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Hanoi Overnight or Halong Bay Day Cruise


cinci4u
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Hi, We are looking at doing tours on our upcoming cruise on December 2024.  Our ship docks at 1:30pm on 12/6 and leaves on 12/7 at 7:30pm.  Unfortunately, due to the timing of our ship arriving into port an overnight cruise in Halong Bay is out.  Is it worth staying overnight in Hanoi and not going to Halong Bay or just do a Halong Bay day cruise through the cruise line.  Any help would be great.

Thanks,

Bryan and Terri

 

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FWIW, this is kind of dated but we did a land trip to Hanoi (and other parts of Vietnam) in Oct 2014. 

We spent four days in Hanoi of which three were pretty full days of sightseeing.  So, I think an overnight stay would definitely have enough points of interest (landmarks, parks/lakes, markets, etc) to keep you engaged/entertained.  So many fantastic places to eat too.  However, it is a bustling, chaotic city so you kind of have to enjoy that type of vibe.  

 

We also did an overnight cruise (Emeraude cruises) in Halong Bay (with a coach transfer to/from Hanoi).  It is kind of a bucket list activity with the beautiful scenery.  Not sure if the cruiseline's day cruises have similar activities but to give you an idea of the possible experience:  as part of our overnight cruise, we stopped at & walked through a cave, visited a pearl farm, and did a short hike around a small island.  All kind of interesting but very touristy.  There was also a chance to kayak a bit.  The star is really the scenery though. 

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6 hours ago, Milhouse said:

FWIW, this is kind of dated but we did a land trip to Hanoi (and other parts of Vietnam) in Oct 2014. 

We spent four days in Hanoi of which three were pretty full days of sightseeing.  So, I think an overnight stay would definitely have enough points of interest (landmarks, parks/lakes, markets, etc) to keep you engaged/entertained.  So many fantastic places to eat too.  However, it is a bustling, chaotic city so you kind of have to enjoy that type of vibe.  

 

We also did an overnight cruise (Emeraude cruises) in Halong Bay (with a coach transfer to/from Hanoi).  It is kind of a bucket list activity with the beautiful scenery.  Not sure if the cruiseline's day cruises have similar activities but to give you an idea of the possible experience:  as part of our overnight cruise, we stopped at & walked through a cave, visited a pearl farm, and did a short hike around a small island.  All kind of interesting but very touristy.  There was also a chance to kayak a bit.  The star is really the scenery though. 

Thank you for the information and suggestions.

Bryan and Terri

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Almost all cruise ships' overnite stops at Halong Bay are a day and a half (or half a day and a day) which precludes overnite junk cruises, because they're timed to suit folk travelling from Hanoi.

 

Hanoi is a journey of about 3 hours e/w.  Altho a full day trip is usually offered most of that day is spent on a bumpy bus ride, with limited time in Hanoi. So it's something I'd counsel against - if you choose a trip to Hanoi, make it one which includes an overnite hotel in Hanoi,

 

Most ships' junk cruises are two hours and I'd counsel against any junk cruise under four hours. Crossing the open bay takes up much of a two hour cruise, then a stop at a cave on the periphery of the limestone islets (called karsts), leaving little time - if any - to get amongst the karsts.

Amongst the karsts it's a surreal watery lunar landscape. And the bay is usually misty - something which can take the shine off most boat trips (deliberate awful pun 😏), but which simply adds to the atmosphere in Halong Bay. I recommend seeking out a six or eight hour cruise - the 8 hour cruise especially gets you into solitude, and follows the same route as many of the overnite cruises.

 

Those two-hour ships' junk cruises also tend to be packed to the limit with little opportunity to move around. Independently booked cruises give you much more space. If you book a complete junk to share (thro your cruise RollCall) with fellow-cruisers, aim to limit the numbers to a couple of dozen.

All junks have a John (of sorts 😏) at the stern, and sell drinks (sometimes food as well, mebbe by cooking a fish which you've bought at a floating fish-farm). 

