How To Choose Halong Bay Cruise? Budget & Luxury Choices

Questions about Halong Bay

Halong Bay is blessed with picturesque landscapes such as majestic limestone cliffs, emerald green water, mysterious caves, and sandy beaches. As a result, cruise travel is the most popular way to capture these charms because water transport takes you to every corner of the bay. 

However, picking a cruise provider is not easy since tourists are inundated with advertisements as they wander around crowded tourist sites. So how to choose Halong Bay cruise? Scroll down to learn. 

Cruise Duration ⭐ 2-3 days for best experience
✅ Itinerary Variety     ⭐ Opt for cruises visiting less crowded spots
✅ Accommodation Select a comfortable cabin with a view
✅ Activities Onboard ⭐ Look for cruises offering kayaking, cave visits, and cooking classes

Determine The Budget

Obviously, your budget lays the groundwork for all future decisions. Each traveler saves a different amount of money, thus having access to individual packages. Fortunately, cruising at Halong Bay offers many options to satisfy your needs, from standard cruises to luxurious 5-star ones.

Note that prices may increase during peak seasons or holidays. You'd better consider your financial ability and carefully research the available tours before deciding.

Do not skimp on your investment! While you can endure a dingy bedroom for one night, fasting for three meals is nearly impossible. Be aware that the best price is not the cheapest but commensurate with the service provided. You should invest in a cruise of five stars to ensure quality. Fortunately, you pay almost only once as the package includes accommodation, dining, and entertainment activities.


Paradise Elegance Cruise in Halong Bay

Paradise Elegance Cruise in Halong Bay

Read more: Should I book a Halong Bay cruise in advance? Why should I do so?

Choose A Cruise

Budget Boat

Cruises in Halong Bay are similarly classified as hotel ratings. That said, each option provides you with separate utilities and customer care services. Below are the estimated price ranges for the available types. The charge may vary depending on the voyage, time, and carrier.

  • 2-to-4-star cruise: 10-160 USD per person

These cruises have small capacity and basic facilities. You also don't expect well-trained staff and privacy. You can expect larger cabins with basic amenities and English-fluent staff with higher-star cruises. Bars and restaurants are available on some tours, but the menu is not very diverse.

  • 5-star cruise: 170-200 USD per person

You have everything it takes to live like the elite on these boats, such as a large room with a balcony, splendid lounge, sundeck, spacious restaurant, etc. Extra recreational activities, like Jacuzzi-style bathing, relaxing with spa, joining traditional cooking classes, enjoying live music or kayaking to explore Halong’s otherworldly charm, are ready to fulfill your experience. Well-trained staff and maintained engines also streamline your journey of discovery.

Luxury Cruise

Some providers, such as Paradise Vietnam, stand out with their premium service - luxury cruises. This option is considered a 5-star floating hotel to treat high-income guests with expensive furniture, vast bay views from the queen beds, and top-notch onboard amenities and must-try activities.

Here is a quick rundown on the luxury cruises of Paradise Vietnam:

  • Paradise Elegance: Maintained in the top 5 best cruises in the world, this ship boasts classic luxury design with first-class amenities, including spacious rooms with private balconies, a modern jacuzzi on the sundeck, a lavish bar with a live band, etc.

Paradise Elegance is Paradise Vietnam's luxury cruise

Paradise Elegance is Paradise Vietnam's luxury cruise


  • Paradise Sails: Inspired by Oriental architecture, the cruise features timber design and five-star entertainment and relaxation services to lift the pressure off your feet.
  • Paradise Peak: Designed to grant you the highest level of personalization, the boast offers a wide range of tailored services, including an in-room butler, a separate dining area, and a hot tub. 
  • Paradise Delight: This option delivers a culinary and entertainment feast. It offers two luxury restaurants: the first floor sends you to a diverse culinary world of buffet with over 100 Asian-European delicacies, while the second floor gives you a chance to savor a fine-dining set menu like the elite. There is also a staging area equipped with state-of-the-art systems for the first visual spectacle show on Halong Bay. 
  • Paradise Grand: As the greatest choice for Lan Ha voyage, it has comfortable rooms with individual balconies, a giant sundeck, outdoor cinema by the sea, etc.  

