Everything about Halong Bay Cruise Tours

Last updated - January 26, 2024
Everything about Halong Bay Cruise Tours

Nestled within the Gulf of Tonkin in northeastern Vietnam, Halong Bay emerges as a captivating gem of natural beauty. Its proximity to Hanoi and the Noi Bai International Airport, a mere three-hour drive away, renders it a conveniently accessible destination. Distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay has rightfully claimed its status as a must-visit locale for those exploring Vietnam.

This breathtaking bay, adorned with an assembly of nearly 2000 islands, limestone karst formations, and serene islets, showcases a sublime tapestry of nature's wonders. The tranquil expanse of emerald green waters encircles these formations, adding to the enchantment of the surroundings.

While once a modest day boat excursion, the experience of exploring Halong Bay has evolved significantly. Visitors are now offered a diverse array of combined tour activities, elevating the journey to new heights. With a spectrum of options available, travelers can curate their perfect vacation, engaging with the majesty of this World Heritage site in ways that resonate with their interests.

Halong Bay beckons with its Thien Cung Cave, Dog Islet, Fighting Cock Islet, fishing villages, and the elegant Incense Burner Islet, each contributing to the rich tapestry of experiences. Today, Halong Bay Tours offer a multi-faceted exploration that transcends expectations, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the captivating allure of this extraordinary destination.

Ama Journey provides a comprehensive exploration of the tours and activities available in Halong Bay. This will empower tourists to make an informed decision, aligning their preferences, budget, and expectations with the most suitable options.

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The legend of Halong Bay

Halong Bay means "Descending Dragon Bay" in Vietnamese, and holds a fascinating mythological significance. According to legend, this breathtaking landscape was shaped by the presence of celestial dragons.
In an era of turmoil, a formidable northern enemy posed a grave threat to the Vietnamese people. Overwhelmed by the enemy's strength, the Vietnamese found themselves in dire straits. Witnessing this plight, the Jade Emperor intervened by dispatching the Mother Dragon and her offspring to assist the Vietnamese in their time of need.

Islands' shape is like the Descending Dragon

As the enemy vessels neared the shores, the celestial dragons descended from the heavens. Swiftly, these majestic beings exhaled torrents of fire, engulfing the enemy fleet and reducing them to ashes. Moreover, the dragons cast forth pearls, which solidified into an impregnable stone barrier, shattering the enemy's ships upon impact.

Having triumphed over the foreign invaders and safeguarded the Vietnamese people, the Mother Dragon opted to remain alongside her offspring at the very spot where their valorous act had transpired.
And thus, the legacy was born: the location where the Mother Dragon alighted became the iconic Halong Bay, while the place where the Baby Dragons settled came to be known as Bai Tu Long Bay.

This enduring myth continues to infuse Halong Bay with an enchanting aura, a testament to the profound interweaving of history, legend, and the exquisite natural beauty that captivates visitors to this day.

Halong Bay Tour, what to do?

Halong Bay boasts not only its mesmerizing landscapes but also a collection of astonishing caves that await exploration. Among the captivating options are Thien Cung Cave, Dau Go Cave, and the aptly named Surprising Cave. For those seeking relaxation, the tranquil shores of Titov Beach and the untouched allure of Soi Sim Beach are both conveniently nearby.

Visit Thien Cung Cave

The stalactite and stalagmite in Thien Cung cave

Nestled in the northern expanse of Dau Go Island, in close proximity to Dau Go Cave, lies the remarkable Thien Cung Cave. Situated approximately 4 kilometers south of the cruise pier, this cave is a testament to the natural marvels of Quang Ninh. Encompassing an expansive area of nearly 10,000 square meters, the cave's structure unfurls across multiple levels, revealing a series of intricate chambers adorned with an array of stalactites and stalagmites, each assuming peculiar and unique forms.

Visit Dau Go Cave

Dau Go cave in Halong Bay

Adjacent to Thien Cung Cave, Dau Go Cave stands as an embodiment of grandeur and beauty. The cave's interior is adorned with majestic stalactites, some of which soar skyward like ethereal pillars, as if reaching for the azure heavens above. Within its embrace thrives a rich variety of flora, including mosses, ferns, and woody plants, a distinctive feature setting Dau Go Cave apart from many other caverns in the Halong Bay area.

