Halong, literally “Descending dragon Bay”, is a true wonder of Vietnam and natural heritage site which is recognised by UNESCO. Around 3,000 limestone islets rise from the emerald waters, and no matter how many pictures, stories, and movies of Halong Bay you come across, you still need to see it with your own eyes.Cruising around Halong Bay can be enjoyed from small junk boats or luxury cruises. There are about 500 licensed boats, and on any given day, up to 300 of them will be plying the water.
Don’t look for the cheapest option. Ask what’s included in the price and if safety equipment is provided. Please remember that you’ll get what you pay for in Halong Bay.
Better prices are often offered by reputable travel agents or specialists. The prices listed on cruises’ websites are public prices which are more expensive than travel agents’ prices. In the low season from May to September, the prices can be 20 – 30% lower than the high seasons.
Budget cruises are often full of guests and you can’t do much about the quality of food and services. Mid-range cruises are better in terms of cabins, food and services. They can also easily adapt your special requests. The luxury cruises offer additional services such as wifi, or massage. The food is better as are the cabins.
Check the weather before you go. If storms and rain are forecast, don’t go because the cruises can be cancelled at short notice by the Authority of Halong Bay. The best time to visit is April or November.
Do your homework before you book the cruise. There are hundreds of cruises in Halong Bay which means there are thousands of tour operators and travel agents selling these cruises. Prices vary and can be hundred of dollars different. So research before booking can save you money.
There are some reputable cruises in Halong Bay such as Indochina Sails. Backed by 10 years experience hosting international travelers on the tranquil waters of Halong Bay, Indochina Sails has set a new standard for luxury cruising. Now widely known as a number one choice for discerning travelers, Indochina Sails operates a fleet of four newly built wooden junks designed in time-honoured traditional Vietnamese style, with contemporary and luxurious cabins and facilities. Now Indochina Sails have 6 Boats (4 Boats Indochina Sails and 2 Boats Valentine)..