A cruise in Halong Bay is a one of the must-do experience during your trip to Vietnam. There’s no denying that the Halong Bay attracts tourists with great impressions and unforgettable memories! But a less touristic vacation on a cruise, out of mass tourism is another experience you should try.
- 1 Best Cruises In Halong Bay For A Less Touristy Vacation
- 1.1 1. Less touristy cruises: on Bai Tu Long Bay
- 1.1.1 Indochina Junk Company – Halong Bay Luxury Cruises
- 1.1.2 Other junks in Bai Tu Long Bay
- 1.2 2. Less tourist cruises: on Lan Ha Bay
- 1.3 3. The best junks in Halong Bay
- 1.1 1. Less touristy cruises: on Bai Tu Long Bay
Best Cruises In Halong Bay For A Less Touristy Vacation
Halong Bay is the nucleus of a vast region of karstic islands emerging on the sea. This region also includes Bai Tu Long Bay to the east and Lan Ha Bay to the south. If you travel at the same time in all three bays, you will not be able to notice the differences and to distinguish them. Every year, Halong Bay hosts around 11 million tourist arrivals.
Travelers looking for a less touristic and more authentic cruise choose Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay as alternatives.
1. Less touristy cruises: on Bai Tu Long Bay
In the Halong area, junks can not navigate in some corners and must follow the routes set by the Halong Bay Management Department. As a result, group cruise itineraries are rather similar. Those of private cruises are more flexible.
Indochina Junk Company – Halong Bay Luxury Cruises
This is the first company to offer cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay and the only company that has full permission to the less visited area in Bai Tu Long Bay.
Except for the new Dragon Legend boats, all the rooms of the other junks are not very spacious.
However, the meals on board are very rich and good, the staff is well trained, very smiling and adorable. The company has a lot of common space for junks and there are activities to share and share life stories between passengers and crew.
This company is ranked 1st on tripadvisor.
Here is the list of the junks of the company
- 3-star Love junk: from 330usd / person / night
Junk one bedroom, ideal for the couple.
- 3-star Prince junks: from 201usd / person / night
These are the junks of 2 and 4 cabins, which offer private and group cruises too.
- 3-star Red Dragon junks: junk more beautiful and more expensive, 5 cabins.
- 3-star Dragon Pearl junks: three junks of 11 cabins each, group cruises. From 150usd / person / night. Previously, Dragon Pearl junks offered 3-day, 2-night cruises with the romantic candlelight dinner in a cave in Bai Tu Long Bay. However, this activity is prohibited by the Board of the Halong Bay Administration to prevent damage to the caves. What a pity!
- 5-star Dragon Legend cruise: from 206usd / person / night. These are the newest and most luxurious boats of the company. 24-cabin boats offer group cruises. Its rooms are spacious, comfortable.
You can find the price of boats on booking.com or on the website of a travel agency based in Hanoi whose price is sweet.
Other junks in Bai Tu Long Bay
3-star Swan junks: 173usd / person / night
The reviews on this company on tripadvisor are very good. But you can not believe all the reviews on tripadvisor because there are “false reviews”.
The rooms on the Swan Junks are acceptable as well as its meals and services but nothing special. Some guides are nice. There are three Swan Junks with between 8 and 12 cabins each, offering group cruises.
5-star Signature Halong cruise: 206usd
This is a rare five-star junk that sails in the less touristic Bai Tu Long Bay.
In comparison with other junks, Signature Halong’s rooms are more beautiful, more comfortable and more stylish. His services are good but far from perfect. The junk consists of 20 cabins and offers group cruises.
3-star Treasure Cruise: 175usd
It is also a traditional wooden junk that is composed of 15 cabins.
Huong Hai Junk: 104usd
It is a traditional junk made of old wood. Since it has only 5 cabins, it may be complete very quickly.
The junks of the Bai Tho company
It is one of the first companies to offer cruises in the Halong area. The cuisine on the junks is well appreciated. Some rooms on Victory Star Junks have a balcony.
- 3-star Bai Tho junk: junk of 24 and 32 cabins, offering group cruises from 140usd / person / night
- 3-star Victory junk + 12 cabins: group cruises, from 160usd / person / night
- Victory junk 2 cabins: cruises private from 180usd / person / night for the group of 4
- 5-star Victory Star: two junks of 32 cabins each, private cruises from 212usd / person / night
- Victory Star 2 cabins: cruises private from 211usd / person / night
In general, the junks of Bai Tho are a good choice.