Visit Sung Sot Cave

Surprising Cave is in the itinerary of Halong Bay cruise tour

Nestled within the limestone massif of Bo Hon Island, Sung Sot Cave stands as a testament to the captivating karst formations that grace Ha Long Bay. Holding the distinction of being the largest and one of the most splendid caves in the bay, Sung Sot Cave is bound to "surprise" visitors with its stunning beauty. This cave was initially discovered by the French in 1901 and aptly named "Grotte des surprises" - the Cave of Surprise. As you approach the entrance, a serene expanse of water, surrounded by the lush Bo Hon mountains, greets you. The entrance rests about 25 meters above the sea level, adorned with lush foliage that adds an additional layer of beauty to the cave's facade.

Enjoy Kayaking in Halong Bay

Engaging in kayaking amidst Halong Bay's splendor is an enthralling endeavor. This activity draws you intimately closer to nature, allowing you to immerse yourself in the bay's beauty from an entirely distinct perspective, unlike that offered by a cruise.

Kayaking in Halong Bay - an interesting activities for tourists

A medley of captivating sites beckon those keen on kayaking within the Halong Bay tour. Among the standout locales are the enchanting Luon Cave, the evocatively named Bright and Dark Caves, the charming Ba Hang Fishing Village, the serene Cua Van Fishing Village, and the alluring Trinh Nu Cave. Tailored to each cruise's itinerary, these locales provide both specific and secure settings for your kayaking escapades.

Visit the fishing villages

Within the enchanting voyage through Halong Bay's scenic route, travelers are granted a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rhythms of local life by visiting charming fishing villages, all while surrounded by the bay's breathtaking beauty.

Cua Van Fishing Village: An exceptional relic of an ancient fishing village, Cua Van stands at the pinnacle of the world's wonders. Nestled within the bounds of Hung Thang Commune in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, this village rests roughly 20 kilometers from the mainland. Approximately 300 fishing households currently call this village their home, their closely arranged houses forming a visually captivating tableau.

Upon arriving in Cua Van fishing village, the primary mode of exploration is the iconic basket boat, an experience that brims with exhilaration. Amidst the backdrop of natural beauty, replete with marine delights, visitors can also delve into the village's history by exploring the artifacts on display at several small centers peppered throughout the village.

Your journey through Cua Van encapsulates not only the awe-inspiring vistas and marine encounters but also offers a window into the past and present lives of the local fishing community.

Cua Van fishing village in Halong bay

Ba Hang Fishing Village: Nestled within the embrace of Ha Long Bay's pristine beauty, this fishing village exudes a sense of untamed allure. Situated at the base of the Dau Go Island's mountain, in close proximity to Thien Cung Cave, Ha Long, Quang Ninh, the village is a harmonious component of the world-renowned natural heritage site.

Amidst the breathtaking panorama of this UNESCO-acclaimed landscape, Ba Hang Fishing Village weaves an enchanting tapestry of idyllic existence. The daily lives of the locals find resonance with the tranquil beauty that envelops their surroundings. Each floating abode boasts a modest expanse of approximately 10 square meters, furnished with an unassuming simplicity that complements the village's rustic charm.

Stepping foot in this village, visitors are inevitably ensnared by the grandeur of nature's majesty. Yet, it is not only the splendor of the scenery that captures hearts, but also the tranquility and invigorating freshness of the landscape that unfurls a soothing embrace, bestowing a profound sense of relaxation upon those fortunate enough to experience its serenity.

Best time for Halong Bay Tour?

Halong Bay, nestled in northern Vietnam, experiences four distinct seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season unveils its own unique allure, promising an unforgettable Halong Bay tour.

Spring (February to April): Spring's onset remains slightly chilly and veiled in mist, gradually yielding to warmer, sunnier days by the end of February, with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius. This transitional period is a favored time for many tourists to embark on their Halong Bay adventure.

Summer (May to August): As the warmest season of the year, Summer graces the bay with intense sunshine and an average temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. High humidity prevails, fostering ideal conditions for engaging in sea activities like swimming and kayaking. Travel and cruise companies often roll out enticing promotional packages during this season, drawing in vacationers seeking aquatic escapades.

Sunset over Halong Bay in Summer

Autumn (September to October): Autumn bestows upon Halong Bay a captivating charm. The weather is pleasant, the skies are clear, and the temperature hovers around 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, neither too hot nor too cold. This window entices numerous travelers to explore the bay's wonders. However, the season does pose the risk of storms, occasionally leading to delays or even cancellations of Halong Bay tours.

