Halong Bay Cruise 1 Night Itineraries | Best Advice + Cruise Tips

A Halong Bay overnight cruise is one of the best options for any traveler looking to take in the beauty of the most iconic natural landmark in Northern Vietnam. Spending one night and two days on a cruise ship is just enough time to explore the best parts of Halong Bay. Combine that with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to visit local fishing village communities and discover hidden caves, and you’ve got an experience in Southeast Asia you’ll never forget.

But, if you feel like you need more time, there are also 3 days 2 nights itineraries that visit every single Halong location from Vung Vieng Fishing Village to Thien Canh Son Cave and many more.

Exploring the marvels of Halong Bay & surrounding areas

Tourists taking a trip to Vietnam are sure to have heard of Halong Bay and may have also heard about its lesser-known but equally as beautiful neighbors, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.

Situated in the northeast of Quang Ninh province, all three sites are marvels of nature. Thousands of untouched limestone karst formations and isles dot the bay in various shapes and sizes. Halong is true to its literal translation, the place where “The Dragon Descends to the Sea.”

Gorgeous sunset view on a cruise deck in Halong Bay.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in the years 1994 and 2000, the popularity of the area has never waned. Large numbers of tourists visit Halong Bay every year, and there’s no better way of marveling at the seascape than an overnight cruise.

In this article, you’ll learn about the different options for your Halong Bay overnight cruises. From the specific cruise ships you can book on to what you can expect from each, all the information you need is here!

What should you be aware of?

Which bay to choose for your 1-night cruise?

Though Halong Bay is by far the most well-known and popular option for an overnight cruise, Lan Ha Bay in the northeast, Bai Tu Long Bay in the east, and Cat Ba Island in the south are three other options well worth considering.

Need help picking the right bay? Learn about the 3 bays in the area!

lan ha bay cruise 2 days 1 night
Overview of Lan Ha Bay. Photo by Anh Tuan

Halong Bay caves

The area around Halong is famous for its stunning caves. Just a few of the most popular include Thien Canh Son Cave, Sung Sot Cave, Luon Cave, and Trong Cave.

Although most of the caves (especially Sung Sot Cave) are cavernous and offer a lot of wide open space, you may want to stick to open-air activities if you get claustrophobic exploring caves.

Luckily, we’re extremely flexible at Halong Hub and we’re happy to modify the itineraries of specific guests if they request it.

Thay cave
Travelers exploring Thay Cave in Bai Tu Long Bay.

Halong Bay weather

Weather can make or break your trip! Halong Bay shares the same weather as most of northern Vietnam, with four distinctive seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

The choice is yours, but it’s crucial to understand what to expect as a result of your travel date. For example, a trip in the winter will be colder and drier. As such, water activities like kayaking and snorkeling won’t be ideal, but that means you’ll have more of a chance to hike and visit floating village communities. Similar constraints and opportunities hold true for every season, so research year-round weather in Halong Bay to find what season would be best for you!

best time to visit halong bay
Serene beauty of Halong Bay. Photo by Nguyen Quang Ngoc Tonkin

One final point to remember has to do with monsoons. Vietnam is a tropical country with a climate that’s prone to monsoons, and this will affect your trip if you’re not careful. The most common time for monsoons is during the winter, between October and April. In the worst cases, cruises can be canceled, so it’s important to be aware of this when planning your trip.

Since Long Ha Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Cat Ba Island are all very close to Halong, you can consider them to have the same weather patterns as Halong Bay.

What time do Halong Bay cruises start and where?

The three common starting points for your Ha Long Bay overnight cruise are Hanoi, Hai Phong, or Tuan Chau Marina in Quang Ninh. All Ha Long Bay cruise itineraries begin around 12:00 PM, so it’s important to figure out your mode of transport beforehand.

Visitors from Hanoi tend to take a shuttle bus or private car from popular tourist spots in Hanoi like the Hanoi Old Quarter. Travel times last around four hours. On the other hand, trips from Hai Phong City or Quang Ninh are much faster, with taxi services taking between 45 minutes to an hour to get to your cruise port for check-in.

Tuan chau maria
Tuan Chau Maria

Halong Bay overnight cruise cost breakdown

The costs of each Halong Bay overnight cruise depend on the individual cruise ship, as well as when you plan on making your trip to Halong Bay. Prices during peak season are always higher! Furthermore, you need to take into account other expenses like drinks, transportation to Halong Bay, extra services, and tips.

Now you have a better understanding of what to think about before you plan your Halong Bay overnight cruise, let’s take a look at the different Halong Bay cruise 1-night itineraries.