Read more: Making Tough Choices: Should Cruises Be Canceled in Halong Bay?

Determine The Journey Time

Halong Bay cruises range from overnight trips to multi-day excursions. If you are short on time, day trips within the morning or the evening  provide a condensed experience of Halong Bay within a single day. The ship roams around the bay for about 4 hours, passing outstanding landscapes and visitors almost on board the whole time or having limited time at famous spots.

For a more in-depth experience, some cruises offer overnight itineraries - the longer you stay, the more interesting things you encounter. There are two popular choices: 2 days, 1 night, or 3 days, 2 nights. Since you often board the ship at 11:30 am and disembark at the same time on the closing date, the former only lasts about 24 hours. 

The same applies to the latter, which means its time is doubled. Hence, if you have a flexible vacation, the second choice is to admire the bay's beauty and neighboring areas.


Enjoy a wonderful time on the Halong Bay cruise

Enjoy a wonderful time on the Halong Bay cruise

Determine The Route

Halong Bay Main Route – An Excursion To A UNESCO Heritage

The ships for this route often leave Bai Chay Pier or Tuan Chau Port and then go around famous tourist attractions. They guide the visitors to the most crowded area in the Gulf of Tonkin, including splendid landscapes, such as Surprising Cave, Titop Island, Thien Cung Cave, etc.

As most tour companies offer this itinerary, this zone is often crowded with cruises creating a bustling atmosphere. If you crave the sense of excitement, sign up for it!

Halong Bay Cruise has many prices

Paradise Vietnam provide a wide range of cruise choice in Halong Bay

Lan Ha Bay – The Hidden Gem For Luxury Travel

This destination offers a pristine and less crowded alternative to Halong Bay. Like Halong Bay, it features towering limestone karsts, emerald-green waters, and hidden caves. However, Lan Ha Bay is known for its quieter and secluded atmosphere, providing a sense of tranquility and privacy.

Luxury cruises extend their voyage to Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the zone. This area is home to lush national parks, stunning hiking trails, and secluded beaches.


Explore Lan Ha Bay by Paradise Cruise

Explore Lan Ha Bay by Paradise Cruise

Read more: Is Halong Bay Cruise Worth It? Why should you try it in your life?

Book Halong Bay Cruise

Paradise VietNam

Paradise VietNam

Booked Through Vietnam Tour Operator

How to choose Halong Bay cruise 2023? Operator tour is the best choice for those who want to escape the hassles of travel planning. These people provide all the support you need for a worry-free trip, such as cruise registration, transfer, etc. 

It is easy to find a partner as hundreds of agents promote their services on the Internet or set up representatives around the Old Quarter. Still, keep your guard up, especially through unbiased reviews, and raise your guard against scams.

Online Booking Sites

You may also find third parties in the form of apps or websites that may satisfy your needs. The biggest plus of this booking form is that it integrates customer reviews and allows you to compare prices between vendors in the market. You then book and pay for your services right on the site.

On the downside, some affordable options are not an all-inclusive package. If you do not pay close attention, you may pay extra for kayaking or entrance tickets when boarding. Automated processing through the Internet sometimes makes mistakes, and the claim takes a long time.


Book your cruise easily at the Paradise Vietnam website

Book your cruise easily at the Paradise Vietnam website

Paradise Vietnam's Website

As a cross between the two options above, the official Paradise Vietnam website lets you connect directly with a trusted cruise provider. The convenient and smooth on-site operation deserves a round of applause as you can perform all the necessary tasks for booking in a flash, from exploring available options to paying. 

Our team of consultants works 24/7 to clear any of your questions. Plus, the site does not charge an intermediary, which provides a cost- and time-saving experience.

The luxury cruise will bring you a memorable experience

Paradise Vietnam is a trusted cruise provider 

Choosing A Means Of Transportation To Travel To Halong Bay


Traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay by seaplane is the most convenient and scenic option. These flights typically depart from Noi Bai International Airport and land on the water area in Halong Bay. Guests are transferred to your final destination, such as your cruise ship or a designated pier. The journey takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on weather conditions and the specific route.