Winter (November to January): The coldest season ushers in temperatures that can drop to 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. It's also a peak period due to holidays such as Christmas and New Year. The wintertime atmosphere often envelops the bay in mist, resulting in a beautifully hazy scenery. Traveling during Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve brings an added touch of festivity, often accompanied by a surcharge for gala dinners. To ensure cruise availability, it's advisable for tourists to book well in advance.

The choice of season for your Halong Bay tour hinges on your preferences. Each period holds its own appeal, offering a distinct facet of this exquisite destination. Select the time that aligns best with your travel aspirations to create a remarkable and tailored experience.

Kind of Halong Bay cruise tour

Halong Bay cruise day trip

Enjoy a captivating day tour that unveils the wonders of Halong Bay. Setting sail from Tuan Chau Pier, the journey delves deep into the heart of the bay, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning expanse of limestone mountains and the allure of intriguing caves that grace the bay's landscape.

Boats for Halong Bay Tour one day trip

Designed for those with limited time yet a fervent desire to experience Halong Bay's charm, the 1-day itinerary offers flexibility in its duration, ranging from 4 to 6 to 8 hours. This allows visitors to tailor their excursion according to their preferences and schedules. Additionally, for groups comprising family or friends seeking a more intimate voyage, the option to charter a private boat exists, ensuring enhanced privacy and comfort.

While the 1-day tour offers only a brief encounter with the splendor of Halong Bay, it serves as a perfect option for those constrained by time, unable to dedicate an extended 1 or 2-day span for their journey. This condensed itinerary is curated to cater to those seeking a glimpse of Halong Bay's magnificence without compromising on the essence of the experience.

Halong Bay cruise tour 2 days 1 night

Embarking on a Halong Bay 2-day 1-night tour aboard an overnight cruise promises an entirely distinct experience. It's a journey that transports you far from the bustling world, enveloping you in the embrace of breathtaking vistas and serene natural beauty.

As the cruise navigates through the heart of Halong Bay, you'll find yourself surrounded by limestone karst mountains, each boasting its own unique and enigmatic form. The sea's surface gleams with a crystal-clear blue, while pristine white sand beaches offer tranquil sanctuaries. The bay's intrigue deepens with the allure of its vibrant, mysterious caves, splashed with a spectrum of colors.

A cabin on a cruise for Halong Bay Tour 2 days - 1 night

During this immersive voyage, visitors are treated to sumptuous meals served aboard the cruise. The itinerary is brimming with engaging activities, from exhilarating kayaking sessions to interactive cooking lessons. Exploring fishing villages and taking refreshing swims further enhance the experience, weaving a tapestry of memories.

The 2-day 1-night itinerary strikes a harmonious balance, allowing ample time to uncover the gems of Halong Bay. It's a well-rounded option that not only accommodates schedules but also caters to budget considerations. This itinerary ranks among the most favored by tourists seeking to make the most of their Vietnam tour, encapsulating the essence of Halong Bay in a compact yet fulfilling timeframe.

Halong Bay cruise tour 3 days 2 nights

Much like the Halong Bay Tour spanning 2 days, the overnight cruise indulges tourists with a symphony of activities akin to the first and final days of the itinerary. All inclusions and experiences remain consistent, intertwining seamlessly across this enchanting journey. Yet, within this rhythm, a distinct note emerges on the second day.

3 day-2 night cruise tour will take tourists deeply inside the beauty of Halong Bay

During this pivotal second day, a transition to a day boat trip transpires after a hearty breakfast aboard the "Mother boat." This day-boat ventures deeper into the bay, an odyssey that brings visitors closer to the very heart of nature. The carefully chosen destinations promise optimal conditions for invigorating swims and captivating kayaking. Certain cruises elevate the experience with options for biking or hiking in the charming embrace of Viet Hai Village, nestled within the heart of Cat Ba Island.

As the sun gradually dips, the day boat gently guides travelers back to the "Mother boat," a place where a sumptuous dinner awaits, followed by an overnight stay.

For those seeking an even more comprehensive encounter, the 3-day cruise extends an open invitation. Within this elongated journey, Halong Bay emerges as a resplendent highlight of a Vietnam tour. If your schedule permits, consider embarking on this 3-day cruise trip to fully embrace the most beautiful enclaves and captivating activities that Halong Bay unfurls.

Should time and opportunity align, the 3-day Halong Bay cruise stands as a definitive recommendation, encapsulating the essence of breathtaking locales and captivating pursuits, all within the embrace of this natural wonder.

For more useful information, check with Ama Journey for your planing a trip to Vietnam

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