Halong Bay, where around 3,000 limestone islets rise from the emerald waters, requires a real visit no matter how many pictures, stories, and movies of the place you have came across. One of the ways to see Halong Bay with your own eyes is to take a cruise, but without this following travel guide, choosing a good cruise might be a tough task.
1. Take a look at Trip Advisor
The ranking on Trip Advisor could be a good “arrow” to having some first options of cruises. Take a look at top 15 Halong Bay’s cruises, check their information and also the reviews of other tourists. Then, you can shorten the list down to 5-10 best cruises.
2. Decide the length of your trip
The itinerary offered on boat usually range from 1 day to 3 days/2 nights. Each length has different journey, different stops; so depending on your time budget and where you want to visit, you will decide the length of your trip. The most chosen option is 2 days/1 night itinerary as the price is affordable and still can take you to stops far in the bay, while 1 day cruise is suitable for people with tight time budget. If you have generous money and time budgets, bravely go for a 3 days/2 nights, I suggest, as many travelers stated that they regretted for not choosing 3 days/2 nights to have more time on the bay.
3. Research on cruises’ websites
The official websites are also provided on Trip Advisor. Land on those to take a look at the detail information. Research more profound by looking at the company profile, the vessels and itineraries. Several programs with the same length will be available, then, your money budget will be the key point; choose one program that you can afford. But if the one you like has higher price, go for the step 4.
4. Contact and Deal the price
There are hundreds of cruises in Halong Bay, which means there are thousands of tour operators and travel agents selling these cruises. Prices vary and can be hundred of dollars different. So do some research, contact a reputable one, they usually offer better price than the public prices on the official cruises’ websites. Also, ask what’s included in the price and if safety equipment is provided.
5. Some more notes:
Budget cruises are often crowded and you can’t do much about the quality of food and services. Mid-range cruises are better in terms of cabins, food and services. The luxury cruises offer additional services such as wifi or massage. The food is better so as are the cabins.
Also, check the weather before you go. If storms and rain are forecasted, the cruises might be cancelled.
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