• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Cruises to Halong Bay

50 Reviews
1 Award
Halong Bay (Photo:Jimmy Tran/Shutterstock)

About Halong Bay

Mystical and magical, Halong Bay -- comprised of more than 1,969 uninhabited islands and rock formations -- is one of Asia's great natural wonders. Vietnamese legend has it that the archipelago came into being when a dragon fell to earth; Ha Long Bay, loosely translated, means the Bay of the Descending Dragon. Situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pack your cameras and get up early as the scenery starts several hours before your ship docks, and witnessing fishing boats among the rocks at sunrise is a moment not to be missed.  

Cruise passengers have two main choices of what to do in Halong Bay. You can either explore the bay on a "junk" cruise of varying duration or make the trek to Hanoi, a three-hour drive each way. Some ships dock for more than one day, allowing you to stay in Hanoi one night or take an overnight cruise. Even if your ship doesn't do this, your port stop will be at least 12 hours to allow people enough time for longer excursions.

Halong Bay City itself is on a growth spurt. Construction cranes dot the port (known as Bai Chay), luxury hotels and resorts are on tap and the government is looking to build a beach to entice more tourism. Residents are very proud of the Bai Chay Bridge, a 3,629-foot cable-stayed bridge that changes color at night; it's a pretty sight at nighttime sail-away.

Most cruise ships tender to the port area. Near the pier, it's a 15-minute walk or so to shops, tourist markets and cafes.

  • More about Halong Bay

  • Why go to Halong Bay?

  • Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Loading...

We found you 6 cruises

Loading...
Loading...
Cruise Critic Favorite
Angkor Pandaw
Angkor Pandaw

10 Night
Halong Bay And Red RiverDetails

4 Reviews
Leaving:Thanh Pho Ninh Binh
Cruise Line:Pandaw River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Indochine
Indochine

13 Night
From The Mekong Delta To The Temples Of Angkor & H...Details

Leaving:Hanoi
Cruise Line:CroisiEurope
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Price Tracker
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Indochine II
Indochine II (Photo: CroisiEurope)

13 Night
From The Temples Of Angkor To The Mekong Delta & H...Details

Leaving:Siem Reap
Cruise Line:CroisiEurope
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Price Tracker
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite
Angkor Pandaw
Angkor Pandaw

10 Night
Halong Bay And Red RiverDetails

4 Reviews
Leaving:Hanoi
Cruise Line:Pandaw River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

13 Night
From The Mekong Delta To The Temples Of Angkor & H...Details

Leaving:Hanoi
Cruise Line:CroisiEurope
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Price Tracker
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

13 Night
From The Temples Of Angkor To The Mekong Delta & H...Details

Leaving:Siem Reap
Cruise Line:CroisiEurope
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Price Tracker
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

More about Halong Bay

Why go to Halong Bay?

Pros:

Sail a traditional junk across an absinthe-hued bay, past ancient karst and limestone islands

Cons:

Litter and overcrowding is common at this popular destination

Bottom Line:

An extended port stop provides ample time to explore the World Heritage-listed site

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the Vietnamese dong, but vendors and guides take U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds and other currency (anything but Laotian and Cambodian money, one guide told us). If you arrange tours in advance, your guide will tell you what currency to bring; crisp bills in $100 or $20s are preferred. ATMs are available near the port. For up-to-date currency exchange rates, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

Language?

Vietnamese. While some people speak English in the tourist trade, it can be difficult to understand. If you want a guide, it's best to book ahead of time.


Halong Bay Cruise Reviews
The islands of Halong Bay are incredible. Loved seeing them. The cruise out on the junk was good and informative. I would pass on the kayak tour if you have breathing problems. If you kayak, the tour was interestRead More
User Avatar
Knyght1
I had been to Halong Bay before and took an overnight junk trip, so I had decided not to take a boat ride unless weather conditions were good. It was sprinkling a little when we docked, pretty cloudy so I decided toRead More
User Avatar
TravelDreamer75
Full day boat trip of Halong Bay with a small group of 14 on a boat which had capacity for 40 so it was roomy, intimate and a fabulous day. Booked independently with fellow cruisers on the CC website using Travel AutRead More
User Avatar
stormywaters
2 great experiences; kayaking at a small fishing village in Ha Long Bay and a junk cruiseRead More
User Avatar
Las Vegas Gary

Related Cruises

Cruises to Newport

Cruises to Newport

250 Reviews
Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

223 Reviews
Cruises to Kauai

Cruises to Kauai

615 Reviews
Cruises to Riga

Cruises to Riga

85 Reviews
Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

123 Reviews
Cruises to Berlin

Cruises to Berlin

230 Reviews
Cruises to Falmouth

Cruises to Falmouth

1,552 Reviews
Cruises to Honfleur

Cruises to Honfleur

58 Reviews
Cruises to Princess Cays

Cruises to Princess Cays

685 Reviews
Cruises to Koh Samui

Cruises to Koh Samui

126 Reviews
Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

101 Reviews
Cruises to Saint-Malo

Cruises to Saint-Malo

14 Reviews
Cruises to Walvis Bay

Cruises to Walvis Bay

6 Reviews
Cruises to Durban

Cruises to Durban

96 Reviews
Cruises to Bimini

Cruises to Bimini

202 Reviews
Cruises to Nha Trang

Cruises to Nha Trang

106 Reviews
Cruises to Melk

Cruises to Melk

138 Reviews
Cruises to Cinque Terre

Cruises to Cinque Terre

348 Reviews
Cruises to Skagen

Cruises to Skagen

95 Reviews
Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

139 Reviews
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

Share your feedback

International Sites

© 1995—2023, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map

  • Cookie Consent