What is it like to take a cruise trip in Bai Tu Long Bay?

Hardy anyone travelling to Vietnam will manage to arrive without visiting Ha Long Bay – the UNESCO World Heritage site. Sure it’s on your travel bucket list. However, there is still a lot of discovery to be made in the neighboring regions. In this case, Bai Tu Long Bay is a great alternative to its famous neighbor to get off the beaten track and explore the pristine natural landscape of towering limestone plateau.

Similar to Ha Long Bay, it is best explored by cruise. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some essential information to set sail in Vietnam this year.

How long to spend?

How do you make the most of your trip without wearing yourself out with countless long drive? It will take you 4 hours (including a 20 minute stop along the way) to transfer from Hanoi, hence, 2 day 1 night cruise is much better than the day cruise. Day cruise is too much of a rush to really enjoy and appreciate the stunning area. Moreover, the overnight cruise will go farther so you can visit more places and have more time to relax and enjoy some activities such as cave, island exploring, sunset watching, kayaking, etc. If you have more time in Vietnam, 2 night cruise would be even better.

Cruise_170932859 What is it like to take a cruise trip in Bai Tu Long Bay?

When to visit?

In the North Vietnam, where Bai Tu Long Bay is located, temperatures are generally lower in the winter months (December to February) with December being the coldest month. The high humidity also makes the weather a bit colder. Summer lasts from May to October when it is hot and humid, accompanied with sporadic rain. July to September is often the wettest months of the year. Halong Bay is often covered in mist, which reduces visibility but adds to the atmosphere.

In the summer, the average temperature is 34.9°C while during the winter, it might get as low as 13.7°C on the average. Thanks to the nature of a closed-sea area, Halong is lucky not to be much affected by heavy storms.

The best time to visit the bay is during Spring (March to May) and Fall (September and October), especially in the Spring with high chance of sunshine


Don’t get yourself overwhelmed with so many offers. There is almost only one format. Roundtrip by car from your hotel or pick-up point/drop-off point. At Footprint, for your convenience, our car will pick you up at around 8 AM from Hanoi. You will arrive at the port at about noon time. It is very busy as there are hundreds of boats moored there. All meals starting with lunch once you arrive in the cruise itself. Time to say goodbye to the crew as you disembark at the same pier the next day or the day after at 11 AM. You will then hit the road to Hanoi for an arrival at around 4 PM.

Price guide for 2D1N cruise:

Less than 100 USD/person
It’s not worth trying to save a few bucks because it may ruin your holiday. The boat might be crowded and poor maintained while the food is very basic.

100USD – 150USD/person
The group is limited in the number of people. The meal will be a big upgrade in quality and quantity compared to standard restaurants in Hanoi. Most of the dishes are seafood, hence, if you are allergic to seafoods, make sure that special requests are informed before departure. The boat quality as well as the maintenance is good. We don’t think anyone wants to take a risk on their holiday so make sure you make a wise choice, not to choose the cheapest one. With a simple, basic program, you can still make the most of your trip with various activities such as cave exploring, kayaking and swimming.


Surprises cave_154677974

150 USD – 200 USD/person

A slight upgrade of 3 star trip with well-researched program.

IMG_1628-1024x683 What is it like to take a cruise trip in Bai Tu Long Bay?

160 What is it like to take a cruise trip in Bai Tu Long Bay?

More than 200USD/person

The cabins and the junk itself are bigger and more luxurious with nicely equipped facilities. There’s a wide range of leisure activities on offer such as dinners in cave and morning Taichi exercise.

Dragon Legend cruise

Dinner In Cave

Tips: know what’s included

Some of the cruise companies offer the full price for an overnight cruise on the bay, but some don’t. Normally, the full price is includes transfer, meals, all activities and entrance fees for some tourist attractions. Drinks may not be included, hence, ask your travel consultants carefully before you book.

Drinks may normally cost:
-Beer – $2
-Wine – $35/bottle and up
-Mixed drinks – $5

 Contact us to get your perfect cruise trip in Bai Tu Long Bay!


Author: Hong Anh

Hong Anh is a true story-teller. For her, travelling is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Each of her stories is a unique travel experience that is told and illustrated by her own distinctive style.

Hong Anh