Welcome to Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Vietnam and is one of the most iconic travel destinations in the world. The bay is home to over 2000 limestone islands and islets, most with cave systems waiting to be explored. Visitors to Halong Bay can enjoy kayaking, swimming and learning about local life while witnessing the spectacular scenery from a luxury cruise liner. Cruising the emerald waters of Halong Bay and sailing past islands and islets is a truly memorable experience, where you can observe first-hand the diversity of the terrain: floating fishing villages, towering rock formations and pillars that support diverse animal and plant life.
After traveling a thousand miles to the UNESCO site of Halong Bay, you should not miss the once-in-a-lifetime experience of an overnight cruise amid the bay’s thousands of towering limestone karsts emerging from the emerald waters.
A Halong Bay cruise is an immersive experience that’s hard to beat. The cruises do more than take you deep in the bays, enjoy many off-board excursions and activities, touch the warm water, float between the sea and sky, and see its scenery up close.
As you sail at an easy pace, sit back in comfort, with attentive staff at your service and the company of like-minded passengers. An overnight cruise is a luxury hotel floating on the bay, which is a convenient, hassle-free package that includes transportation to and from Hanoi City but comes with a lounge, a bar, and restaurant, outdoor space and leisure facilities for you to enjoy. Wherever you are on the boat, relaxing on your own cabin balcony or sipping champagne on the top-deck bar, you can see the beautiful seascape passing by.
While the whole area is mostly known as Halong Bay, there are in fact 3 different bays: Ha Long, Bai Tu Long, and Lan Ha Bay. They all have similar geological characters such as the charming landscape of limestone cliffs, gorgeous bays, caves, and beaches. Halong Bay is understandably popular, but if you want to avoid the crowds, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay would be better alternatives. They both offer similar beautiful landscapes, with their own cruising loop, places to visit and activities.
Lan Ha Bay
Unlike Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay sees fewer tourists with an intense concentration of limestone karsts. With over a hundred beautiful, small beaches surrounded by mountains, it’s easy to find a good spot for swimming, organizing a private beach BBQ, or an overnight camp. After a whole day of exploration in caves and grottos, you totally relax while bathing in the still waters and breathing the salty sea breeze of Lan Ha Bay.
Bai Tu Long
Traveling to Bai Tu Long Bay is off the beaten track and promises to deliver many unique experiences, far from the heavily touristic sites. Bai Tu Long is situated to the northeast of the core zone of Halong Bay, shares many similar geological features with Halong Bay.
The experience of visiting here can be even more impressive. Highlights of the area include the colorful houses at Vung Vieng floating village, the ancient Thien Canh Son Cave, the untouched paradise of Ban Chan Beach and the Cong Do area.
Your cruise tour will usually include the following activities. Consider your interests then choose the best activities in Halong Bay you want to engage in:
- Water sports: kayaking, snorkeling, boat rowing
- Exploring caves
- Visiting floating villages
- Squid fishing
- Cooking class
- Tai Chi exercises
- Indoor Gym
To get off the beaten path, taking a seaplane will give you a view of the whole bay and an opportunity to admire its grandness and the amazing formations of the islets.
Cruises operate all year long, but the best months are generally between October and May, with October, November, March, and April when the weather is ideal. The summer months can be very hot and rainy and winter months can be cold with strong winds. It is also advised to avoid busy major holidays such as Tet.
It’s best to check the weather forecast before scheduling and ask about the company’s weather cancellation policy (will cost be refunded? will you be rescheduled for the next available tour?) before booking a tour.
At Vietnam Luxury Experience, we personally handpick some of the best Halong Bay Cruises for an unforgettable travel experience and considering your needs and expectations.
Here some of the Cruiseliners we feature in our Halong Bay Tours.