Many friends suggested that you choose to take a cruise in Ha Long, Vietnam for your family vacation. But is Halong bay cruise worth it? Then this article is really for you. I used to have a vacation in Ha Long 2 days 1 night and explore the sea, caves and delicious food here. I fully booked Halong Bay cruise tickets for the whole family of 5. And sure enough, I can’t wait to share my real-life experiences. Let’s see together!

halong bay cruise
Dine on Halong cruise

1. A little bit about Ha Long that I have learned

Is halong bay cruise worth it? First, we need to learn about Ha Long and cruise in Ha Long to see what’s interesting here!

In Vietnam, Ha Long is known as a wonderfully beautiful sea paradise. This place is recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage, famous for its majestic landscape, mysterious caves and unique ecosystem. According to my assessment when visiting tourist attractions of Vietnam, the cave of Ha Long still retains its natural beauty.

I quite like this place because of its green color, standing on the top of Titop mountain, Ha Long has a harmonious blend of blue, white stone and green of the surrounding fields and forests.

Halong bay cruise

2. Halong Bay Cruise

One of the “tourist specialties” in Ha Long when I learned about it was yachts. This is considered a popular means of tourism in Ha Long Bay.

2.1 Structure of Ha Long yacht

In my opinion, the yacht here is designed with many modern amenities and a professional staff is ready to serve. Most of the yachts usually have luxurious bedrooms, restaurants, lounges and outdoor spaces so that customers can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Ha Long Bay.

The bedroom on the yacht
Halong bay cruise

The rooms on the yacht are delicately and stylishly designed. Each room has its own private space, with large windows that open up to a view of Ha Long Bay. I can see the beautiful landscape right from my bed. Interior decoration is carefully selected, creating a feeling of coziness and comfort. High quality materials and meticulous care from the staff create a luxurious and comfortable resort space.

cruise in ha long
Bedroom on Halong cruise

The common area on the yacht is also impressive. The restaurant is elegant and spacious, well appointed to enjoy delicious meals. Breakfast is very good. I also had the opportunity to enjoy traditional Vietnamese dishes at lunches and dinners, giving me great culinary experiences.

Breakfast on Halong bay cruise
Food at the cruise

2.2 How can I book a ticket for a Ha Long cruise?

One thing I find quite interesting about the Ha Long cruise service is that whether we have 1 day, 2 days or 3 days, we can enjoy the whole view of Ha Long to the fullest when standing on the yacht. With my research before booking yacht tickets, there are many ships by time: 6 hours, 8 hours, 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights… I have a lot of time in Ha Long so I booked 5 2 days 1 night tickets for the whole family to experience.

is halong bay cruise worth it
Bathroom on Halong cruise

Currently, there are a number of cruise that can visit Ha Long Bay during the day such as Stella Maris, Ambassador, Sea Octupus, La Casta, Vitamin Queen,… is a cruise line to visit Ha Long Bay for 8 hours on the bay. There are also 6-hour trains with shorter operating time suitable for guests who do not want to wake up too early from Hanoi such as Dragon King, Cozy, Alova, Acady, Exxcursion,,….

2.3 The routes of Ha Long cruise

For “Is halong bay cruise worth it?” How should we see the journey? Each train with different time will have different route. So to make the tour more complete, you must definitely check out the routes of the yacht.

is halong bay cruise worth it
Cruise in Ha Long

According to the information I found out before booking, there are 3 main cruise routes in Ha Long. Including: Ha Long Bay route, An Ha Bay route and Bai Tu Long route.

  • Ha Long route is a popular route often chosen by people. The itinerary of this route will include visiting Sung Sot cave, Titop island, kayaking at Luon Cave. Some ships even visit Pearl Village. In my opinion, this route is suitable for those who love to explore, enjoy swimming and sightseeing rather than relaxing. The ships traveling on this route are all long-term activities (longer than the La Ha route). Because of the long distance, the fare of this route is also higher than the other two routes.
  • The second route that is also chosen by many people today is the Lan Ha route. This route has few attractions, no private beach. The caves to visit are also smaller than Titop. But in return, most of the ships traveling this route are very new, beautiful and have swimming pools. This route has just been operated recently, so most of them are modern ships, much cheaper than the Ha Long route.
  • The third route is the Bai Tu Long route. This route is for guests who love the quiet, don’t like the hustle and bustle. This route currently has only 2.3 vessels operating, namely Swan Cruise, Indochina junk.

My family stayed in Ha Long for a few days, so I chose a 2 day 1 night ticket with the Ha Long route.

3. How to get from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay?

Most tourists coming to Vietnam land in Hanoi. So is my family. Hanoi is about 170km from Ha Long Bay. To get to Ha Long Bay, you can choose to go by car, bus or bus.

From the center of Hanoi to Ha Long Bay directly takes about 2 hours 30 minutes. Travel time depends on traffic conditions and the means of transportation you choose. The road from Hanoi to Ha Long is quite convenient. You can stop to see the beautiful scenery and enjoy the street food.

Activities on Halong Cruise
Activities on Halong Cruise

When booking travel tickets, I found that Halong Bay cruises all have tourist shuttle services. If you do not stop along the way to visit and eat, but go directly to Ha Long, you can use this service. I booked a car to go to the hotel in Hanoi and pick up my family. On the bus, there is a tour guide who can speak English and Vietnamese, very enthusiastic and cute. It is true that this service is very convenient for foreign tourists.

