Halong Bay (also spelled “Ha Long Bay”) is a popular travel destination in Vietnam. Located along the northeastern coast of the country, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, of which there are less than 1,000 in the world. Given that Halong Bay is such a noteworthy destination and that it is, well, a bay, it is not particularly surprising that there are a number of Halong Bay cruises (or Ha Long Bay cruises, if you must). Unless the breadth of your cruise industry knowledge is enormous (or you are actively planning a trip to Vietnam), you probably have not given much thought to a Halong Bay cruise, so below we’ve provided some basic information about these cruises. What are Halong Bay cruises all about?
It is necessary to begin with the destination itself – you would not, after all, want to take a Halong Bay cruise if you have no interest in Halong Bay. But you should have interest in this bay because it is an astoundingly beautiful location. It is not at all surprising that UNESCO would single it out for special conservation. The water in the bay is a penetrating green color, and there are thousands of small islets made of limestone (but covered with vegetation) scattered throughout the area. Promotional materials for Halong Bay cruises casually refer to the place as “undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth” (or similar such things), and while it is obviously true that these sources have an interest in promoting the place’s beauty, they aren’t far from the truth. In any case, it truly is a fine example of the majesty of nature, and this will strike you as particularly true if you are into tropical environments with rich biodiversity. (You can find some nice pictures of the bay on this site that offers Halong Bay cruises.)
So, having established the intrinsic value of a visiting a place like Halong Bay, why might you want to take a cruise here, and what type of cruises are available anyway? As concerns the former, the answer is fairly simple: is there is a better way to explore a body of water than by boat? Of course, there are plenty of spectacular views of the bay on shore, but to really investigate the area, and see the landscape from various angles, you’ll need to get out in the water. You can do this in a few of different ways. First, there are day trips available, which will allow you to dedicate a full day to seeing the bay. There are also day trips that last only a few hours, so if you only have a morning or evening in the area, you could still get out in the water. Longer trips are available as well, but they tend to last only a couple of days at most, meaning you’ll spend one night on board the ship. The trips are short because the area to be covered isn’t particularly large (it’s a little over 1,500 square kilometers, or 600 square miles), but there is a lot packed in this area. Finally, it is worth mentioning that are longer cruises that merely incorporate Halong Bay into their itineraries, but these aren’t Halong Bay Cruises, strictly speaking.
If you are into natural beauty and like being at sea, Halong Bay is an ideal place to visit and take a cruise. Obviously, getting to Vietnam is a bit of an excursion for many of us, but if you manage to make it, a cruise in Halong Bay should be high on your priority list, especially since it can fit into almost any schedule because of the many different cruises available. For more information, check out our article on how to book Halong Bay cruises.