Best Halong Bay budget-friendly overnight cruises

1. Phoenix Cruise Halong Bay

halong bay cruise 1 night
Phoenix Cruise – Halong Bay

Starting at $120 per person, the Phoenix Cruise is one of the most affordable ways to marvel at the stunning scenery of Halong Bay. Popular with families, couples, or even singles, the cruise ship has 22 rooms and can hold up to 44 travelers. Rooms come with an en suite bathroom and either a half or full-size ocean view private balcony.

Day 1 features:

  • Visit Titop Island with a chance to swim on the beach if the weather permits. Hiking to the top of the island is also possible for a panoramic view of Halong Bay.
  • Vietnamese and international BBQ food are served. After dinner activities include card games, movie viewings, or even squid fishing from the boat!
  • Take a trip to Cua Van Floating Village and get a glimpse into the lives of people who live in the area’s fishing village communities.

Want to find out more about fishing village communities in Halong Bay? Read about the floating village here!

Day 2 features:

  • Morning tai chi session on the sundeck followed by breakfast in the dining room. Large windows open to a picturesque view of Halong Bay outside.
  • Visit Sung Sot cave, also known as the “surprising cave”, one of the largest caves in Halong Bay. Proper footwear is recommended in Sung Sot Cave and any of the other caves in Halong Bay!

2. Swan Cruise Bai Tu Long Bay

Swan Cruise – Bai Tu Long Bay

Designed to resemble a traditional Chinese junk boat, the Swan Cruise will let you enjoy the stunning scenery of this bay at a base cost of $120 per person. With a capacity of 17 people in 8 rooms, there’s plenty of space on the three-deck boat. Families can even share family cabins during this overnight cruise!

Day 1 features:

  • Pickup by Swan shuttle bus from wherever you are staying. Price is included!
  • Kayaking and swimming around the beautiful Cap La island.
  • Enjoy a sunset party before a set dinner is served. Afterward, enjoy activities like squid fishing before retiring to your room and drifting to the sway of the calm water.

Day 2 features:

  • Tai chi on the sun deck while admiring the view of the bay. A Western or Vietnamese breakfast is available afterward.
  • Explore the Thien Canh Son cave. A tour guide will accompany you and explain the history of Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and the naturally formed Thien Canh Son cave.
  • A Vietnamese cooking class will be held before you enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch.

Best Halong Bay mid-range overnight cruises

1. La Regina Royal Halong Bay

La Regina Royal Cruise – Halong Bay

Beginning at $136 per person, La Regina Royal is one of the best mid-range overnight cruises in Halong Bay. With 19 rooms spread over four decks, the boat is popular amongst all sorts of travelers, but young couples and friends may find it most to their liking for the numerous activities available. The cruise is one of the more lavish options we offer. At the same time, the experience is full of exotic adventure activities from exploring caves to riding in a bamboo boat.

Day 1 features:

  • After eating a delicious lunch, relax while the cruise heads toward Luon Cave. Kayaking options are available or simply hop into a bamboo boat rowed by locals.
  • Explore Titop Island. Swim, snorkel, or do some kayaking around the pristine beaches, or for those who prefer activities on land, hike the island for a 360 view of Halong Bay before returning to the main cruise ship via bamboo boat.
  • Back on the boat, enjoy a sunset party. Feast on an authentic Vietnamese dinner before ending the first night of your Halong Bay cruise.

Day 2 features:

  • Take a trip to Sung Sot cave. The French were so impressed with it that they nicknamed it “Grotte des Surprises”, or, “Surprise Cave.”
  • A Vietnamese buffet is served while the boat returns to the harbor.

2. Renea Cruise Bai Tu Long Bay

Renea Cruise – Bai Tu Long Bay

At a great rate of $136 per person, Renea Cruise offers a host of options to satisfy you during your time in Halong Bay. It’s ideal for traveling in groups with triple and connecting rooms available. Rooms come with a view of the lovely Bai Tu Long Bay seascape and the upper deck is a great place to mingle under the stars or admire the passing karst formations and floating village landscapes.

Day 1 features:

  • Visiting Cap La Island. Enjoy kayaking through the karst and breathtaking nature. Later enjoy swimming and relaxing around the island.
  • For dinner, feast on a deluxe Vietnamese set menu dinner. Pleasant music will provide a romantic ambiance for you to eat and drink your fill, then take part in squid fishing if you fancy.
  • Enjoy the sunset with a party on the top deck, or play Vietnamese card games in the bar & restaurant.

