A Halong Bay cruise is a Must-Do Activity in Vietnam – just ask backpackers on the trail in Southeast Asia! This adventure departs every day of the week from Hanoi so just choose your date and get ready for the experience of a lifetime… choose to have a relaxing cruise or join the fun of an all-day, all-night, party cruise!
Halong Bay Trip – 3-Day, 2-Night Itinerary
Day 1 – Depart Hanoi
08.00 – 8:30 am: Our shuttle will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi and start your trip to explore the most amazing bay in Vietnam (if you book the transportation with us). On the way, we will have a quick stop in the middle of the way to rest.
Arrive at Tuan Chau Island and be welcomed by the cruise team at their lounge. You will be given a short briefing about your cruise itinerary and safety regulations.
13:00 – 14:30: Time to enjoy your lunch at the restaurant on board while the ship passes by the beautiful islets of Halong Bay.
Visit Tung Sau Pearl Farm*. You will have the chance to explore the process of pearl cultivation or experience kayaking*.
Visit Titop Island – the island is named after the Russian cosmonaut Gherman Stepanovich Titov. You can either choose to hike the mountain to get an overview of Halong Bay or swim at the beach on the island.
At sunset, the ship will anchor overnight. It is the perfect time to enjoy Happy Hour* (buy 1 get 1 free from 17:30 to 18:30) and a Vietnamese cooking class* on the boat.
Have dinner and overnight on board.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 2 – Explore Halong Bay & Activities
06.00 am: Start your day with a Tai Chi routine on the sundeck or catch a morning view of the stunning bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee.
07.30 am: Breakfast will be served in Western style, familiar to you to fulfil your strength and ready for another exploring day.
09.00 am: Transfer to a day cruise, we cruise passing several floating villages including Cap La and Cong Dam, we enter the Center of pristine Bai Tu Long Geology Park. There, we will visit Vung Vieng fishing village to interact with local people.
12.00: Back to the boat for a delicious hot lunch at noontime
14.00 pm: Spend more time kayaking and swimming at Cong Dam, or relaxing on the boat. If the weather allows, we can take a glance at Thay Cave before going back to the anchor point.
16.30 pm: Return to the main boat and enjoy a sunset party afterwards.
19.00 pm: Dinner will be served.
20.30 pm: Free time for joining Games, you may also try your luck with squid fishing.
Day 3: Visit Caves & Head Back to Hanoi
06:30 am: Boost the energy for the new day with a Tai Chi session* at the boat sundeck.
Enjoy a light breakfast with some freshly baked pastries, coffee, and tea.
07:45 – 08:45: Visit Sung Sot cave* – The most beautiful and largest cave in Halong Bay. Let your imagination run wide with stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and sizes. At the end of the way out, you can have an amazing panoramic view from the viewpoint.
08:50 – 09:50: Breakfast will be served at the restaurant while the cruise passes by Thien Cung and Dau Go Cave and the Fighting Cock Islet.
After breakfast, you may settle your bills and return the room keys at the reception area. Then you may enjoy your remaining moments at the lounge or on the sundeck looking at the astonishing view of Halong Bay.
10:15 – 10:30: The boat returns to Tuan Chau Marina. You will disembark and finish your journey here.
*All starred activities are optional and subject to weather / conditions.
Breakfast and lunch included.
What’s Included in the Price?
All accommodation – The accommodation on the cruise is shared cabins (2 people).
All activities mentioned in the itinerary are included.
Meals – As outlined in the itinerary above.
Transport – To and from Hanoi.
NOTE: Activities may vary in duration and grade depending on availability and weather.
What’s Not Included
Travel insurance – We strongly recommend that passengers have their own travel insurance against illness, injury, loss/damage to personal belongings and cancellations in the case of bad weather.
Drinks – Alcoholic and soft drinks, other than water with lunch.
In order to book this experience, you will need to pay a deposit online via South East Asia Backpacker.
This deposit is fully refundable if you wish to cancel up until 48 hours before the start of the activity. PLEASE NOTE: This policy refers to the payment made to South East Asia Backpacker at the time of booking. All subsequent payments to the operator of your chosen activity fall under their own refund policy
For cancellations made fewer than 48 hours before the start of the activity there is no refund available.
You can request a change of date at any time.
Date changes are entirely down to the availability of the operator and nothing to do with South East Asia Backpacker.
If your date change is not agreed upon, as long as it is more than 48 hours before the start date you originally made your booking for, your deposit can be refunded in full if you wish to cancel.
The remaining payment for the experience is payable directly to the operator.
The operator can request the remaining payment via an online payment link or upon arrival at the destination.