4. My Halong Bay Cruise Activities

For “Is halong bay cruise worth it?” If not, check out my journey! Before booking Halong cruise tickets, my friend told me to choose the right time to go to avoid getting caught in the rain. According to research, I know that Ha Long weather is sunny in August, so I booked tickets at this time. It must be said that when we arrived, the weather was very good, the sky was clear and the sun was very good.

Enjoy water on Halong cruise

4.1 Day 1: Enjoy dishes on Halong cruise and explore the islands

Follow me to experience the first day activities to evaluate “Is halong bay cruise worth it?”.

8:00 – 8:45 AM: The bus picked me up at Hanoi’s Old Quarter, and I’m glad the driver arrived at the right place. We depart from Hanoi and cross the highway to reach Ha Long Bay.

11:45 – 12:00 PM: We arrive at Tuan Chau port, and all visitors are warmly welcomed by the cruise team at Halong International Port. After completing the check-in procedure, we boarded the ship.

12:30 PM: We transfer to a small boat cruise, and I receive a warm welcome from the cruise manager and the entire crew. We ate while listening to a number of regulations.

Boating in Ha Long
Boating in Ha Long

12:45 PM We have lunch at Halong cruise. After that, the cruise departs into Ha Long Bay – a natural wonder of the world. I was immersed in the beautiful landscape and discovered the famous attractions with the characteristic limestone rocks.

02:45 PM Cruise stops at Bo Nau Cave (Pelican Cave), one of the central areas of the world natural heritage. We move by boat to Sung Sot Cave – the largest and most beautiful cave in Ha Long Bay.

03:45 PM We leave Surprise Cave and continue our journey by boat to Titop Island. Here we can comfortably swim, relax on the beach and climb to the top of the island. From the top of the island, I get a magical panoramic view of Ha Long Bay, a sight that amazes and delights me.

05:00 PM After a series of interesting activities, we return to Athena yacht.

06:00 – 07:00 PM While waiting for the sunset on Halong Bay, we enjoy the “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” happy hour when the sun gives way to a beautiful sunset. Chef Athena organized a cooking demonstration of traditional Vietnamese dishes, creating a cozy and enjoyable atmosphere.

Vietnamese traditional cooking activities
Experience cooking Vietnamese dishes

07:00 PM After a long busy day, I enjoy a delicious meal.

08:30 PM Free time to participate in evening activities such as watching movies, participating in mini games (in the dining room), squid fishing or massage. The cruise manager will always be available to assist guests.

Then we spent a memorable night on the yacht.

4.2 Day 2: Tai Chi practice and visit Luong cave

Pass the 2nd day to know “Is halong bay cruise worth it?”

6:30 AM: Start the day with a Tai Chi session on the sundeck in the bay for about 30 minutes, while our cruise moves to Luon Cave.

7:00 AM The house has prepared a light breakfast for visitors. We used the meal to prepare for the activity.

8:00 AM: Visit Luon Cave – one of the famous caves and enjoy the wonderful natural beauty of endemic vegetation in Ha Long Bay.

Check-in at the cave
Check-in at the natural cave

9:00 AM: Return to Athena cruise, rest and pack up.

9:30 AM: Enjoy a buffet lunch at the restaurant after checking out, while we move towards the port.

10:45 AM: Transfer by boat back to Ha Long International Port and disembark.

12:00 PM: We board the bus back to Hanoi via the highway.

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Arrive at the hotel. Finish the trip.

5. How long should the cruise be?

As I mentioned above, whether you have a long or short time in Ha Long, you can experience Ha Long cruise. Cruise time in Ha Long Bay can last from one day to many days. Depending on your time, you can opt for a short cruise or a longer cruise to really explore the beauty of the bay. If you have enough time, I recommend you to choose a long cruise for maximum experience and enjoy the peaceful and serene atmosphere of Ha Long Bay.

Dine on Halong cruise

It’s a pity because the last vacation my family only had 2 days 1 night in Ha Long. My parents said that they want to explore Ha Long more. For sure, my family will come to Ha Long and book cruise tickets for more days.

6. Is Halong bay cruise worth it?

According to my experience, it is worth trying a Ha Long cruise once. Firstly, Ha Long is really a very beautiful and natural place. There are many natural caves, islands and interesting activities. I like the peaceful green colors here.

is halong bay cruise worth it

Secondly, there are interesting activities such as cooking, sailing and practicing tai chi. I really like Vietnamese food. During this trip, I also learned how to cook a Vietnamese dish. And for sure, I will try to cook again for my family to enjoy.

Finally, I highly appreciate the service quality of Ha Long cruise. When you first arrive, the staff here welcome you very warmly and guide you. The bedroom is clean and well set up. If I rate it, I will give 4.5 stars for the quality of service here.

To sum up, is halong bay cruise worth it? Cruising in Ha Long Bay can be a worthwhile experience for those who love the sea and want to explore the natural beauty. You don’t have to worry about how long you have to go, even just one day you can explore many places.

From the yacht, the staff to the food, are all attentive and thoughtful. I think it’s worth it for you to experience with family and friends. If you have been on a Ha Long cruise before, please leave a comment to share your experience with me!