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“Wonderful experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Syrena Cruises - Halong Bay Day Cruise

Syrena Cruises - Halong Bay Day Cruise
51 Xuan Dieu Street, Tay Ho District | Syrena Tower - 3rd Floor, Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 43 719 7214
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Ranked #135 of 457 Activities in Hanoi
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Owner description: Ha Long Bay (Descending Dragon Bay) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vietnam's most popular places to visit. Ha Long Bay covers an area of 1,500 km2, including 1,960 limestone islets and karsts which rise majestically out of the emerald blue waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Kent, England
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

I went on a cruise in Halong Bay in 2011 with Opera Cruise so I wanted to take my girlfriend this time. I chose Syrena as they had good reviews and they included the hotel pickup as part of the charge. The pickup was on time with a nice minibus. The 4 hour drive (with a welcome break half way) is as bad as I remember but at least they are trying to improve the road (don't hold your breathe). As soon as we arrived we were taken onboard for a fantastic lunch as we sailed out into the Bay. The weather was poor (it was mid March) cloudy, cool but dry but our guide was very friendly and spoke good English as she outlined our itinerary for the 2 day 1 night cruise. Our first stop was the Vung Vien Floating Fishing Village where we transferred to a local sanpan boat (rowed by a 66 year old man who was stronger than me). It's amazing to see people living on the water this way. We stopped at the pearl farm to see how they culture pearls, then went back to the ship and cruised to Titov Island where we climbed for a spectacular view of the islands. We then returned to the ship and had a cooking lesson in making spring rolls before some squid fishing from the back of the ship. We then had a wonderful seafood dinner. The food really was first class on the ship. After dinner we had a film night then retired. Next day we had tea and pasties for breakfast as we sailed to the Surprise Cave nearby. After that we returned to the ship and had brunch as we sailed back to Halong City. This is a standard itinerary that most cruises follow but it works well even given the poor weather. As to the ship itself - it was in very good condition with well appointed cabins (we had a deluxe seaview cabin on the 2nd deck) that were well decorated and maintained. The ensuite was lovely with a good shower with lots of hot water. Everything worked in the cabin including the aircon unit. The rest of the ship was clean and elegant too with the staff very attentive and friendly. I can wholly recommend this cruising experience with Syrena. This is a mid-price range cruise package and you can pay quite a lot more but I doubt you'll have a much better experience than we did.

Visited March 2014
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44 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Superb”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

The service on syrena was really first class. The staff went out of their way to accommodate our dietary requirements, the itenary was very well organised (including pickup from Hanoi) and the guides very knowledgeable.

We did the 2d1n cruise and overall, the boat was immaculately clean and quite luxurious, the food very good, the cabins cosy and with a private balcony. In comparison to other firms we researched, the value for money for such a great trip is second to none.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great staff...average trip”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

I must start but advising that the staff were fantastic but for the simple fact we paid so much for the executive suite and for what we got for it I am giving this trip a poor rating. If I had done this trip in their standard room which would have been so much cheaper I may have given this trip a very good.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Foster City, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent cruise of Halong Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our Syrena Cruise of Halong Bay. The quality of the accommodations, food, and service were first rate at an amazingly low cost, particularly since the cost included a 2-hour shuttle ride from our Hanoi hotel and back....Excellent value for the money!

The cruise included stops at a floating fisherman's village and limestone caverns that we visited via rowboats and tenders. We had opted for the two-day, one-night cruise, and our only regret was that we didn't book the three-day, two-night cruise, as there is clearly much to see and do in that beautiful bay.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uppingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Glamping Cruise”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

We opted for the three day, two night tour. We've been on full cruises before so we didn't expect this to be a luxury experience and it wasn't. Our "Deluxe" room/cabin contained a queen sized bed and there wasn't much room for anything else. There was a thin curtain to close if you wanted to use the toilet/shower room, so not much privacy there!
The food was of disappointing quality - tepid and not particularly tasty in comparison with the food we'd enjoyed in Hanoi.
On the plus side, our tour guide (Ngan) was really good - she went to great lengths to make us enjoy the trip and was the lead staff member on Day 2 when we were transferred to a "Day Boat" as the rest of the guests were on a one night trip. We were disappointed that there was no written itinerary of our trip, as we were initially concerned to have to leave our cabin after breakfast on Day Two and not have the same facilities on the Day Boat. However, the kayaking we were able to do from the Day Boat made this an enjoyable day and I would recommend that people who like kayaking should opt for the two night trip, as it's a great way to get close the the rock formations and see monkeys.
Pollution spoils Halong Bay and the tourist board needs to do something to stop boats tipping their waste into the waters or they will find the volume of visitors dries up.
On checking out, we found that drinks were relatively expensive: 75,000 VND for a small can and 175,000 for a G&T.
Looking at the state of other boats, Syrena was above average in respect of condition, but travellers could pay more again for a better quality boat, if luxury is important.
As many reviewers say, the three hour plus journey each way is a bit of a pain but, in my opinion, it's worth it to enjoy Halong Bay.

Visited January 2014
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