch facilities, including a mini-golf course, fitness room, and many extra services to enhance the overall experience. Each cabin is designed with a private balcony and a luxurious bathtub, ensuring guests have the utmost comfort and privacy during their stay. With Elite of the Sea, you are guaranteed an unparalleled level of luxury and sophistication on your journey through these beautiful bays.

What do not like?

Except for the Premium and Executive Suite, the cabins are not particularly huge, and the itinerary is not particularly special. 


  • Cruise Facility: 4.9/5 
  • Cabin: 4.5/5 
  • Itinerary & Experience: 4/5
  • Service: 4.8/5 
  1. Rosy Cruise 
  • Number of cabins: 22 
  • Route: Tuan Chau Marina – Lan Ha Bay  –  Bright Cave – Tra Bau area 
  • Facilities: a sundeck, spa and massage, fine dining restaurant, and panoramic bar. Outside swimming pool 
  • Experience: Kayaking, Squid Fishing, Cooking Class, Swimming 
  • Price: from $200 USD / pax 
Rosy Cruise 
Rosy Cruise

One of the most opulent 5-star cruises, Rosy Cruise provides overnight trips to Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay. The boats’ traditional and modern elements are created by combining wooden and iron materials. On the Rosy cruise, every stateroom has its own balcony and all the amenities of a luxury hotel. 

Why choose Rosy Cruise?

With private balconies and baths, every roomy accommodation on Rosy Cruise ensures that visitors can unwind in comfort while taking in views of the breathtaking Lan Ha Bay. Families seeking a coherent experience might choose between connected or triple cabins. In addition, the ship has a second-floor outdoor jacuzzi pool that gives a comfortable environment for relaxing while taking in expansive views of the bay’s stunning scenery.

What do not like?

Although Rosy Cruise provides a sumptuous experience in Lan Ha Bay, other features might not be as enticing to visitors. There might not be enough flexibility in the set agenda for people who want to try out new places or activities. The cruise may seem crowded in some sections during busy periods, which might affect visitors’ privacy and sense of calm. Furthermore, prices may be viewed as excessive, particularly in light of extra fees for further services or activities. 


  • Cruise Facility: 4.6/5 
  • Cabin: 4.6/5 
  • Itinerary & Experience: 4/5
  • Service: 4.5/5 
  1. Starlight Cruise

Number of cabins: 32

  • Route: Depart from Hon Gai to visit Bai Tu Long Bay
  • Facilities: restaurant, bar, spa, sundeck
  • Visiting sites: Vong Vieng fishing village, Thien Canh Son cave 
  • Experiences: visiting fishing villages with nan boats
  • Price: from $110 USD / pax
Starlight Cruise
Starlight Cruise

It’s important to note that Starlight Cruise has twin double-bottom technology in its design. It offers complete protection for your travels. It’ll feel like a five-star hotel to you. Every room has a jacuzzi tub for guests to unwind and use as a skin massager. You open the bathroom curtain to take in the expansive and lyrical bay. Visitors may see the pristine Bai Tu Long Bay’s natural splendor by taking a Starlight Cruise, which includes a boat tour of the fishing town and an island cave.

Why choose Starlight Cruise?

When visiting Ha Long Bay, guests can expect an opulent and pleasant stay thanks to the Starlight Cruise’s outstanding equipment. With features like a personal Jacuzzi, each roomy accommodation is expertly built with attention to detail. 

Why do not like?

The cabin of Starlight Cruise has no private balcony and there are not many open-space areas 


  • Cruise Facility: 4.4/5 
  • Cabin: 4.4/5 
  • Itinerary & Experience: 4.5/5
  • Service: 4.5/5 
  1. Au Co Cruise
  • Number of cabins: 32  
  • Facilities: restaurant, bar, spa, sundeck. 
  • Route: Depart from Tuan Chau to visit Ha Long Bay & Lan Ha Bay
  • Visiting sites: Viet Hai village (Cat Ba), Trinh Nu beach
  • Experiences: cycling on Cat Ba Island, kayaking… 
Au Co Cruise
Au Co Cruise

The only cruise ship in Halong Bay, Au Co specializes in tours that take visitors to Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and the heart of Halong Bay all in the course of a three-day, two-night voyage. The trip features 32 spacious accommodations with an opulent and contemporary style. Along with first-rate service, Auco cruisers get to experience unique activities like seeing fishing communities, kayaking, fishing, and cycling on Cat Ba Island. 

Why choose Au Co Cruise?

Au Co Cruise provides a wonderful balance of comfort and adaptability, making it perfect for both fun parties and relaxed getaways in Ha Long Bay. Its large sundeck offers plenty of room for visitors to relax, take in the wide-ranging views, and even plan special parties. Every cabin has a separate balcony so that each visitor may enjoy the amazing views in their own personal area. 

Why do not like?

The cabin’s size is not large 


  • Cruise Facility: 4.5/5 
  • Cabin: 4.5/5 
  • Itinerary & Experience: 4.5/5
  • Service: 4.7/5 

Step 6: Proceed with your Halong Bay cruise booking

There are three methods to book a Halong Bay cruise: through a travel operator, internet booking platforms, or directly through the cruise line’s website.

Step 7: Pack your luggage & ready for your lifetime Halong Bay cruise

It’s time to pack your bags and await your vacation after completing all of the aforementioned tasks. Remember to carry essentials like cash, athletic suits, waterproof backpacks, sunscreen, hats, repellant, cameras, and so on. In particular, don’t forget to begin with a grin and an optimistic outlook. It’s an experience of a lifetime, so embrace it wholeheartedly!

Unquestionably gorgeous, Halong Bay is well worth a trip. Halong Bay Cruise is most definitely something you should do, whether you are planning a leisure trip or are just looking for a way to get away from the busy city life. Don’t think twice about visiting; the breathtaking natural beauty will astound you.

Have the best Halong Bay Cruise with Vietnam Tour 247

vietnam tour 247
vietnam tour 247

Vietnam Tour 247 is the complete guide for experiencing Halong Bay on amazing cruises. Our painstakingly tailored cruise experiences will immerse you in the natural majesty and cultural richness of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why book a Halong Bay Cruise with Vietnam Tour 247? You will benefit from our professional guides, who will give interesting commentary while ensuring your safety and comfort throughout the excursion. We are devoted to responsible travel, reducing our environmental impact and maintaining Halong Bay’s natural beauty for future generations.

Vietnam Tour 247 will provide a full range of cruise packages for tourists:

  • Day Itinerary: Perfect for those short on time, our day itineraries offer a comprehensive look at the highlights of Ha Long Bay, including stops and sightseeing activities.
  • Overnight Cruise: Delve deeper into the beauty of Ha Long Bay with an overnight stay. Experience sunset cocktails, evening entertainment and a night under the stars.
  • Luxury Cruises: For a premium experience, our luxury cruises feature exclusive services, private excursions and personalized attention, ensuring an journey unforgettable.

With Vietnam Tour 247, you’ll embark on an unforgettable adventure. Do you want to relax, adventure, or immerse yourself in culture? Our Halong Bay cruises will provide you with an unforgettable experience. Contact us today to begin arranging your dream Halong Bay cruise trip.

Vietnam Tour 247 is your entrance to experience the beauty of Halong Bay. Allow us to accompany you on a tour of stunning scenery and wonderful experiences.

Read more: Best Time To Visit Halong Bay Vietnam For Perfect Experience

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