Cruise Guide

What to consider when visit Halong Bay?

One of  New Seven Wonders of the World - Halong bay is a popular travel destination in Vietnam. A common question of any tourist when choosing a Halong Bay cruise among thousand of options is: How to find the perfect one for your trip?

The first thing I want to share about Halong Bay is that it’s truly a magnificent destination and well-worth spending your time to discover. Secondly, if you are in need of recommendations on how to choose the most suitable cruise for your trip, let’s follow these steps below:

Time to visit

Before starting your trip, you need to put in consideration where Halong bay is located. Halong Bay belongs to the northern part of Vietnam where there are 4 distinct seasons around the year: spring, summer, autumn and winter. 

However, the high and low seasons of Halong Bay are divided into these two periods: 

  • High season from October – March: This is a good time to visit Halong bay due to the cool and dry weather that helps you possibly to take many beautiful photographs and join many interesting outdoor activities without having to worry about the heat or the storms that might lead to the cancellation of your cruise tour.

Tips: You can easily take beautiful photographs of Halong Bay if travelling in the right season.

  • Low season from April – September: The erratic rains may decrease your good mood during the tour, however the sun is always up and a little bit of heat should make this the perfect time to go for a swim.

Tips: Note that July and August sometimes have storms which could come unpredictably and the administration of the Bay has to cancel all cruises. This doesn’t happen too often but will be a pity if your trip is cancelled due to these unexpected events.


Picking the right Halong Bay cruise tour

There are so many Halong Bay cruises out there that could demotivate you from finding out the most suitable one for yourself. Don’t worry, keep following these 3 criteria: The length of the cruise tour, your budget and the itinerary.

There are two choices to consider for the length of your cruise tour: would you rather go on a day cruise or an overnight cruise, and if so, how many nights would you stay? 

=> Usually tourists prefer staying overnight for one or two nights on Halong Bay cruise, since with a day cruise in Halong Bay your time is often rushed. I recommend you the full 2-nights program because this way you will have enough time to discover and to enjoy Halong Bay. Many visitors regretted that they didn’t take the 2-nights itinerary.

But of course, this would also concern your budget. There are many cruise categories, such as: Luxury cruises, Mid-range cruises, Budget Cruises, Private Cruises, Day Cruises, Party cruises,... 

=> It’s important to know what you want - whether you would like your cabin to have a balcony, a bathtub, with delicious Vietnamese cuisine or simply a cabin with an ocean view is enough? Take also in consideration that a lot of cruises might appear as not expensive, but there are many extra fees to pay such as kayaking fees, meals, excursions fees,etc. So all in together, make sure you know the value which you’re paying for.

The itinerary 

This natural wonder has a lot of places to visit such as Cat Ba Island, Vung Vieng Floating Village, Trong Cave, Ba Trai Dao Beach, Trung Trang Cave, Cong Do or Cong Dam, etc. Mainly they are divided into 3 main attractions: caves, villages and beaches (or island). So find out which is interesting and attractive to you the most then look for the cruise within your budget having an itinerary that matches your expectation. Take note that this itinerary might change depending on the weather and the season, so make sure to confirm this with your cruise at the moment of booking.


Activities on the cruise

You may visit a floating village: If you see this activity to be listed in the cruise itinerary, you will have a chance to view the seafood farm, to understand more the living condition of the local people. Not all tours have this activity; it depends on your need.

You may go swimming: Depending on each program, you might have a chance to have a stop at an island or beach to swim, sun-bath or simply enjoy the bay air. In some chances, you might even jump into the middle of the bay to swim.

You may go kayaking: All the cruises allow tourists to paddle on the bay through different caves. This could be an interesting activity that tourists usually ask for.

You may go caving: The gigantic caves in Halong Bay will surprise you. Walking inside the caves, you will be amazed by the wonderful creation of Mother Nature.

There are so many other activities such as joining cooking class on the cruise, taichi classes on cruise sundeck, tea ceremony, etc.

In conclusion, before starting any trip, you must spend time researching information carefully. The best and most effective way is to view different reviews on the Internet when looking for any types of facilities. Tips for choosing a travel company which you’re not familiar with is that you can see their rank and reviews on TripAdvisor - the largest travel forum in the world to find out the average score of other guests’ trip and know what to expect from your vacation in Halong Bay.


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