One of the main advantages of traveling by seaplane is the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the Vietnamese landscape. Have your camera or smartphone ready to capture the stunning, transient beauty in every moment. 


Travel to Halong Bay by seaplane 

Travel to Halong Bay by seaplane 

Shuttle Bus

It is the most popular means of transport that domestic and foreign tourists choose to reach Halong Bay. Depending on your budget, you can select the type of shuttle bus, including standard cars (16 to 45 seats) or luxury limousines with 9 or 19 seats. Some cruise companies, notably Paradise Vietnam, offer this service to their customers. 

Note that each option comes with different amenities and prices. Travel time varies depending on the route, but it usually takes 2-3 hours. The shuttle bus will generally pick you up around the Old Quarter area and drop you off at the Tuan Chau Harbor in Halong City.

Experience the shuttles of Paradise Vietnam

Experience the shuttles of Paradise Vietnam

Private Car

You can arrange with travel agencies for a private car with a driver who will pick you up from your desired location in Hanoi and take you directly to Halong Bay. The rental vehicles include sedans, SUVs, or minivans based on your needs and group size. 

This option lets you choose your departure time and make stops if desired. You can also request to be dropped off at your specific destination within Halong Bay, such as your hotel or the harbor, for boat tours. 

You can choose a private car if you want your own space

You can choose a private car if you want your own space


This choice comes out on top for those with a low budget or who want to save some bucks on transportation. The coaches to Halong Bay typically depart from the Giap Bat or My Dinh bus stations, but their stations are easily accessible from various parts of the capital. 

The travel time is approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the route. It may take longer than expected because these vehicles must stop several times to pick up and drop off passengers.

Pack Your Suitcase And Travel

In addition to personal documents (passport, identification, travel insurance), it is essential to have some other important items in your luggage based on the duration of your trip and the activities you plan to engage in. Here are things that should be on your checklist:

  • Lightweight clothing: Pack comfortable, breathable clothing suitable for the tropical climate. Do not forget a swimsuit unless you want to miss a beach excursion
  • Sun protection: Bring sunscreen with a high SPF, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Insect repellent: Halong Bay is a tropical region, so it is wise to add one to your handbag to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Comfortable footwear: Walking shoes or sandals are useful when you explore the islands and caves.
  • Entertainment: Consider a book, magazine, or any other form of entertainment for relaxing during downtime on the cruise.
  • Other useful stuff: An electrical adapter, waterproof cellphone case, binoculars, etc., will come in handy.


  • Is It Worth Staying On A Cruise In Halong Bay?

YES. Staying on a cruise in Halong Bay is a unique and worthwhile experience to immerse yourself in Mother Nature's masterpiece creation fully. The cruise also provides comfortable accommodations, delicious meals, and outdoor activities, making for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

  • Which Route Is Best For Halong Bay Cruise?

The most popular choice for the Halong Bay cruise is the classic route, which includes stops at popular sites such as Sung Sot Cave, Titop Island, and Luon Cave. The other option is the Lan Ha route, which offers stunning scenery and tranquil water yet is less crowded.

  • How Many Days Are Enough For A Halong Bay Cruise?

The length of a Halong Bay cruise depends on your interests and the available time. Most cruises range from 1 to 3 nights, with 2-night cruises being the most common.

  • Which Month Is Best For Halong Bay?

The best time to visit Halong Bay is generally from March to May or September to November when the weather is mild and dry. During these months, the favorable temperatures and clear skies provide great visibility for your adventure.


How to choose Halong Bay cruise? This task is overwhelming, given the wide variety of options in the market. Still, considering your budget, available time, and favorite route, you can narrow your choices and find the perfect one for your needs. 

Researching and comparing different companies to find a reputable partner is important. Then, you can live your best day with stunning natural beauty and a wide range of exciting activities. Don’t forget to reach out to Paradise Vietnam if you still have some concerns in mind; we’re all ears!

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