Choosing a decent cruise to enjoy Halong Bay is by no means an easy task, I must say. You have easily at least 15 options to choose from for an average, 3 star cruise options. I decided to not go ahead with online booking for my 2D1N cruise as the online prices were such a rip-off. Glad to have heeded the advice of friends who have visited Halong Bay before. Especially since prices have gone up in the past couple of years, don’t bother advance booking online.
Streets of Old Quarter on a gloomy afternoon
Usually, the hotel you are staying put will have some cruise options for you to choose from. Alternatively, you can wonder into any of the other hotels or travel booths littered along the streets of Old Quarter to book your cruise.
After a bit of walking around and comparing between companies, my friends and I went ahead with Carina Cruise (also known as A Class Opera Cruise). We managed to slash the prices down to USD 120 per pax for a triple room.
Tip to note when booking a cruise would be never always go with the cheapest offer you get. Often, you get lousy quality, old junks, tiny rooms etc. Sometimes, it pays to spend a bit more to get a decent cruise.
Itinerary wise most cruises are quite similar. The usual floating village tour, cave experience, swimming/kayaking (weather dependent), tai chi classes in the morning, cooking classes etc.
Hang Sung Sot (Cave of Surprises)
Making of vietnamese spring rolls in progress
Halong Bay is definitely an experience worth having once in a lifetime. Given my bad luck, in terms of weather condition, my visibility was quite poor (as you can tell from the pictures). But, it definitely did add a nice misty effect to my pictures.
I do not recommend a day cruise to visit Halong Bay as the travel time from Hanoi city to Halong Bay itself is about 4 hours. So, a 2D1N cruise will be sufficient for you to spend your money’s worth relaxing and having a peaceful cruise.
Fellow adventurer and I.
All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.