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“Cloudy but a good experience”
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.
Reviewed March 18, 2014

I have written a separate review about Halong Bay in general but this is to provide those of you who have decided to take the trip which boat to choose.

We stayed on a one night trip note an overnight cruise which is less than 24 hours in total.

Check in - A bit busy but after a short wait you are transported via a small boat to your main boat.

Cabins - We had a luxury cabin which was well appointed shower was great with door access to the outside deck. The boat had a around 26 passengers so it doesn't feel crowded at all. The only negative was the location of our cabin next to the bar area several of the guests stayed up quite late and got quite rowdy so this detracted form the trip slightly.

Food - You have a 5 course lunch after you have had time to check in and freshen up. This was a very good standard of food at lunch good flavours. Dinner is served in the evening and is buffet style, not as good as the lunch but overall was fine, lots of deep fried food similar to a chinese type buffet you have in the UK. Breakfast is fine again what you would expect. There is also a happy hour in the evening which they only mention about 5 or 6 times!

Service - The staff are friendly and welcoming and overall very good. There is an early morning Tai Chi class on the upper deck which is a nice touch but I think all the boats provide this?

Sites - As described in my review of Halong bay there are lots of boats which seem to take the same routes, so the sites are crowded. The highlight was probably seeing the floating village although the pollution in the water detracts.

Overall the boat and staff provide an enjoyable experience but Halong bay and I would say you get what you pay for so wouldn't recommend going cheap and cheerful! Halong bay has been massively impacted by tourism, so consider this before expecting an unspoilt natural wilderness.

1  Thank Odie1kenobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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609 - 613 of 1,058 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2014

Don't hesitate to book with Indochina Sails! After much research on which company to use for an overnight cruise, we chose Indochina Sails. The transport from Hanoi to the boat was a small bus - both modern and comfortable. The boat itself was beautiful, the room was immaculate and more luxurious than anticipated - we even had a rain shower in our bathroom. The food was excellent - I had vegetarian and it was the best I've ever had. The staff excelled, we can't say enough good things about them - professional and very friendly. The activity tours were very well done and we enjoyed them all. Highly recommended.

7  Thank Pat F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Fantastic trip with Indochina Sails that is really top-notch. The three day itinerary is much better than the two day, as you get an entire extra day on a (huge) day boat where you can see more things and spend more time swimming. Really lovely set up and would definitely recommend this to anyone. Good food, good service, good accommodations, and good activities. Really a well-run tour!!

2  Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Thoroughly enjoyed our time on Halong Bay. Weather was cloudy, but it gave an ethereal feel to the place. Recommend the 2 day/3 night trip to participate in all the available activities. Kayaking, fishing village, pearl farm and Surprise Cave (that climb was a surprise).
Food was good, staff was pleasant. All around a great time. Met some wonderful people on the upper deck, all of us armed with cameras and Happy Hour Drinks.

1  Thank danelainek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Out of 3 options offered by a Vietnamese tour operator, my husband decided to pick Indochina Sails since it was supposed to be one of the best cruises around Halong Bay.

Upon our arrival onboard, we were delighted to see a clean and cozy deluxe cabin at first glance. We then noticed that the cabin door could not be shut properly, with a 0.2cm gap between the door and the door frame. Anybody could peep into the cabin to see what was going on inside (though it was very unlikely that it would happen, one of the staff argued). They eventually responded with a quick fix i.e. sealing the gap with a strip of paper as per our request. Apart from that, both the fan and air-conditioner in the cabin were not working properly. There was no window in the cabin and we had to endure sleeping in a stuffy cabin over night. We actually felt "glad" that we only had to spend one night onboard. Given this poor quality of its cabin, we doubt whether Indochina Sails could really meet its market positioning as a "luxury cruise for VIPs".

Why do I not rate it as "terrible"? Well, to be fair to this cruise operator, the staff was generally friendly, attentive and dedicated. They also served very decent lunch and breakfast. Besides that, we totally enjoyed all their outdoor activities i.e. rafting to a floating village nearby, trekking to the peak of Titop Island and visiting the Sung Sot Cave.

I just wish that Indochina Sails will do something about that particular cabin.

5  Thank Sylviattl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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