Vietnam #16: How to Pick a Ha Long Bay Cruise

Vietnam #1: It’s a Long Ass Flight to Vietnam
Vietnam #2: The Best Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam #3: A Lesson in History and Propaganda
Vietnam #4: The Streets of HCMC
Vietnam #5: Is the Mekong Delta Worth It?
Vietnam #6: My First Overseas Doctor Visit
Vietnam #7: Welcome to Central Vietnam
Vietnam #8: Two-Wheeling in Vietnam
Vietnam #9: Don’t Skip Hoi An
Vietnam #10: A Hot Day in Hue
Vietnam #11: Exploring Hanoi
Vietnam #12: Hanoi Hilton
Vietnam #13: The Best View in Hanoi
Vietnam #14: Sheraton Hanoi Hotel
Vietnam #15: Need a Reason to Go to Vietnam: Here it Is.

How to pick a Ha Long Bay cruise? Great question.

We spent months googling “best ha long bay cruise.” There are hundreds of cruise options, ranging from low-budget to the height of luxury. Every blog/article/review more or less said the same thing: You get what you pay for.

So we decided to pay a little bit more. We made a conscious decision to skip the low-budget backpacker option. While it’s possible to do a day tour of Ha Long Bay, it’s not advisable. It takes a good three to four hours to get from Hanoi to the port. The most common tours are one night or two. We chose a two day/one night tour.

After extensive research, we settled on Indochina Junk, which is described as a luxury cruise. We were specifically drawn to them because they operate exclusively in Bai Tu Long Bay – away from the hundreds of other junkets. Indochina Junk offers a couple of options. We chose the Dragon Legend, a 24 cabin boat with a maximum of 46 passengers for $219 per person. This price included transportation, lodging, four meals, and activities.

dragon legend map

Our itinerary

I won’t mince words. We LOVED it. Of course, it didn’t it hurt that the view was absolutely stunning. But it sure was nice to enjoy the limestone karsts from the luxury of a five-star cruise.

Our “luxury van” picked us up at our Hanoi hotel Sunday morning at 8 a.m., and I’m happy to report that it was rather luxurious – especially the wifi.

2015-12-06 07.18.06

Four hours later, we pulled up to the port and boarded a small transfer boat. And then, finally, finally, we boarded our cruise ship.

2015-12-06 12.26.43-1

The ship was extremely comfortable, with nice bedrooms, a lovely deck, lavish meals, and a very affordable spa. Our guide was friendly, and we loved having the bay to ourselves.






And of course, here is our mind-blowing, breath-stealing view:


We had an amazing time. Ha Long Bay is truly beautiful, and the Dragon Legend made the trip that much more enjoyable. I’m not surprised the cruise ranks number five on TripAdvisor. If you’re confused by the array of tour options, and you’re willing to spend a little extra, I highly recommend the Dragon Legend.

Tagged , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “Vietnam #16: How to Pick a Ha Long Bay Cruise

  1. […] Tagged danang, ha long bay, hanoi, ho chi minh city, hoi an, hue, panorama, vietnam ← Previous post […]

  2. Great tips and advice! I really want to visit Vietnam this year when I move back to the Maldives. I didn’t get there last year unfortunately so hopefully this year!! I will have to come and look back at your post for some tips! Happy to hear you had an amazing time!

  3. […] #14: Sheraton Hanoi Hotel Vietnam #15: Need a Reason to Go to Vietnam: Here it Is. Vietnam #16: How to Pick a Ha Long Bay Cruise Vietnam #17: Panorama […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: