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Best Halong Bay cruise recommendation

Best Halong Bay cruise recommendation

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Halong Bay was one of the most beautiful places we visited while we were in Vietnam. If you’re heading to Vietnam, you need to include Halong Bay on your itinerary!

And the best way to experience Halong bay? By cruise!

When we were planning our trip to Halong Bay, we almost got analysis paralysis. There are so many cruise options; it’s hard to choose one!

To help those planning on visiting Halong Bay, I’ve put together a guide to the best Halong bay cruise recommendations.

Hopefully, this guide will help you reduce the stress around choosing a Halong bay cruise!

For the budget traveler: a day trip with Dragonfly Cruise

Overnight cruises at Halong bay aren’t the most budget-friendly of activities. The cheapest overnight cruises are around $300 USD total for 2 people.

I haven’t included a budget-friendly overnight cruise option for this reason. BUT if you’re on a tight budget and still want to experience Halong Bay by cruise, I’d highly recommend a day cruise.

The Dragonfly day cruise is on a traditional Junk Boat and involves a day trip from Hanoi. While this will be a long day (the transfer to/from Hanoi can take 3hrs+), this is perfect if you’re short on time and on a tight budget.

The day cruise includes:

  • Transfers to/from Hanoi
  • Lunch onboard the junk boat
  • Kayaking at Halong Bay, or exploring the bay via a Bamboo boat

If you want to find out more, check out the TripAdvisor Reviews here.

Want to book your day trip with Dragonfly Cruise? Book your spot now here!

Best Halong bay cruise recommendation - views of bai tu long bay

For those on a mid-range budget: 2 day cruise with Lavender Cruises

Lavender Cruises have rave reviews for their price. If you want a hint of luxury without spending all your hard earned cash, this is the overnight cruise for you.

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The 2-day cruise includes:

  • Transfers to/ from Hanoi
  • All meals onboard
  • A cooking class (where you learn how to make spring rolls!)
  • A kayaking session at Halong Bay
  • Early morning Tai Chi session
  • A trip to the “Surprising Cave” also known as Hang Sung Sot

Psst: these inclusions are pretty standard for overnight Halong Bay cruises. The Lavender Cruises have the added benefit of offering excellent quality service that is easy on the wallet. 

If you want to find out more, check out the TripAdvisor Reviews here.

Want to book your overnight cruise with Lavender Cruises? Book your spot now:

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com | Book on Expedia

Best Halong bay cruise recommendation - bay views

For families visiting Halong Bay: Pelican Halong Bay Cruise

Sometimes it can be hard to get a family room. For most of the other cruises I’ve listed in this guide, you could book 2 rooms that are next to each other. The cost of this can add up, and this may not be convenient for families with young children.

If this is you, Pelican Halong Bay Cruises have family rooms. These rooms are spacious and have 1 double bed + 2 single beds. They’re designed for families!

Note: given the price of an overnight cruise, some choose to take the day trip cruises from Hanoi. This is possible, and very budget friendly (especially if you’re a group!) If you have young children, however, I don’t recommend this. The day is very long and can be very tiring (the transfers to/from Hanoi can take more than 3 hrs!)

Now back to the Pelican Halong Bay Cruises. This cruise is group and family orientated, and while they’re not the cheapest option out there, they’re great if you want to treat yo’ self for a bit!

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The 2-day cruise includes:

  • All meals onboard
  • A sunrise Tai Chi session
  • Kayaking session at Halong Bay
  • A visit to a pearl farm
  • Visit Ti Top beach for swimming (weather permitting)
  • Cooking class on the sundeck (where you’ll learn how to make Vietnamese spring rolls!)
  • A trip to Sung Sot Cave

Note: the 2-day cruise price excludes transfers to/from Hanoi (if you would like to organize transfers, you can add for an additional fee when you book your cruise)

If you want to find out more, check out the TripAdvisor Reviews here.

Want to book your overnight cruise with Pelican Halong Bay Cruises? Book your spot now:

Book on Booking.com | Book on Expedia

Best Halong bay cruise recommendation - kayaking at bai tu long bay

 

For a special occasion (treat yo’ self!) or environmentally conscious travelers: Indochina Junk cruises

The Indochina Junk Cruises are my favorite in this entire guide. When we were in Vietnam, after much research, we opted for the 2-day, 1-night cruise and had an amazing time (definitely no regrets here!) Indochina Junk visits Bai Tu Long Bay, a less visited part of Halong Bay which is quieter and less busy. Here, you’ll escape the crowds of Halong Bay, and instead get to enjoy a more peaceful part of the bay.

Psst: If you want to find out more about our experience check out my blog post here where I share more about our time at Bai Tu Long Bay.

The Indochina Junk cruises are luxurious, and the rooms on board are so spacious, you’ll forget you’re onboard a cruise!

Best Halong bay cruise recommendation - indo china junk

The 2-day cruise includes:

  • Transfers to/ from Hanoi in a luxury van
  • All meals onboard
  • Afternoon kayaking session
  • Early morning Tai Chi
  • Morning hike to the Thien Canh Son Cave
  • Traditional water puppet show in Yen Duc village
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One of the bonuses of traveling with Indochina Junk is that they have an environmental focus to their trips. The company is focused on sustainable tourism (which is why a visit to Yen Duc village is included on the way back to Hanoi) and Indochina Junk even sponsor clean-up activities at Halong Bay!

If you want to find out more, check out the TripAdvisor Reviews here.

Want to book your overnight cruise with Indochina Junk? Book your spot now:

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com | Book on Expedia

Best Halong bay cruise recommendation - bai tu long bay

 

Halong Bay is a beautiful place and worth an addition to your Vietnam itinerary. Hopefully, my guide to the Best Halong bay cruise recommendation helped you pick your cruise. There’s a Halong Bay cruise out there for you, regardless of whether you’re a solo budget traveler or a couple looking for a luxury cruise experience!

I’d love to hear from you: have you been on a Halong Bay cruise?

Leave a comment and let me know about your experience!

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