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“Beyond expectations”
Review of Indochina Sails

Indochina Sails
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: What better way to enjoy the spectacular scenery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site than on board an Indochina Sails or Valentine Junk! With over a decade of hosting international guests on the tranquil waters of Halong Bay, Indochina Sails is proud to be one of luxury cruise teams in the Halong Bay.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Beyond expectations”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

What can I say, our visit to Halong Bay with Indochina Sails was absolutely beyond expectations.

The boat was absolute luxury, the meals were humungous and out of this world, the staff were so lovely, friendly and attentive, and also very well informed. Would absolutely recommend this company for the Halong Bay trip - I obviously have nothing to compare it to, but have heard tales of bog standard quality, and when we were docked near other boats, ours appeared far superior, and for not huge amounts of money.

Massive thumbs up

Visited August 2013
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4 Thank KateGreenstock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bedford, UK
Level Contributor
140 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience in Halong Bay”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

The Indochina Sails boats are large and spacious and perfect for the overnight experience in Halong Bay. The staff on board are excellent and deliver outstanding service. The food was OK but you have to consider that it is all prepared on board. The Cabins are comfortable, but you are there to see the scenery so spend time up top. The excursions from the boat are worth doing - particularly the sea kayaking to the floating fishing village. The trip to the "amazing" cave in the morning is worth a miss if you have been to other big cave structures.
Overall however I was left feeling a bit "processed" like we were on a conveyor belt of tourists - there are a lot of boats there. Not a problem for Indochina sails but one to think about for the Vietnam Tourist board. Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bedfordians23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Absolutely stunning...a must do”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We had the pleasure of a one night cruise on beautiful Halong Bay with Indochina Sails.

The service was top class and the staff were all extremely friendly. The rooms were amazing, with 2 small complimentary bottles of wine being a nice touch. Our room had access to outdoor balcony with windows/doors down the length offering magnificent views of spectacular Halong Bay. The bed were extremely comfortable and the bathroom was well appointed with luxury toiletries. Rooms are to the standard of a 5 star hotel. Really could not find a fault with anything.

The food was plentiful and of very high quality. There was a wide selection of dishes for every meal and most tastes are catered for.

There were plenty of activities on offer but there was sufficient time to laze in the sun on the top deck with a beer, cocktail or cool drink if you want to. Although there wasn't a lot of time to spend at the attractions (Cat Ba island, floating fishing village and Surprise Cave) you really don't feel rushed at any stage.

Halong Bay is a must do attraction if travelling to Vietnam. Would highly recommend Indochina Sails.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Amazing food but slightly disappointing service”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I travelled on Indochina Sails after a trip down the Mekong Delta with Mekong Eyes and was extremely pleased with the food, which was infinitely better than that on the previous boat. The rooms were also very luxurious and comfortable, though my shower didn't work properly and the staff were unable to fix it during my stay.

The staff were all wonderfully friendly but their levels of English didn't really match up to the quality of the boat and the amount people are paying for this cruise. The main managers spoke good English, but some of the other staff didn't seem to understand our requests and often this meant we didn't get what we wanted. For example, one fellow passenger ordered a Diet Coke and re-requested it several times, but it never came. Two fellow passengers had ordered two more drinks during the boat's 'Happy Hour' but the drinks never arrived, then after the Happy Hour ended they tried to explain to one of the senior staff that they had ordered the new drinks within the happy hour period, and he didn't understand and sort of stared blankly, before giving up. It was a sort of a 'giving up' attitude rather than persisting until he understood the request, and that was disappointing for us all. But I must stress, the staff were so lovely and well-meaning, and any problems were due to a language barrier rather than bad intentions.

There were only seven of us on the boat and we all made friends and had dinner together, which was lovely. The tours to Titop island and the Surprise Cave were good, though I feel the Halong Bay cruises aren't brilliant value for money because you don't actually travel very far at all on the boat, whereas the bus drive from Hanoi takes a very slow four hours. They also made me pay an extra US$10 for kayaking, which I really feel should have been included since I paid US$320 for the one-night trip.

Another thing that slightly annoyed us was the fact that we had to check out of our rooms at 9:30am on departure day, and only leave the boat at 11am, meaning we couldn't use our own toilets after breakfast. The whole trip duration is less than 24 hours so you would think they would let you check out at the end of it, but they want to clean the rooms in time for the next guests getting on at 12. It is a luxury boat and I understand they have tight schedules, but I would expect a little more from such an expensive tour company.

All that said, the comfort levels and food were wonderful, so I would definitely recommend this company. The gripes I had were very minor.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank lhpricey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Magnificent!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We did a one night 2 day cruise. It was certainly worth the 3:5 hour drive to get there. Although it rained the cruise itself was amazingly beautiful, we stopped at Titop Island for an hour or so and climbed over 400 steps to the top of the island to get an amazing 360* view it was spectacular. The beach itself was very over crowded with other visitors and unfortunately we didn't think it was all that clean. We then visited a floating village in a small boat rowed by a local. The food and service on the Junk is lovely as we're the quaint cabins. This is a highly recommended trip to take at least once.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank nessytp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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