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Indochina Sails cruise

Cedar Crest, New...
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Indochina Sails cruise

I had researched various cruises before arriving in Hanoi but didn't book a trip until we arrived. The travel agent we used was able to get us a room on Indochina Sails for a 2 day/1 night sail the next morning...after being unable to book a room on Jasmine or Ginger Junks. I was a little concerned that there was an opening when this was supposed to be a luxury boat (always the pessimist). Well, let me tell you, the trip was fabulous from beginning to end. Accommodations, hospitality, meals...all were outstanding. Kayaking through an arch/tunnel in the hills to a lovely lake/lagoon was the highlight of the trip (if we had to choose something). The entire trip was, of our many adventures, right up at the top. Halong Bay needs no more accolades...No way will it disappoint! The only variable is the junk you choose to travel on. By all means, choose the best you can afford (We heard horror stories from 2 couples, later when we returned to Hanoi, who did NOT get what they thought they had booked). We were totally satisfied with Indochina Sails and would recommend it without reservation. Go and enjoy an experience of a lifetime!

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Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
Halong Bay
Halong Bay
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Halong Bay, Vietnam
Hanoi
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1. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

"Go and enjoy an experience of a lifetime!" Sounds like you have got a very exciting slogan! anyway,wit extra 35US$ for kayaking, I do it less favor.

Pardon me! :D

California
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2. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

I went on Indochina sails at the end of June 2008 too and was very happy with the trip. Do you have the American manager on board?

Hanoi
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3. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

Do not expect someone to report my second post as a diffuse one. :P

In Halong Bay, currently, there are hundreds of junks for tourists to opt. depending on your budget and your personal references and expectation, your decision on which junk to do will be made with few difficulties. Here based on general reviews from other tourists and my own points of view, I sort out some certain categories of junk boats ( the one have drawn much attention of travelers here) upon price ranges and service quality criteria (2D/1N).

* US$150-250 (successively from higher to lower price): Jasmine - Emeraude - Valentine - Ginger - Indochina Sails – Bhaya- Red Dragon

All the above HUGE, crowded junks (except for Ginger and Red Dragon) are the most luxurious ones on the Bay. Strengths of these boats are: wonderful services, professional staff, edible food, some of extra services like spa, massage, entertainment at night, Thai Chi practice in the morning can be found on Bhaya, Jasmine, Ginger.

However, kayak is not included with tours on all those junks (red Dragon is an exception if you prepay extra US$ when your booking is made in Hotels). Some even does not provide free transference from HN to Halong Bay (Emeraude, Ginger) or guide (Ginger). Bhaya is rather cheap in comparison with previous junks but since cabins are rather small, single beds seem to be designed for those, who don't roll up their body during their sleep, it’s better to pay a bit more to be on Indochina Sails or Valentine for great privacy. The only problem with these Indo Sails or Valentine is that they are just TOO expensive.

Anyway, over all, these junks are on the top list of best junks in Halong Bay.

Just keep in mind that the below list of good junks can also surely suite you with competitive prices and great services too.

* US$100-150 or close up to US$100 (successively from higher to lower price): Huong Hai- Classic Sails - Bai Tho - Pinta - Tropical Sails – Phoenix….

This junk group seems to enjoy more favor from travelers for better prices, cool services and amazing size, suitable for PRIVATE tour group. Huong Hai: one of the biggest junk groups in Ha long City. They are different in terms of price and size. They have gained reputation of nice junks with great itinerary and staff. There is however, in some tours, no kayaking with tours on these boats and no guide either. Anyway, can not beat its itinerary. Far off tourist- track and great cruises to further of the Bay.

Classic Sail: small, private junks. Friendly staff and edible food (not so plenty of it). Itinerary rings no different bell. Kayaking around the Luon lagoon, which is little-pond-sized and visited by many other tourists of different. Good news is this activity is not objected to extra fee.

Bai Tho: runner-up of Huong Hai in terms of price, rather famous brand name on Halong bay too. Nice look with impressive architectural features. Friendly staff and good guide. No kayaking activity is included while the track route it sticks to is rather boring.

Pinta Cruiser: a new junk on Ha long Bay owned by Columbus Cruise, who once took over Santa Maria. This junk looks beautiful too and somehow, similarities in its architectural features can be found between its and Bai Tho’s Junk- Asian Art. Great and fabulous food, nice crew, friendly guide and good itinerary (same as that of Huong Hai Junk) are its highlight. No extra cost for kayaking and transference inclusive and some additional promotion make the package tour on Pinta more appealing than the others. Prices stay at mid range while services are not worse than the more expensive junks.

