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How to book a cruise in Halong Bay 2020

How to book a cruise in Halong Bay 2020

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    I. Booking a Halong Bay Cruise in advance

    Halong Bay is the most popular tourist attraction in Vietnam with over a million tourists coming each year. Therefore, if you have determined the time you visit Halong Bay, booking in advance is highly recommended, especially, in the peak season of Halong tourism from July to October when the tourism services like cruises, accommodation, etc are usually overloaded. Also, if you plan a short trip in Vietnam and just have a limited time in Halong Bay, booking in advance will be guaranteed the availability of the cruise as well as help you keep track of the time effectively. After all, traveling is the time to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature so there is no need to put yourself on the fight to buy cruise tickets on arrival, right?

    Read more: How to get to Halong bay, Vietnam

    There are two main ways to book a Halong Bay cruise in advance.

    1. Booking Halong Bay cruise through online booking websites

    a. Pros and cons

    Today, online booking with its convenience becomes more and more popular with tourists. It is obvious that booking the cruise through online booking websites has huge advantages:  

    • First of all, online booking websites can offer you a variety of choices from budget to luxury cruises just by a few clicks. Also, the filter of booking websites is customized by your requirements about room size, amenities, etc. These things would save you a lot of time instead of asking the agents one by one. 
    • Secondly, another advantage of online booking websites is transparency. All information like the price listings, itinerary, time, amenities, etc is listed on the websites. Therefore you can easily compare between cruises and choose the most suitable ones.
    • Thirdly, you can choose the prestigious cruises from the real reviews of tourists who used it. Of course, all Halong Bay cruises will tell you that they are the best so reviews of tourists in online booking websites are the most objective measure to evaluate the prestige of the cruises.

    Everythings about Halong Bay, Vietnam: https://journeyonair.com/halong-bay-vietnam

    However, booking Halong Bay cruise through online booking websites have some drawbacks. You have to know that the price of booking websites changes daily so sometimes, it can be higher than the real price of the cruise’s ticket. Of course, there are many special deals on websites but you have to put effort to get them. Also, today, there are more and more phishing websites so booking online becomes risky. Be alerted and researched clearly before booking and processing the payment. 

    b. Some recommended online booking websites

    • Traditional online travel agencies’ website: Website HalongBayCruise.vn or HalongTravelGuide.com

    Website address: www.halongbaycruise.vn or www.halongtravelguide.com

    These are websites specialized in booking cruises in Halong Bay. They offer you the vast choices with over 50 cruises in Halong Bay from budget to luxury cruises. The information about cruises on these websites are so detailed, you can know exactly the itinerary, facilities, extra activities for cruises, etc. Also, this website has an experienced team that is always ready to support you and provide you with Halong Bay travel advise and tours if you need it. Besides, when booking through these websites, you just need to deposit $99 to pay the rest on location. The cancellation policy and payment method are clear and consistent. That means they are the same for all cruises. (free cancellation in more than 7 days before check-in).

    • World booking platform Booking.com or Agoda or Expedia

    Website address: www.agoda.com or www.booking.com or www.expedia.com.vn 

    These are two famous websites for booking accommodations in the world. In Booking.com or Agoda, you can find a lot of Halong Bay cruises with special deals and read reviews from tourists which HalongBayCruise.vn and HalongTravelGuide.com do not have. However, cause Booking.com and Agoda are the world-leading websites so they can not provide you with detailed information about the cruise as well as the supported travel consultant. Also, the cancellation policy and payment method are not fixed but changeable by the policy of the cruise you book. Therefore, you have to research and check carefully. 

    • Cruise operators’ website: When booking cruises through these websites, you can receive the official and detailed information about facilities, itinerary, cancellation policy and payment method. However, the price is fixed and there are fewer daily deals or discounts which are shown directly on websites. In most cases, you have to negotiate with the cruise operators to get them. Also, the cancellation policy of these websites is stricker than when booking through online agencies’ websites. Normally, the cancellation policy depends on the number of cabins you book. The more cabins you book, the more days are required for free-charge cancellation. 