The junks of the company Oriental Sails
- 3-star Oriental Sails junks: 16 cabins, group cruises from 142usd / person / night
- 3-star Calypso junk: 12 cabins, group cruises from 172usd / person / night
These are traditional human-sized junks with comfortable rooms and acceptable services but far from perfect, like all other 3-star junks – except Indochina Junk.
There are still some other boats such as: Garden Bay Cruise, Amira Cruise, Huong Hai Sealife …
2. Less tourist cruises: on Lan Ha Bay
For cruises on Lan Ha Bay, you have to board from Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the region. (The cruises on Halong Bay depart from Tuan Chau Harbor, those on Bai Tu Long Bay depart from Hon Gai Harbor, all of which are in Halong City.)
Most cruises in Lan Ha Bay are private. That is to say, prices are a little expensive if your group is small. In general, junks on Lan Ha Bay are less comfortable and less beautiful than those in Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.
The cruise itineraries in Lan Ha Bay are more flexible than ones in the two bays mentioned above, because the bay is managed by another province. The caves in Lan Ha Bay are not beautiful but you will have the opportunity to discover several floating fishing villages and the island of Cat Ba.
Here is the list of remarkable cruises
The junks of Autumn Perfume Company
- Private junk “Ma Jonq”: a large cabin for a single couple or a couple with two children. Price from $ 145 / person for the group of 4.
- Junk Four seasons: 4 cabins, which can accommodate up to 8 people, with air conditioning. Price from $ 155 / person for the group of 8. Private cruises only. The itinerary, the meals and the crew are so good. In addition, some activities such as the squid fishing and the release of lantern in the evening are also interesting!
Eco Friendly Junks Company
This company offers several traditional wooden junks, from 2 to 6 cabins, suitable for a couple, a family or a group of friends. Prices are cheaper than Autumn Perfume but their services are less professional.
Tuan Sailing Junk Company
- Tuan Sailing junk: small junk with basic comfort, no air conditioning. Price from 158usd / person for the group of 3. Private cruises only.
- Oriental Sun: 2-cabin junk that sleeps up to 6 people. Prices from 170usd / person for the group of 5-6. Private cruises only.
- Moon Light: a beautiful junk of 2 cabins, with air conditioning. Price from 140usd / person for the group of 4
Khanh Sinh company
- Jewel cruise: junk of 4 comfortable cabins, price from 210usd / person in double room.
Catba Sailing Junk company
The junks are more comfortable and more expensive but their services are not too appreciated. Junks are a little similar.
- Cat Ba Legend: 2 cabins, with air conditioning. Price from 180usd / person for the group of 4. Private cruises only.
- Cat Ba Princess: 2 cabins, with air conditioning. Price from 186usd / person for the group of 5-6. Private cruises only.
- Cat Ba Prince: 3 cabins, with air conditioning Price from 186usd / person for the group of 5-6. Private cruises only.
- Cat Ba Imperial: 4 cabins, with air conditioning Price from 180usd / person for the group of 7-8. Private cruises only.
Orchid cruise – cruises offering for groups
The Orchid boat is the best in Lan Ha Bay. It is a luxury 5-star boat very beautiful and very comfortable, about twenty rooms. Prices from 212usd / person / night.
Its itineraries are unique. The 3 days 2 night cruise allows us to discover all 3 bays: Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay.
3. The best junks in Halong Bay
If you want to visit Halong Bay, which has the largest number of islands, here are some suggestions of the best cruises:
The junks of the 5-star company Indochina Sails
It offers luxury group cruises at 5-star standard and they are really worth the money. Its services are excellent, the rooms are comfortable and the meals are delicious. Prices from 221usd / person / night.
We highly recommend you to choose cruise of the Indochina Sails. Its quality of service is better than that of the company Bhaya mentioned below.
4-star Bhaya Legend junks: for private cruises
Bhaya Legend is one of the best choices for private cruises in Halong Bay. The company owns several traditional wooden junks, from a 4-cabin, well suited for a couple, a family or a group of friends.
Price from 335usd / person for the group of 2 for the private cruise.
The Bhaya Legend 3 cabins junk is the most beautiful.