Discover Lan Ha Bay Cruises - Top Picks for 2024

Halong bay cruise

The UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Vietnam, Lan Ha Bay, is considered one of the best tourist attractions in Vietnam. Its generous collections of 300 islands in diverse sizes and the lush foliage offer ample opportunities for fun water-based activities and deep exploration into the bay’s hidden nature. Paradise Vietnam, recognized for class-leading Lan Ha Bay cruise packages, can lend you some support in choosing the best tour itinerary and services. Other critical Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay cruise guidelines will also be covered.

The best options for Lan Ha Bay Cruise 2024

Join us as we explore unforgettable experiences and immerse ourselves in the mystical beauty of Lan Ha Bay: 

To end your Lan Ha Bay boat tour, enjoy a peaceful night in the Piano Lounge

To end your Lan Ha Bay boat tour, enjoy a peaceful night in the Piano Lounge

1. 3 days 2 nights in Lan Ha Bay tour with Paradise Grand

Considered one of the first cruise lines for elites, Paradise Grand Cruises offer spacious sundecks with unique views to grant cruisers the best view of Lan Ha and Halong. 39 giant cabins, each equipped with a large private balcony, are included among the amenities, providing ample space for entertainment and sightseeing during the 3-day, 2-night experience.

Day 1

  • After being transported to the Paradise Grand cruise from speedboats, cruisers are granted a hearty lunch of Eurasian buffets and Western set menus in the floating La Espacia Restaurant.
  • Then, Paradise Grand enters Viet Hai Village, which witnesses an admiring history of local customs, evident in the ancient houses and beekeeping houses you can visit on your own. Passengers are also rewarded with a satisfactory experience watching locals carry on with their daily schedules. At the same time, you are treated to delicious banana cakes and homemade cookies in Piano Lounge, so feel free to go back there when you want to take a break.
  • At night is the perfect time to host a canapé party on the spacious sun deck or your private balcony. Experience a gourmet cooking class and enjoy the live performance of a Filipino band at the Piano Lounge or on the upper deck (weather permitting).
  • After dinner, you can join squid fishing behind the boats or gather together in front of the large screen of Paradise Grand to watch some blockbuster movies.

Enjoy a peaceful night in the Piano Lounge

Exquisite spa treatments in Lan Ha Bay boat

Day 2

  • There are Tai Chi lessons on the Paradise Grand sundeck for cruisers to start the day with more energy.
  • Guests on the cruise can visit the bay to travel to the Conservation and Genetics Research Center for Fish - the only fish genetics research center in the Northern region
  • Tourists can explore and swim at Hon Ba Trai Dao in Lan Ha Bay boat tour, renowned for its silky white sandy beach forming a crescent shape, nestled against three mountain peaks resembling three peach stones.
  • Moving on to Luon Cave, visitors can paddle kayaks around the Luon Cave area to witness the natural beauty of Cat Ba Archipelago up close – a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, along with the stunning landscapes of Ha Long Bay.
  • As the second day of the Lan Ha Bay tour comes to a close, guests are in for a delightful retreat at the Paradise Suites Hotel, providing a comfortable and luxurious haven. The tranquility of the evening sets the stage for a relaxing stay, allowing patrons to unwind and rejuvenate for the adventures that await on day three.

Day 3

  • The final destination on the Lan Ha Bay boat tour is Dark and Bright Cave, where travelers will discover the beauty of the cave either by kayaking or riding in traditional local rowing boats. This enchanting and picturesque location serves as a gateway to a serene lake, surrounded by rock formations of various scales and sizes, creating a truly idyllic setting.

2. 2 days 1 night cruise in Lan Ha Bay boat tour with Paradise Grand

The restaurants aboard the Lan Ha Bay cruise are equipped with luxury amenities

The restaurants aboard the Lan Ha Bay cruise are equipped with luxury amenities

Day 1

  • Relish your luxurious lunches from talented chefs in the floating La Espacia Restaurant. The entire view of Lan Ha's stunning islets (e.g., Da Chong islet) and islands is wide open, easily observed from your private seating area. When finishing your meal, rest in the Piano Lounge, drink some warm afternoon tea, or relax with the cruise's five-star spa treatments.
  • Dark and Bright Caves are the cruise’s first stop; you can kayak to the cave’s mouth or sit on bamboo boats to let locals row you to the place. Adventurous souls usually jump onto this chance to dive deep into the cave’s magnificent wall stones and gorgeous lakes; but if you prefer to stay on board, homemade cookies, pastries, and tea are ready to delight you in the Lounge.
  • At sundown, the Lan Ha Bay cruises anchor overnight; there is a 1-hour cooking class right before dinner that gives you the chance to try out some of the most notable Vietnamese dishes. The Happy Hour (buy 1 get 1) also occurs around this time.
  • After dinner, treat yourselves to blockbuster movies in the cruise’s privileged giant outdoor cinema or join your peers in some exhilarating squid fishing.

