Cruising through Halong Bay is on top of most people’s lists when it comes to traveling in Vietnam, but despite what you may think when you hear the word “cruise” it doesn’t always need to cost an arm and a leg. You might be among those who have your reservations about a ‘budget Halong Bay cruise’, but don’t let your impressions of a couple horror stories scare you into parting with money you don’t have.
We’ve picked out a couple of top budget Halong Bay cruises that are great value for money, and that don’t skimp out on quality, service, or safety.
Rosa Cruise Halong is a more than comfortable 3-star, cozy-sized, budget Halong Bay cruise option. By cozy-sized we mean the boat itself; there are only 9 cabins on each junk-boat which makes for a much more private experience than if you were on a boat of 25 cabins.
The rooms themselves are actually spacious enough, and are all decorated to match the traditional Chinese junk-boat style.
The best thing about the cabins though is that each one has its own private balcony- and trust me when I say there is really no better view in the world than waking up and drinking your morning coffee on your own private balcony as you stare out at that stunning scenery. The whole ship has been thoughtfully designed so that wherever you are you can enjoy the view, thanks to the massive panoramic windows.
Just because this is a budget Halong Bay cruise doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on any entertainment; there are a ton of included activities offered on Rosa Cruise. You can take part in a cooking class (you’ll have some impressive skills to show off when you go back home!), get involved with some night-time squid fishing, or take out a kayak and explore the bay at your own speed.
In fact, in terms of the experience offered, this budget Halong Bay cruise with Rosa is on par with the more expensive luxury cruises in many ways. You’re sure to be well taken care of on board, considering how highly the Rosa Cruise staff are recommended by other travelers. Here’s what one traveler had to say:
“We loved our 2 day adventure with the Rosa Cruise team. Following a well planned itinerary, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. The natural beauty of Ha Long Bay is unparalleled. This combined with a expansive offering of food and drink made, for delightful 2 day experience for my wife and I. The crew was very accommodating and professional meeting every need and request during our journey.”
A budget Halong Bay cruise with Rosa Cruise starts at $152.
Aclass Legend Cruise
The Aclass family offer a whole host of Halong Cruises, and last year they won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (so you know they have plenty of experience under their belt, for starters). The Aclass Legend Cruise Halong (not to be confused for the Aclass Stellar Cruise- the two are combined on TripAdvisor) is their budget Halong Bay cruise.
The cruise ship has 14 cabins, so it’s still not massive (you’ll be able to enjoy a more private experience if that’s what you prefer) but it does have a social feel to it, and you’ll get plenty of opportunities to mingle with the other guests and make some new friends.
The interior of the ship and the rooms are decorated in such a way that it seems more like a hotel than a boat. There’s a full spread of amenities- air con, shower, restaurant, etc., so you won’t go without while on board.
Again, you’ll see that the view has been prioritized by whoever designed the boat; you’ll be treated to a glimpse of that amazing landscape every time you pass by one of the huge panoramic windows.
The guides on board Aclass Legend come in very well recommended by guests, which you’ll be thankful of once you start touring around and realise how much there is to know about Halong Bay.
From the folklore of the caves and grottoes, to the story behind the traditional fishing villages and their people – having a knowledgeable guide like the ones on Aclass Legend who can tell you the back stories makes all the difference.
Check out what one of the recent cruise guests had to say about it:
“[Our guide] is quite knowledgeable in Hanoi History and explained well. And lead the whole group of tourists very well throughout the Halong Bay trip. The service on cruise is also very good. The crews on board are quite friendly and ready to help whenever the customers needs. I will definitely recommend this cruise to my friends who will visit Halong Bay.”
A budget Halong Bay cruise with Aclass Legend starts at $167.
Between Rosa Cruise and Aclass Legend, you’ve got a choice for whichever top budget Halong Bay cruise you feel will suit you best. At the end of the day though, whether it’s a 5-star top of the line luxury cruise liner or a budget-friendly cruise on a junk boat, the outstanding Halong Bay scenery is going to be the exactly the same.