Question 1: I heard people talk about changing boat when they are on Halong Bay cruise tours. Is it real?
Changing boat does be applied in many junk tours when you visit Halong Bay, but just in 3 days 2 nights itinerary. Guests will be transferred to an excursion cruise, a smaller cruise, after having breakfast, and return back to big cruise (a different one than your first cruise, your luggage will be transferred also) before dinner time. This cruise will drive you to visit some islands, floating village for kayaking, swimming, or trekking and cycling if you visit Cat Ba Island. You will enjoy lunch on excursion cruise, or if you go with nice cruises like Signature, you have chance to have lunch on beach.
Question 2: Why do cruise operators do this?
There are some reasons. First, big cruise cannot go direct to shallow water areas, so you will go to most attractions by tender boat or excursion cruise. Second, to be honest, as there are less guests going for 3 days 2 nights than 2 days 1 night, the cruise operators combine 3 days 2 nights guests from different vessels of the fleet to accommodate them in a same boat from the second night of the trip. This arrangement allows the companies to save expenses and suitable for small operators who have not many boats in the fleet.
Question 3: How is an excursion cruise? Is it terrible?
Absolutely NOT. Excursion cruise looks like a 1 day trip cruise. The biggest difference from the big cruise is that there are no cabins on it. It cannot be comfortable like on cruise which you have a bed to lay down, but the advice for you is taking your time to join activities, they will be really interesting. Moreover, an advantage with this cruise is you will not need to move to a tender boat to go to attractions in your itinerary.
Question 4: Where will cruise place my luggage when change cruise? Is it safe?
Don’t worry about your luggage. Cruise will be responsible for keeping your luggage safe in the same cruise or transfer it to another big cruise that you will stay for a second night. (In many cruise, you will be likely join another big cruise in the second night, that cruise is a 2D1N cruise that departs 1 day later than your original cruise. At this point, your original cruise will return to the port to pick up new guest for another 2D1N trip),
Question 5: How to avoid changing cruise?
Just in case you don’t want to change the boat as you are used to your cabin, you can choose a chartered cruise, though price will be much higher than a sharing cruise. Alternatively, The Au Co cruise, Bhaya Classic cruise, Dragon Legend or Dragon’s Pearl cruise are those high quality 3 days 2 nights cruise that go continuously on the bay.
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