    2. Booking Halong Bay cruise through travel agencies

    Booking through travel agencies is a popular way to book Halong Bay cruise. Unlike the online websites which are just a place to buy tickets, the travel agencies will take care of your trip like a partner. They can help you solve your problems and special requirements when you take the cruise in Halong Bay. Also, if you travel with a big group, you book the cruise through travel agencies because you can get big discounts and a lot of extra benefits. Also, travel agencies will have their own policy to protect your interests and support you in alternative plans when there is a sudden cancellation from the cruise you book. 

    a. Booking directly at the travel agency’s office

    Today, when technology develops, booking directly at the travel agency’s office seems to be less popular with tourists but this method still has many benefits. First of all, you can get the direct consultant from the staff. You can tell them about your special requirements and receive the solving options that fit perfectly with your case face to face. This booking method is highly recommended for those who have special health problems, travels with kids and the elderly cause you have to discuss carefully with the staff. Also, if you travel with a big group, booking Halong Bay cruise through travel agencies is a great choice cause you can deal with the discounts with the staff. Moreover, you can complete your payment at the office with transparent papers. However, of course, this booking method has some disadvantages. It is time-consuming when you have to get to the travel agency’s office or maybe, the travel agency does not have the office in your place. 

    b. Booking through telephone

    Another more convenient way to book Halong Bay cruise through travel agencies is by booking by telephone. You can just sit at home and discuss directly with the staff through the phone with most benefits like booking directly at the travel agency’s office. However, you have to spend more on the phone bill. Also, there are some misunderstandings (maybe) when you booking by phone. 

    c. Booking through email or chatting

    If you do not want to get to the travel agency office over a long distance or spend money on the phone bill, you can book the Halong Bay cruise through email or chatting with the staff. However, it can take a long time for you to receive the answers from the travel agency. Also, misunderstanding usually happens because you can talk directly with staff and the conversation seems to be more formal and uncomfortable.

    II. Booking Halong Bay Cruise on arrival

    Booking Halong Bay cruise on arrival is a traditional method. Today, it is still used by many tourists because of its advantages. First of all,\ if you are an improvisational traveler or you are not sure about the time you will come and spend in Halong Bay, booking the cruise on arrival will be a better choice. This is simply because this method is more flexible, you can take your trip to Halong Bay any time or easily cancel it if you have sudden problems. More importantly, you can get more special deals and discounts than booking online, maybe, the price of tickets you buy on arrival is just half the price in booking websites if the cruise still has many vacancy cabins. Also, you can bargain and haggle to get the price level you want.

    However, booking Halong Bay cruise on arrival is risky. The number of tourists visiting Halong bay increases significantly each year so there is no guarantee that you can buy your favorite cruise’s ticket on arrival. That means you can not experience the cruise on your Halong Bay trip or have to reluctantly take another cruise that you do not like. Moreover, among the hundreds of cruise in Halong Bay, it can take you a lot of time to find the suitable one. If you just plan to have a short trip to Halong Bay, your trip can be like a fight to buy tickets in peak season and it will be no longer a vacation anymore. 

    1. Booking on arrival through travel agencies 

    a. Pros and cons

    If you did not research and find out the suitable Halong Bay cruise before coming, booking through travel agencies in Halong Bay would be a better choice. Among hundreds of cruises in Halong Bay and you do not know anything about them, it is absolutely difficult to find one that meets your need. With the experience of staff in travel agencies, they will know exactly which cruises are suitable for you and whether its tickets are sold-out or not. Also, they will help you get a good price in case you do not know how to bargain. Receiving an enthusiastic consultant will be better than asking the cruise one by one, right?

    Besides, if you stay in a hotel and want to experience Halong Bay cruise, you can ask your hotel to book it for you because most hotels in Halong Bay have the relationship with cruises and the experience to know what is the suitable cruise for you.

    b. Some recommended travel agencies to book Halong Bay cruise on arrival

    Booking Halong Bay cruise through travel agencies in Hanoi is a popular choice for foreign tourists. This is simply because most travel agencies in Hanoi will offer you a full-package service. That means you will not have to worry about how to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi cause the transportation will be included in the cruise ticket.