Day 2 features:

  • Explore the well-hidden Thien Canh Son Cave and enjoy white sandy beaches on Hon Co Island.
  • Take part in a Vietnamese cooking demonstration and quickly learn a simple but delicious Vietnamese dish made infamous in Vietnam by Gordon Ramsay.

Best Halong Bay luxury overnight cruises

1. La Regina Legend Cruise Lan Ha Bay

La Regina Legend – Lan Ha Bay

One of the most popular 5-star cruises, La Regina Legend provides customers with a taste of luxury during their overnight cruise in Lan Ha Bay. Starting at $145 per person, travelers get to stay in cabins that each come with their own private balcony, shower, and bath. Travelers can enjoy a host of activities in Lan Ha Bay; the least touristy bay of the three!

Day 1 features:

  • Explore the area by local boat or kayak and discover the Dark and Bright Cave – one of the best attractions on Lan Ha Bay
  • Swim at Van Boi Beach which is best known for its pristine and tranquil beauty
  • Dinner is a fusion of traditional Vietnamese and international cuisine. Afterward, enjoy the end of your first evening on the cruise with activities like a movie in the restaurant, squid fishing, chess, or cards.

Day 2 features:

  • Morning tai chi on the sun deck followed by a day cruise to Cat Ba island. From there, a private bus will take you to Trung Trang Cave, a beautiful cave that nature carved out over a span of 2,000 years!

2. Paradise Elegance Halong Bay

Paradise Elegance – Halong Bay

Starting at $193 the Paradise Elegance is one of the most luxurious Halong Bay overnight cruises with 31 amazing cabins of exquisite design. There isn’t any small bamboo boat here; you’ll be aboard one of the largest and most decadent cruise ship options in Halong Bay. Travelers can expect a quality of accommodation and food served befitting the price tag on this spacious boat with 5 decks.

Day 1 features:

  • Visit the Tung Sau pearl farm and explore the process of pearl cultivation. Go kayaking to really learn more about Halong Bay.
  • Visit Titop Island – the island named after the Russian cosmonaut Gherman Stepanovich Titov. Titop Island is a picturesque sight, from the ideal white sand beaches ringing the small island all the way up the 450 steps to the vantage point at the top of the green mound in the center of the island. Titop Island is a common stop included on many cruises in the area.
  • Choose to hike the mountain to get an overview of Halong Bay or swim at the beach on the island.
  • Anchoring overnight, it is the perfect time to enjoy Happy Hour while being serenaded by a live music performance or relax in the Piano Lounge after an internationally inspired dinner.

Day 2 features:

  • Visit the largest cave in the area – Sung Sot Cave. With stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and sizes, this cave has captured the imaginations, and photos, of many.
  • A light breakfast including pastries and Vietnamese coffee is served at Le Marin Restaurant while the cruise passes by Thien Cung and Dau Go Cave, the Fighting Cock Islet, and local floating village communities.


Opting for a two-day, one-night cruise in Halong Bay offers a more immersive experience compared to a one-day excursion. With only a day, you’ll have limited time to explore and see just a small part of the bay. That’s why we recommend the two-day option, allowing you to stay overnight on the boat and truly make the most of your time in this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The cost of an overnight cruise to Halong Bay can vary depending on several factors such as the cruise operator, the type of boat, the season, and the specific package you choose.

Prices typically range from $100 to $200 per person for a standard two-day, one-night cruise. However, luxury cruises with more amenities and activities may cost more.

It’s best to check with different cruise operators or travel agencies to get accurate pricing for your preferred cruise option.

Booking your Halong Bay cruise ahead of time online is the most effective method to secure excellent deals. At Halong Hub, we ensure you have the best experience in Halong, feel free to contact us if you have any plans in mind!

If you’re seeking a more secluded experience and wish to indulge in activities like biking, kayaking, and swimming, the ideal choice is the Halong Bay Cruise for 3 days and 2 nights. However, if your schedule is tight, we suggest opting for the 2 days and 1-night cruise to make the most of your time while still enjoying the essence of Halong Bay.

Let us help you choose your best 1-night cruise!

While at first glance it can seem like there are too many Halong Bay overnight cruises to choose from, with a bit of searching you’re sure to find the right one for you. You might opt for a cruise in Halong, in the neighboring Lan Ha Bay, or in Bai Tu Long Bay, but Halong Hub will help you find the best options for your tastes. It won’t be long before you’ve booked your overnight cruise to one of the world’s most beautiful aquatic wonderlands!

Feel free to contact us for more information on your Halong Bay overnight cruise!

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