 

It's possible to book a ship's day-trip to Hanoi on the full day, and a ship's two-hour junk cruise on the half-day. But IMHO that's the worst of both worlds.

 

JB 🙂

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On 12/30/2023 at 10:02 AM, John Bull said:

Almost all cruise ships' overnite stops at Halong Bay are a day and a half (or half a day and a day) which precludes overnite junk cruises, because they're timed to suit folk travelling from Hanoi.

 

Hanoi is a journey of about 3 hours e/w.  Altho a full day trip is usually offered most of that day is spent on a bumpy bus ride, with limited time in Hanoi. So it's something I'd counsel against - if you choose a trip to Hanoi, make it one which includes an overnite hotel in Hanoi,

 

Most ships' junk cruises are two hours and I'd counsel against any junk cruise under four hours. Crossing the open bay takes up much of a two hour cruise, then a stop at a cave on the periphery of the limestone islets (called karsts), leaving little time - if any - to get amongst the karsts.

Amongst the karsts it's a surreal watery lunar landscape. And the bay is usually misty - something which can take the shine off most boat trips (deliberate awful pun 😏), but which simply adds to the atmosphere in Halong Bay. I recommend seeking out a six or eight hour cruise - the 8 hour cruise especially gets you into solitude, and follows the same route as many of the overnite cruises.

 

Those two-hour ships' junk cruises also tend to be packed to the limit with little opportunity to move around. Independently booked cruises give you much more space. If you book a complete junk to share (thro your cruise RollCall) with fellow-cruisers, aim to limit the numbers to a couple of dozen.

All junks have a John (of sorts 😏) at the stern, and sell drinks (sometimes food as well, mebbe by cooking a fish which you've bought at a floating fish-farm). 

 

It's possible to book a ship's day-trip to Hanoi on the full day, and a ship's two-hour junk cruise on the half-day. But IMHO that's the worst of both worlds.

 

JB 🙂

JB, Thank you, thank you for the information.  We have decided to stay overnight in Hanoi.

Bryan and Terri

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Bryan and Terri

Are you booking the overnight in Hanoi through Celebrity or a different tour operator? We want to stay overnight too but I want to do a tour that includes the longer cruise through the bay.  Please let me know  what you are booking.  We might be interested in joining.

 

Thank You

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Posted (edited)

We have booked with Celebrity.  However, I have been checking around for independent tour operators.  If we do an independent tour operator, we are looking at $550 for 2 people which includes all the transfers from the cruise-port/hotel, a food tour during the evening by rickshaw and a tour of Hanoi by Jeep before leaving to the cruise-port.  The hotel cost is not included in the pricing of the tour.  If you are interesting in joining us let me know and I will check on pricing for 4 people.  You should figure the cost of the hotel in Hanoi will run between $100 - $200 per night and we are looking at staying in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.  For logistical reasons, I do you think it’s important that we all stay in the same hotel.

Edited by cinci4u
Grammar
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6 hours ago, dagcruiser said:

Bryan and Terri

Are you booking the overnight in Hanoi through Celebrity or a different tour operator? We want to stay overnight too but I want to do a tour that includes the longer cruise through the bay.  Please let me know  what you are booking.  We might be interested in joining.

 

Thank You

Hi Dagcruiser,

Please note my response above and I notice that you are on our cruise in November. 

Thanks,

Bryan and Terri

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Just finished a Halong Bay day cruise organized independently that was outstanding!  Highly recommend- tour itself was perfect, and tour guide went out of her way to make sure we squeezed everything we wanted out of our day.  
 

Contact Ms. Gam through WhatsApp at +84 352 403 168.

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Bryan and Terri

Are you booking the overnight in Hanoi through Celebrity or a different tour operator? We want to stay overnight too but I want to do a tour that includes the longer cruise through the bay.  Please let me know  what you are booking.  We might be interested in joining.

 

Thank You

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