    • Sinh Cafe Tourist

    - Address: No. 52, Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hang Buom Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    - Phone: (+84) 4 392 61568

    - Email: hanoi@thesinhtourist.vn

    • Handspan Indochina Travel

    - Address: No. 78, Ma May Street, Hang Buom Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    - Phone: (+84) 4 3926 2828

    - Email: info@handspan.com

    • Footprint Travel

    - Address: No. 12A, Ly Nam De Street, Hang Ma Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    - Phone: (+84) 4 3933 2844

    - Email: info@footprint.vn

    • Official Vega Travel

    - Address: No. 24A, Hang Bac Street, Hang Buom Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    - Phone: (+84) 4 392 62092

    - Email: info@vegatravel.vn 

    2. Buy tickets directly through cruise operators

    a. Pros and cons

    In case you have chosen your favorite cruise before coming to Halong Bay, you can easily buy tickets directly through the cruise operator. Remember to bargain for the affordable price and check what has included in the ticket as well as the itinerary before paying. If you have good bargaining skills, the price can be cheaper than when booking in advance. However, you have chosen a few alternative cruises because in case all tickets of the most favorite cruise are sold out, you can immediately buy another one. 

    b. Places to buy the ticket of top 10 most recommended Halong Bay cruises

    • Dragon Legend Junk Indochina - Best rated cruise in Halong Bay on TripAdvisor

    - Address: No. 58, Au Trieu Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    - Phone: (+84) 24 3926 4085 or (+84) 964 34 33 22

    - Email: info@indochina-junk.com 

    - Website: www.indochina-junk.com/ 

    • Aphrodite Cruise - Best rated cruise in Halong Bay on Booking.com

    - Address: Floor 20, VIT Tower, No. 519, Kim Ma Street, Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

    - Phone: (+84) 936 401 819

    - Email: sales@aphroditecruises.com  

    - Website: www.aphroditecruises.com

    • Signature Halong Cruise - Best rated cruise in Halong Bay on Agoda 

      - Hanoi Office:

    + Address: No. 110, Tue Tinh Street, Nguyen Du Ward, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi

    + Phone: (+84) 243 935 1268 or (+84) 945 205 335

    - Halong Bay Office:

    + Address: No. 6, Le Thanh Ton Street, Hon Gai District, Halong City

    + Phone: (+84) 944 205 335 

    - Email: info@signaturehalongcruise.com  

    - Website: signaturehalongcruise.com

    • Halong Scorpion Cruise - Best budget cruise under $100/person in Halong Bay

    - Address: No. 30, Anh Dao Street, Bai Chay, Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province

    - Phone: (+84) 164 343 3433

    - Email: sales@imagehalong.com  

    - Website: scorpioncruise.com 

    • Bhaya Cruise - Best mid-ranged cruise under $200/person in Halong Bay

    - Hanoi Office:

    + Address: No. 47, Phan Chau Trinh Street, Phan Chau Trinh Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    + Phone: (+84) 243 944 6777 or (+84) 993 344 6542

    - Halong Bay Office:

    + Address: No. 8-10, Tuan Chau International Harbor, Tuan Chau Ward, Halong City, Halong Province

    + Phone: (+84) 203 221 3265

    - Email: sales@bhayacruises.com 

    - Website: www.bhayacruises.com  

    • Paradise Luxury Cruise - Best luxury cruise under $400/person in Halong Bay

    - Hanoi Office:

    + Address: Unit 201, 2nd Floor, Hanoi Tower, No. 49, Hai Ba Trung Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    + Phone: (+84) 243 941 6666 or (+84) 906 099 606

    - Halong Bay Office:

    + Address: Tuan Chau Island, Halong Province

    + Phone: (+84) 203 221 3265

    - Email: info@paradisecruise.com  

    - Website: www.paradisecruise.com/  

    • Paradise Peak Cruise - The most luxurious cruise in Halong Bay

    - Hanoi Office:

    + Address: Unit 201, 2nd Floor, Hanoi Tower, No. 49, Hai Ba Trung Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    + Phone: (+84) 243 941 6666 or (+84) 906 099 606

    - Halong Bay Office:

    + Address: Tuan Chau Island, Halong Province

    + Phone: (+84) 203 221 3265

    - Email: info@paradisecruise.com  

    - Website: www.paradisecruise.com/ 

    • Halong Glory Legend Cruise - Best 4-star cruise in Halong Bay

    - Hanoi Office:

    + Address: Suite 901, 9th Floor, Viet Towers, No. 152, Pho Duc Chinh Street, Truc Bach Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

