One big question of almost every visitor to Ha Long Bay is how much to spend on a cruise trip. Lets imagine that you asked one tour company and they quoted you for $160 then found another travel agency in the Old Quater of Hanoi sell a Ha Long Bay cruise trip for just around $80 or even $45, that will surely make you feel confused. And this is not just an imagined story but a true story for many people who have booked or are finding a booking for a Ha Long Bay cruise.
Most cruise packages include transfers to and from Hanoi and you can get really cheap cruises beginning at a rock-bottom jaw-dropping $30 per person to do an afternoon cruise around the bay and going upwards to $400 per person/day for a luxury overnight cruise. You do not need to book with a luxury operator to have a nice cruise, but if you book at the budget level it is hard to know what to expect in terms of service, food, safety, and accommodations. The budget tours are often booked through travel agents who place people with different tour operators and boats in order to adequately fill up as many spaces as possible, so you really may not have a good idea of what things will be like until you get aboard. And for to help you imagine clearer, only the entrance fees during a cruise trip cost about $21, so with $30 price, which kind of food, accommodation and activities they will give you to still make profit? Discover Halong believes that you already have your answer.
Our recommendation would be to try to budget for a mid-range operator with good online and/or word-of-mouth reviews and you should be able to get a good day cruise starting at about $70/person or an overnight cruise starting at around $120 to $150 per person. If you shop around and check promotions, you may find even better rates (please refer here for tips to get good cruise deals). On the other hand, if you are looking for excellent food and service, check out the luxury cruises and expect to spend a little more.The activities and sites are often the same between the mid-range and luxury operators, but the food, service, and staff-to-passenger ratio often improves.
In all case, you should remember this conclusion: YOU GET WHAT YOU HAVE PAID FOR! So don’t aim for something at low price. But what you should do is to compare prices of the same cruise but offered by different tour agents and chose out one agent that offers the lowest. Good luck with your booking!
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