Tropical Sails are rather good. Nice junk with good food. Itinerary was so dull when the cruise is just set around the area closer to the harbor. Kayaking was included but currently it’s charged separately.

Phoenix is the cheapest in the list. Good enough for its price. highly recommend it to budget travelers. Every thing is fine and acceptable but not so out-standing and appreciated.

Ok, too much for an investigation. I hope my info would not overlap and confuse you.

Of course, prices I’ve given can be up to even US$20 different if you look at different website or work with different agencies. so my info just indicates the relative data but at least the expenses showed are average and official one.

Understandably, I can not handle all info on all junk boats on the bay since there are still many other much cheaper junks. No one should be ripped off with a poor standard of service, food or accommodation even if you pay a rock-bottom price. However, be alerted, you won't get a room with the best services if you have been a budget travelers. In VN, from 80-90$, your junk boat will not accommodate rats and cockroach while food is ok, and sometimes guide and crew can not fulfill their tasks. But even worse than that, below US$60, believe me, you do agree to let other ppl pick up money from your pocket without getting any thing as they have promised in return.

Halong Bay is so beautiful and your trip often lasts for 2 days or eventually 3days. Just be reasonable and skilled at disclosing your wallet to entitle your self to enjoy the best of your time in Vietnam!

Wish you all happy travel!

(PS: LOL, looking back my post, I'm just wondering if I should have it stand independently as a new topic? It seems to have very few things to do w/ the original Indochina sails???

my stupid self! :-) hope this helps)

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
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Manchester, England
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4. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

This may as well be the only post people should read before considering which junks on Halong Bay to stay on!!!!

You should post it as a stand alone.

Nice one.

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
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5. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

oh, thank you so much Sejasaurus for your tip. also suppose that when someone needs an overview at some of the most common junks on Halong Bay, my summary can be of help!

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
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adelaide
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6. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

Hi anniejet,would you remember how much it cost and which tour company you booked through,

Thanks

nelly

Cedar Crest, New...
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7. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

As I recall, we paid about $340 for 2 people, including transportation to and from Hanoi. I did a LOT of research on the internet before arriving in Hanoi and contrary to what Cupidwithoutarrows said, Indochina Sails was no more expensive than Ginger, Jasmine or any other luxury junk...except for Valentine...which has only 5 rooms, so is a very different kind of experience....Also, we did have the opportunity to practice Tai Chi early in the morning. The young man who led us worked to help each of us do it as correctly as possible. He didn't just go thru the motions as we clumsy learners flailed away. Honestly, I'm not trying to "sell" Indochina Sails", we would have booked, as I indicated in my 1st message, on one of the other junks had we been able to get a room, but I DO wish to convey accurate information.

Oh, to the person who asked, yes, the general manager, I believe his name was Terry, was on board making sure that all ran smoothly as well as spending time with all the guests...very gracious.

Unfortunately, I cannot recall the name of the little travel agency in Hanoi...It was just around the corner from the Elegance Hotel which is on Hang Bac.

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Hanoi
Hanoi
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Hanoi
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8. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

“I did a LOT of research on the internet before arriving in Hanoi and contrary to what Cupidwithoutarrows said, Indochina Sails was no more expensive than Ginger, Jasmine or any other luxury junk”

“Of course, prices I’ve given can be up to even US$20 different if you look at different website or work with different agencies. so my info just indicates the relative data but at least the expenses showed are average and official one…..

….US$150-250 (successively from higher to lower price): Jasmine - Emeraude - Valentine - Ginger - Indochina Sails – Bhaya- Red Dragon”

Anniejet, I guess you did not research my post much. Do not get me wrong with the similar info, which is claimed to be “contrary” by u. And remember that I do not favour Indochina Sails just because of its too expensive price, which is rather inaccessible for many travelers and it does exclude so many important things_ not a package tour. Indochina was great and there are three of its : Indochina Sail 1, Indochina Sail 2 and Valentine. Price info does not updated on its official website but others hosted by tripadvisorvietnam or Hotels ( eg: Hanoi Elegance Hotel, which I rather suppose to be the most reliable one). I do not make up info myself but try to collect the most updated and common one.

Anyway, I guess I do find one thing in common btw us, which is the agreement on such info that Indochina Sails is a luxurious and good Junk on Halong Bay and we both “DO wish to convey accurate information”. Still am I rather confused who do have stronger wish???

Cheers!

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Hanoi
Hanoi
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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
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9. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

thank you for your info. I'm just wondering if your info is updated?

Texas
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10. Re: Indochina Sails cruise

Thanks for the info 'cupidwithouarrows'. I'd love to do a luxury cruise in Halong Bay - much more enjoyable - but it's too expensive. Thanks for providing mid-range suggestions.

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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
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