    + Phone: (+84) 243 759 3098 or (+84)  934 368 069

    + Email: sales@halongglorycruise.com 

    - Halong Bay Office:

    + Address: No. 32, Anh Dao Street, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province

    + Phone: (+84) 333 846 810 

    + Email: info@halongglorycruise.com 

    - Website: www.glorylegendcruises.net/ 

    • Emeraude Classic Cruise - Best package deal in Halong Bay

    - Address: No 18, Dock 2, Halong City, Halong Province

    - Phone: (+84) 906 237 899

    - Email: online.sales@emeraude-cruises.com  

    - Website: www.emeraude-cruises.com 

    • Au Co Day Cruise - Best day cruise in Halong Bay

    - Hanoi Office:

    + Address: No. 47, Phan Chau Trinh Street, Phan Chau Trinh Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

    + Phone: (+84) 243 944 6777 or (+84) 993 344 6542

    - Halong Bay Office:

    + Address: No. 9, Tuan Chau International Harbor, Tuan Chau Ward, Halong City, Halong Province

    + Phone: (+84) 203 221 3265

    - Email: sales@aucocruises.com  

    - Website: www.aucocruises.com/  

    III. Tips To Book Halong Bay Cruise

    1. A question to ask when booking Halong Bay Cruise

    There are a lot of things you have to clarify before you book a Halong Bay cruise. Here are the questions you should ask. By finding the answer to these questions, you can choose the most suitable cruise for you and have a satisfactory trip to Halong.

    • What activities are available on your cruise? This can vary by season. In a different time, the cruise will offer you different activities to explore Halong Bay. Also, you can ask the cruise operator to add your favorite activities to your trip or delete some activities due to your special problems.
    • What are your meal options? Usually, the meals are included in your cruise ticket. Therefore you have to ask about the menu to make sure meal options are suitable for you, especially, when you travel with little children or the elderly or you are vegetarian. Also, you should check out what other options are not included in your ticket and how much you have to pay for them because normally your inclusions are just basic meals.
    • What is the cruise itineraries? Do they change during the trip? Most cruises include the highlight tourist attraction of Halong Bay in their itineraries. Depending on the length of the tour, you can explore deeply more the natural beauty of Halong. You also can ask to change the itinerary if you hire a private cruise. 
    • What is included in the ticket price? Pickup and dropoff from Hanoi? Make sure what is included in your ticket and what is not are important to have your better preparation for your trip, especially, how to get to Halong Bay. Usually, pickup and dropoff from Hanoi are included in the ticket price. However, you have to confirm and clarify the place and the time.
    • What is your refund policy in the special case? Most seaside tours are affected significantly by the weather, especially from September to November when Halong Bay is usually hit by sudden storms. 
    • What are the safety measures in place? Remember to make sure the cruise you book has certification about tourism safety. 
    • Other questions about your requirements.

    2. Tips to save money when booking Halong Bay cruise

    • Compare the cruise price on several websites: We all know that the Halong Bay cruise prices are different on different websites. Also, the online booking websites offer you with daily deals and discounts as well as extra activities which change every day. Therefore, researching and comparing the cruise price in distinctive websites will help you get the most reasonable price. In addition, apart from comparing the price, you should check out what is included in your price tickets because sometimes, the cruise price is a bit higher than others but it offers much more inclusions. 
    • Book through travel agencies when you travel with a big group: If you travel with the family and friends which is over 10 people, it is better if you book Halong Bay cruise through travel agencies. Because you can bargain the price and ask to add some special activities or requirements for the trip. This can help you have a better price than booking through online booking websites.   
    •  Early booking in advance: We all know that the earlier you the cruise, the cheaper it will be and the wider range of room choices and departure date.
    • Subscribe to the email of travel agencies to receive members-only deals: Travel agencies usually offer private deals for their member through email to keep the loyalty of customers. By subscribing to their email channel, you can receive the special deals, seasonal discounts, promotions during big events of the year.

    In conclusion, there are so many ways to book Halong Bay cruises. We hope that through this article, you can understand the advantages and disadvantages of each booking method and choose the suitable one for you. Also, with the practical tips we provide, you can book the cruise as confidently as possible. Have a nice trip! 

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    30 Jan 2020
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