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Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

Reading, United...
Level Contributor
18 posts
Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

Hi,

I'm looking for a cruise boat for a trip around Halong bay.

I've spotted Azalea Cruises and they go from Cat Ba island, making the trip from Hanoi a lot shorter. Are there any other cruise boats that go from there or equivalent nearer launch? I can't seem to search for it specifically here or on booking.com as they all just say 'Halong bay'

Also I'll be with two kids, age 5 -7. Would you recommend 1 or 2 nights. I'm torn as we will be stuck on a boat for quite a while but on the other hand travelling both days will be hard for them. Anyone with experience taking kids on this trip?

12 replies to this topic
Vancouver Island...
Level Contributor
519 posts
95 reviews
1. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

Try Cat Ba Ventures or Ecofriendly Vietnam. They both offer tours from Cat Ba Island.

We took our kids on a two night cruise/tour from Cat Ba and they were six and 8 at the time. They enjoyed it and were kept occupied.

The first time we only had our oldest daughter and this was for a one cruise and it felt just a wee short for the travel time; however, we booked our flight out of HaiPhong for after the cruise to take us to DaNang. But this is a whole other story and adventure...

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
7,365 posts
74 reviews
2. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

Yes, Cat Ba Ventures is good. Note that a full day tour from Cat Ba is like a two-day tour from Hanoi, because you lose two half days on the bus with the latter.

The tours out of Cat Ba mostly do Lan Ha Bay, likely with a brief poke into Ha Long Bay across an invisible line, just so people can say they've been there. I found Lan Ha stunning, and can't imagine Ha Long would be any better. More crowded, certainly. Lan Ha was almost deserted, which added to the magic.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vietnam
Level Contributor
10,900 posts
3. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

"The tours out of Cat Ba mostly do Lan Ha Bay, likely with a brief poke into Ha Long Bay across an invisible line..."

I assume you're talking about their day trips, as our overnight cruise with Cat Ba Ventures took us around Halong Bay, and even into Bai Tu Long Bay.

As you say though, you'd be hard pressed to know where one bay stops and another begins.

Scott

Edited: 9:53 pm, June 13, 2018
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
84 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

Hi Francesca,

As I know, the Azalea will cruise to Lan Ha Bay, not Halong Bay although they are close to each other. I just back from Lan Ha Bay on a mid-range overnight cruise and I think it really worth paying a visit. The scenery is stunning, peaceful and not touristique. It looks like a real paradise :) . Lan Ha Bay offers more nice beaches than Halong Bay and owns many lively floating villages. You can experience the daily life of fishermen. Try it !

Edited: 11:08 pm, June 13, 2018
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,073 posts
273 reviews
5. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

if you search Lan Ha in cruises you get all the boats that have shorter commute from Hanoi. We did Era which was one of them. Also Orchid, Maya and a few others

Reading, United...
Level Contributor
18 posts
6. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

Thanks guys!

Vietnam
Level Contributor
119 posts
61 reviews
7. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

There are so many new cruises with an attractive offer you can try such as La Pinta cruise, Perla Dawn cruise, Alisa cruise, Orchid cruise which will help you enjoy the highlight of Cat Ba islands and Lan Ha Bay. Enjoy it

Portsmouth, United...
Level Contributor
2,672 posts
42 reviews
8. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

I'd suggest a cruise around Lan Ha bay from Cat Ba island, but with overnight stay(s) in Cat Ba town. Not a day trip.

I did a full day cruise (9am-5:30pm), with kayaking and a good lunch on board for 340,000VND booked through my hotel. Not a big luxury boat; small, clean, comfortable.

Lan Ha bay has the same scenery as Ha Long, but a fraction of the tourists/boats and minus the polluted waters.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
7,365 posts
74 reviews
9. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

@3, yes, that's what I meant; should have clarified.

@8, that matches my experience with Cat Ba Ventures' day tour, though I don't remember the price. I booked the day before at an agency in Cat Ba town. Only day tours were on offer at the time.

Cat Ba has lots of very inexpensive accommodations, and not much in the mid-to-higher range. I liked: http://catbasunriseresort.com/ on the upscale end.

10. Re: Halong Bay cruise - Cat Ba - shorter journey time from Hanoi

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