Day 2

  • Tai Chi sessions and refreshing breakfasts of tea, coffee, and baked pastries will help you regain some energy to dive into the cruise’s last stop - Ao Ech. Take photos, kayak, and explore the white sandy beaches to your heart’s content here.
  • After settling your check-out and bills, you still have some hours left to enjoy your last moments on the sundeck and Piano Lounge of the Lan Ha Bay cruises, capturing the surreal beauty of the bay. 

3. Included and excluded on the journey to explore Lan Ha Cruise

Included in the 3-day 2-night itinerary on the Lan Ha Bay tour

• Luxury room with private bathroom, air conditioning
• 2 breakfasts/2 lunches/2 dinners and 2 light breakfasts
• Two bottles of water in the room every day
• Exclusive Tai Chi sessions
• Cooking demonstration class
• Insurance, taxes, and service charges
• Entrance fees
• Electric or bicycle ride on the first day
• Kayaking on the second day (Luon Cave)
• Bamboo boat and kayaking on the third day (Dark and Bright Cave)

Excluded in the 3-day 2-night itinerary on the Lan Ha Bay cruise
• Visa fees
• Airfare and transportation from the airport

• Mainland accommodation
• Transportation between Hanoi - Halong - Hanoi
• Beverages and tobacco
• Massage, spa, and beauty services
• Tips for staff and other unspecified expenses

Note: 

• Beverages at Piano Lough incur an additional charge.

• The music program is performed for 45 minutes per hour, and there is no performance on Mondays each week.

What activities are included in the Lan Ha Bay cruise itinerary? 

Kayaking

Kayaking on the bay’s crystal water is an unforgettable experience. 

Kayaking on the bay’s crystal water is an unforgettable experience

The bay’s crystal water and scorching sunlight are perfect for some good kayaking with your friends and families. While you are having fun, light pastries and cookies will be served on board, ready to soothe your body aches once you return to the cruise.

Lan Ha Bay tour to Dark and Bright Cave also allow cruisers to kayak from the cruise to the cave’s mouth - a great idea for high-spirited people who do not want to waste their energy on quiet, slow-rowing bamboo boats.

Happy hour

As mentioned, both 2-day-1-night and 3-day-2-night packages introduce a special Happy Hour session (from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.), where you can taste the cruise’s exquisite beverages at amazing discounts. For each drink you buy, the wine cellar staff will grant you another one for free.

Vietnamese cooking class

There are cooking classes right before dinner

Cooking classes right before dinner on Lan Ha Bay boat

2-day-1-night cruisers on Paradise Grand will have the chance to get their hands on some of the best cooking methods for notable Vietnamese dishes right before dinner (around the same time as Happy Hour). Interesting backstories about the plates are provided along with the cooking class, and the chefs will also be more than happy to indulge in all your extra questions and inquiries.

Tai chi lessons

Participate in a 30-minute Tai Chi session on the cruise deck

Participate in a 30-minute Tai Chi session on the cruise deck

Both packages organize brief Tai Chi sessions (about half an hour) to let you re-energize yourself before breakfast. The comprehensible instructions, coupled with the bay’s refreshing morning air and beautiful view, are the best stress relief one may experience. By the time Paradise Grand enters its first stop, you will be all spirited, ready to embark on the long adventures ahead.

Movie watching and squid fishing

Relax with movie watching on the Lan Ha Bay cruise

Paradise Grand has no shortage of post-dinner activities you can partake in. If you are in the mood for some outdoor air, the back of the Lan Ha Bay cruises offers ample space for squid fishing. For those who prefer to relax on board, the Open Air Cinema introduces some of the best movies to while away the time.

Swimming and sunbathing

There are few better ways to spend energy in the afternoon than several laps around the Cat Ba beaches. Its soft white sand also makes sunbathing sessions twice as fun; another alternative is some light beach sports, such as volleyball or sand yachting.

Cave exploring

Cave exploring is included in the Lan Ha Bay tour

Cave exploring is included in the Lan Ha Bay tour

Dark and Bright Cave has made a name for itself as one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Halong Bay. Aside from the sturdy, magnificent stone walls and rock shapes that take all breath away, its peaceful lake surface and gorgeous foliage also deserve a spot in your camera rolls. Better yet, with years of intimate experience with the local cultures, the tour guides will tell you the most interesting backstories related to each artifact and stalactite you stumble upon.

Culture learning

A floating fishing village like Viet Hai Village is not always a common sight to see, especially if you drop by Lan Ha Bay and Halong Bay from another country. 

Hence, an entire morning observing the locals carry on their fishing schedules and lifestyles around the floating village will be one of the best experiences a cruiser could have. The people from Viet Hai Village are honest and friendly, making you feel at home in an instant with their enthusiasm and - the best of it all - the delicious specialty Halong Bay foods.

What are the destinations on the Lan Ha Bay cruise?

Lan Ha Bay cruise visits the following locations

Lan Ha Bay cruise visits the following locations

To help you experience Lan Ha Bay at its best despite the time limits, a typical Ha Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay cruise from Cat Ba Island will give you a full trip around the bay’s most unique rock formations and shapes and through some famous caves such as Dark and Bright Cave, Sung Sot Cave, etc.

