Is a Halong Bay cruise on your Vietnam itinerary?
Mention Vietnam and certainly seeing the lantern-lit streets of the ancient town of Hoi An, experiencing the Cu Chi Tunnels and an overnight cruise on Halong Bay is on everyone's itinerary.
Halong Bay itself is like a dream!
The lure of it's emerald green waters splattered with floating villages, karsts and islets like lotus gardens across the bay. It's a destination which requires at the least an overnight cruise to absorb as much of this natural wonder. A cruise offers the opportunity not only to take in its breath taking scenery but to participate in out-of-doors pursuits, including fishing with the locals, dinners on a private beach, tai chi in the morning sunrise and cave exploration.
Like any top destination, Halong Bay attracts a plethora of accommodation and has something for everyone. The likes of Emperor Cruises, Bhaya and Au Co recognise the discerned traveller who indulges in exploration from a plush and comfortable surrounding.
Au Co Suite, The Au Co Cruise
As opposed to a two hour car journey from Hanoi, guests on a three day cruise are welcomed off a forty five minute sea plane commute from Hanoi, taking in the iconic bird's eye view of the bay along the way.
Should you choose to call the Au Co Suite yours for your stay, you are greeted by a sleek interior design more reminiscent of Santorini but for the carefully placed oriental objects around the suite and the towering limestone karsts out the window. A glossy hardwood floor extends to a separate, beautifully wood panelled bath and shower. Your very own private deck at the front of the boat with table and chairs is a generous extension of the suite, providing an undisturbed haven.
While on the three day, two night cruise, enjoy four course gourmet presented lunches and dinners.
A Vietnamese traditional home meal and a barbecue under the stars on the final evening. Also part of the experience is a traditional folklore performance on the origins of the Vietnamese people. The Au Co cruise also takes you away from the over-visited Halong Bay areas on an exclusive route to Lan Ha and Bai Tu Long bays.
Surely a cut stone cruise in Halong Bay cruises.
Amenities: Premium Sea Plane transfer, sparkling wine, bathrobes, air conditioning
Size: 40 square metres
Ideal for: luxury, impressing the other half and a culinary experience
The Terrace Suite, Bhaya Classic Cruises
Bhaya Cruises were one of the first to offer overnight cruising as an extension to the routine day excursions on the bay. With six hundred square miles of natural beauty, a trip that extended overnight meant visits to other areas of the bay previously not possible on a day trip.
The pinnacle of the twenty rooms onboard these more traditional boats is the Terrace Suite.
The suite takes on a simple, understated Vietnamese decor with custom wood furnishings. The floor is a beautiful dark wood. The Terrace Suite is the bonsai of the list but what it lacks for in size is duly compensated for with a more vibrant and relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff.
Reconnect with nature by joining in one of the myriad of activities hiking up to Hang Sung Sot Cave, Titop mountain or kayaking.
Amenities: Private terrace, use of kayaks, cocktails at sunset
Size: 16.5 square metres
Ideal for: Young at heart, traditional Halong Bay cruise, active
The Superior Suite, Paradise Peak
With a total of eight suites onboard, Paradise Peak luxury cruise offers the ultimate in an intimate and chic escape. Whereas, the personalised Vietnamese hospitality service feels much more like home away from home.
A stay in the Superior Suite on the upper deck enjoys peerless views from your very own private terrace. From the thousands of years old karsts as you sail by to the starlit sky at night to the reflection of the moon on the water's surface.
The bed takes to the centre stage with its plush white linens. Pops of oriental red and Indochinese motifs pays homage to the location.
Dine communally or request the services of your personal butler to arrange a more cosy dinner in the suite. This suite is positively romantic!
Amenities: Private terrace, private dining, personal butler service
Size: 40 square metres
Ideal for: romance, excellent butler service
Regent Suites, Ginger - Heritage Line
Say good morning to Halong Bay from this Indochinese inspired decor of the regent suite! Beautiful attention to detail in the custom-made silk panels and intricate lattice work.
Connect with the natural beauty of the less traversed Lan Ha Bay through the generous floor to ceiling windows or from the privacy of your jacuzzi.
Enjoy international dishes as well as traditional Vietnamese meals created from freshly sourced ingredients.
Neither should an opportunity be missed for an afternoon cocktail in the pool on the top deck with its 360 degree views.
Amenities: Private balcony, jacuzzi, pool
Size: 50 square metres
Ideal for: luxury, culinary feast, less traversed route
Alisa Premier Suite, Alisa Cruise
Sailing since 2017, Alisa Cruise Line is one of the newest on the bay. Being this new Alisa Cruise is cementing its status as a modern, boutique line. The Premier Suite is a sleek, sophisticated design and oh-so-chic! A palette of taupe and beige adds to the elegance of the suite. This ensuite is fully equipped with modern amenities and the attention to detail is impeccable.
Intimate and understated, its perfect for younger couples and singles alike.
Amenities: en suite, spa services, karaoke
Size: 26 square metres
Ideal for: young couples, single travellers
The Royal Suite, Emperor Cruises
Choose a cruise aboard the award winning Emperor Cruises with its eight elegantly designed suites.
The jewel in its crown is the Royal Suite. Sixty square metres of floor space not including the private balcony, you will be sailing the largest, luxurious and most uniquely designed cruise on the bay.
A light flooded suite with custom furnishings and natural wood floors. Its decidedly regal with its engaging neutral palette of creams, beige and dark wood.
An art program suited to an art gallery, gym, spa, library and kids’ club are some of the niceties onboard.
An all inclusive cruise ensures guests want for nothing.
Amenities: 24 hour room service, butler service
Size: 70 square metres
Ideal for: experiential cruising, art enthusiasts
Prefer not to share your Halong Bay experience with strangers? For the ultimate in exclusivity, charter an entire boat. Opt for a boat that accommodates your party size, select the number of nights and design an itinerary off the beaten track! Love your privacy - go private all the way and charter a private jet to Cat Bi International or Noi Bai International airport.
Whether you choose a one night Halong Bay cruise or curate your own personal Halong Bay cruise, take inspiration from the suites above. Be sure to save this post and book the suite that bests compliments you!