We did an overnight in Halong Bay on the Halong Violet. The name of the company changes from Cruise Halong and is now known as Heritage Line. (www.heritage-line.com)
Halong Bay Rating:
The was the highlight of the entire cruise for us. We arrive in Halong Bay at 1:00 pm. After a delay 40 minutes to tender to shore, we walked to the Royal Pier where our private tender was waiting to take us to the Violet. Apparently there was someone waiting for us at Bai Chay when we arrived but we did not see them. It would have saved us the walk. It took about 40 minutes to get to the Violet by tender. We saw some beautiful scenery. When we arrived they showed us to our room which was the Cloud Suite. This being a luxury junk, we had a beautiful room with wood floors and floor to ceiling windows. I was traveling with my mother and the bed could be made as a king or pulled apart for two twin beds. We also had a gorgeous bathroom with lovely shower and huge bath tub.
The food on the Violet was delicious. They served a dinner with many options and also a yummy breakfast.
The events included a visit to the floating museum and village by row boat which was magical. The water was clean and emerald green. We also visited a cave and the next day a beach for swimming. Everything was done very professionally and such a difference than Celebrity. We did not want to leave. The Violet only holds 12 people and it was wonderful to spend the time relaxing on the junk. During the night we anchored and you could see a few boats which were lit up nearby drifting near us. It was one of the best excursions I have ever done!
When we came back to the ship the next afternoon we had a ship tour which was called Countryside and Shopping. The tour was awful. There was no shopping, no farm, and we only saw the buildings at the foot of the mountain for the Yen Pagoda. You actually have to take a cable car to the real Yen Tu which was 20 minutes from where we were. We stopped three different times for a bathroom break. It was the worst tour ever.