How to arrange a private Halong cruise

How to arrange a private Halong cruise
Top in the list of Vietnam travel attractions, Halong Bay is a destination you should definitely visit in your trip to Vietnam. As the creator has made it magnificent masterpiece. Usually you have to spend a significant budget for a trip to Halong bay, however with my experience you can arrange a private private Halong bay cruise with a moderate cost.

Halong bay is about 160 km from Hanoi and you can save the cost by catching a public bus which departs at Luong Yen or My Dinh stations in Hanoi, it takes 4 hours to arrive in Halong city. You can have a bit of comfort and convenience by renting a private car at the cost 75 usd one way. If you are going to do a private tour with family we recommend that you arrange a private car as you will be picked up at hotel at the start of your trip.

Arriving in Halong city around noon you can have lunch at one of the restaurants near the wharf, price is reasonable and you can order from the menu. In the early afternoon walk to the tourist port and rent a boat to visit the bay, note that you have to pay entrance fees separately, cost for a private charter boat is 80 - 120 usd for a 4 or 6 hour cruise, in summertime May to August price is probably higher.

There are 2 types of tickets to visit Halong Bay are day trip tickets for a cruise in 4 hours and 6 hours. The 4-hour ticket allows you to visit Heavenly cave, Dau Go grotto, Fighting cocks islet, and cruise around near the shore. For 6-hour ticket you can visit further places such as Amazing Cave, Titop island...

For those who take 2 day tour staying on board the cruise you will have more activities. There are many tour company offering private charter cruise with full service such as Paloma cruise, Helios cruise, Victory Star cruise. Spending the night on the bay is really a nice experience although price is much higher than the hotel stay.

Cruise itinerary
Typical itinerary for the 2 day private Halong cruise is after arrving at the port you will check in the cruise, lunch will be served on board as the ship is cruising. About 3pm passengers will visit Amazing cave, spending about 1 hour in the cave and then continue the cruise to Titop island beach for swimming, towards the end of the day you will be taken to a deserted place for kayaking.
The second day will start with a taichi excercise on the sundeck, after breakfast the ship will sail to Bai Tu Long bay that is a more wild and untouched area where you can visit Luon cave by rowing boat, stop and visit a floating village and other beautiful sites such as Stone dog islet, Swan will return to the port in another way, the last meal will be served on
the way back. About 11.30 you will arrive at the dock. For the 3 day trip passengers will spend the whole 2nd day kayaking, rock climbing or other activities, some cruises will combine Cat Ba island in the package.

Charter rates for private cruise:
- Standard cruise, 2 floors, capacity 48 people: 15
- Superior cruise, 2 foors: 25 usd/hour
- Deluxe cruise, 2 floors with air-conditioner: 36

Entrance fees to tourists sites in Halong bay
From 2014 entrance fees to visit Halong bay have increased, In general sightseeing tickets to Halong Bay in the day time from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm is 6 usd, not including entrance fees to islands, caves...
Entrance fee to one of the attractions that was invested by the state: Soi Sim island, Ti-top beach, Cua Van floating village...ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 usd/person.
Fares fore passengers staying one night and visit Halong Bay is 16 usd, two nights is 23 usd. Children from 7 to 15 years old, elderly people aged 70 or older, poor people, people with disabilities will pay decreased 50%, children under 7 years old will be exempted from entrance fees.

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