In the afternoon, you can either choose to swim on famous beaches (e.g., Ba Trai Dao beach) or kayak your way into hidden archways, tunnels, and lagoons on Ti Top Island. Do not forget to spend the rest of your sunset moments capturing Halong Bay and its floating villages in beautiful pictures before returning to your home city and country.

5 Must-pack essentials for the best Lan Ha Bay cruise

Once you settle down with the best Lan Ha Bay cruise price and itinerary, it is time to think about what should be packed before you visit Lan Ha Bay: 

1. Passports

Passengers should never forget their passports no matter which Lan Ha Bay cruises they choose. The reason is most all inclusive luxury cruise lines must register their guests with the local authorities. That means a passenger will likely not be allowed to board if he fails to prove his identity and show his passport.

2. Small backpack or travel bag

Bring a small backpack or travel bag for the Lan Ha Bay cruise.

Bring a small backpack or travel bag for the Lan Ha Bay cruise.

Though the best cruises often have more than enough room for meetings, parties, or conferences, their cabins are still admittedly smaller than typical hotel rooms. Hence, you might not have that much space for big suitcases; pack wisely and only bring a moderate-sized backpack that stores everything you need.

3. Clothes

Travelers on extended touring packages (e.g., 2-day-1-night or 3-day-2-night) should bring enough clothes to last them conveniently throughout the entire trip length. Most importantly, do not leave weather conditions and types of activities out of the picture. For instance, passionate fans of water activities on Cat Ba Island/ Cat Hai Island must remember to pack extra swimming gear, while those who mostly stay on the boat deck could be more casual with their clothing choices.

4. Sunglasses and sunscreen

It is advisable to prepare sunglasses and sunscreen for the Lan Ha Bay cruise.

It is advisable to prepare sunglasses and sunscreen for the Lan Ha Bay cruise

While Lan Ha Bay is an attractive destination regardless of season, the number of tourists still peaks during summer, when the UV can get extremely damaging. Do not forget to bring waterproof sunscreen to protect yourself better while on the beach or during kayaking sessions. Apply the sunscreen every 1-2 hours after water exposure. And if you travel with small kids - who are very vulnerable to strong sun on Cat Ba Island and Cat Ba National Park - it would be great to put some strong sunblock in your backpack.

Questions and answers about the cruises at Lan Ha Bay

A few common questions among cruisers

A few common questions among cruisers

How to get to Lan Ha Bay? The closest airports to Lan Ha Bay

Van Don Airport (Quang Ninh), Cat Bi Airport (Hai Phong City), and Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi) are the closest airports to cruise Halong Bay. The latter is quite hectic due to Hanoi being the country’s capital, so time your schedule well to seize a ticket before it sells out.

Can you stay in Lan Ha Bay?

Yes. Overnight cruise tours aside, Lan Ha and Halong Bay are also home to many hostels, hotels, and bungalows. Otherwise, you can choose to spend the night in other neighboring regions like Cat Ba Island, Bai Tu Long Bay, etc. Feel free to stay there after you explore Lan Ha Bay during the day.

Is Lan Ha Bay the same as Halong Bay?

No. Just like Bai Tu Long, remote Lan Ha Bay is also one of Halong Bay’s extensions, but the latter two are far from similar. In fact, Halong Bay belongs to Ha Long City/Cam Pha City, while Lan Ha Bay is located at the north of Halong Bay and near Haiphong City.

Are there options for customization or personalized experiences during the cruise?
Add specialized activities to your Paradise cruise, such as snorkeling or special trips. For a genuinely unforgettable trip, take advantage of individualized food, spa services, exclusive tours, and cabin choices. With a variety of alternatives to make your vacation exceptional, the cruise caters to both special events and entertainment preferences.

Could you provide information about the dining options and the quality of food served on board?
Guests can savor the chef's preparations of the world's finest Eurasian cuisine. Guests can savor both Vietnamese and international traditional foods during traditional dining on a cruise ship. If you have any particular requests, do let the cruise know in advance.

What are the best times of the year to visit Ha Long Bay for a cruise experience?
For beautiful weather, clear skies, and temperate temperatures, the best seasons for a Ha Long Bay trip are spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). These seasons are great for experiencing the bay's natural splendor. 

What are the options for accommodations on the cruise? Are there different tiers or styles available?
There are 4 options for you when choosing accommodation on the cruise: Deluxe Balcony, Executive Balcony, Grand Suite Balcony, and Captain's View Terrace Suite. You can check room availability on the website and notify the cruise staff in advance if any special arrangements are required.

 Accommodations on the Lan Ha Bay cruise

 Accommodations on the Lan Ha Bay cruise

A Lan Ha Bay cruise organized by Paradise Vietnam combines fun activities, spectacular scenery, and classy onboard services to ensure a relaxing trip for all passengers. Contact Paradise Vietnam now to negotiate the best Halong Bay/ Lan Ha Bay cruise cost and itinerary for your family!

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