The refund of the second payment, which goes directly to the operator, is based on the terms and conditions of the operator, over which South East Asia Backpacker have no control.
Hi, I’m Nikki and I started South East Asia Backpacker in 2008 after my own first solo backpacking trip! My vision was to create a travel diary for everyone, a place for travellers to share their experiences from the road. After backpacking and writing about Southeast Asia for over 10 years, I saw the opportunity to provide backpackers with the kind of experiences that I’d treasured myself in the region!
Today, there is so much choice, but there are a lot of poor-quality tours and companies that offer mediocre experiences with little care for the environment. I wanted to create a selection of the best tours and activities to help backpackers avoid scams and dodgy tour companies.
Today, I run this website with my partner, Dave, from Spain, where we live with our energetic two-year-old daughter, Evie. All of the bookable activities that you will find on this website have been vetted by a member of our team and we have a friendly relationship with the operator. There are real humans behind South East Asia Backpacker and we are passionate about sustainable travel and development in Southeast Asia.
We are committed to helping travellers at every stage of the journey and understand that plans can change which is why we offer a full discount on the deposit up to 48 hours before the start of your trip, no questions asked. We offer advice on flights, visas, itineraries, hostels, backpacks, packing and more!
If you have any questions about our business or any of the tours that we provide, feel free to contact me on Whatsapp.
What days does the trip depart?
The Castaways trip departs every single day of the week!
Where do I meet the group?
The trip departs from either of the Vietnam Backpackers Hostels in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. If you are staying at either of these hostels, please be downstairs in the reception at the times below. If you are staying at a different accommodation, make your way to your nearest hostel at the time stated.
Vietnam Backpackers Original Hostel (48 Ngo Huyen Street, Hoan Kiem District) – 6.15 am – Google map here.
Vietnam Backpackers Downtown Hostel – (9 Pho Ma May Street, Hoan Kiem District) – 6.30 am – Google map here.
If you are already in Halong Bay, you can meet the rest of the group at Ben Boa Port Cat Ba at 11.30 am to board the boat to the island. You would first need to purchase the trip on this website and then add a note to your booking to advise the team to wait for you at the port.
Can I stay in Halong Bay after the tour has finished?
If you would like to remain in Halong Bay after the tour has finished rather than returning to Hanoi, please state at the time of booking.
Do I have to reconfirm my place on the tour?
Yes, you must reconfirm your place on the tour 24 hours before the tour departs either at the Travel Desk in the foyer of the hostel. Here, you will need to ‘check-in’ for the tour, sign the terms and conditions and purchase your cashless wrist band.
As you will pay only a deposit on this website, you will need to pay the remaining balance of the trip at the hostel before departing for your adventure 24 hours before.
If you are arriving to the hostel less than 24 hours before the departure time of the tour full payment must be made to confirm your booking directly to Vietnam Backpackers Hostels. If this is the case, please state at the time of booking and a member of the team will contact you to advise you how to pay the remaining balance.
What is the food like during the tour?
You will be eating a Vietnamese buffet prepared on the island by local cooks. The emphasis is on fresh food wherever possible and meals are nutritious and varied. If you are vegetarian, have food allergies or do not eat seafood, please add a note at the time of booking. If you have very specific dietary needs, please also specify. All meals are included in the price.
How fit do I have to be?
The activities on the island are optional, though a reasonable level of fitness and swimming ability is preferable to fully enjoy the experience. If you enjoy kayaking through caves, swimming in sheltered bays, rock climbing in national parks and directly experiencing the environment then this tour is perfect for you! If you have any doubts about your suitability for the trip, please contact us.
Do I have to participate in all activities?
In order to fully enjoy the trip, full involvement is encouraged, but all the activities are optional and no one is going to force you to do something you don’t want to do.
How much luggage can I take?
Due to limited vehicle space and the nature of island accommodation, you should try to limit yourself to a maximum of 15 kg in a backpack or overnight bag.
Can I store luggage at the hostel
You can leave a larger backpack and any valuables in a safe storage locker at the hostel back in Hanoi if you like.
What should I bring with me?
Recommended packing list – Passport. swim-suit, towel, light clothes, flip flops, sturdy trainers or hiking shoes, sunscreen, toiletries, raincoat for rainy season, warm sweater for the cooler months, mosquito repellent, camera, torch, a healthy appetite and a good attitude!
Can I bring my own drinks?
No. There is a fully licensed and stocked bar on the island and for safety reasons, you are not permitted to take your own alcohol. This ensures responsible drinking practices with measured amounts of real, quality alcohol. The hostel staff reserve the right to confiscate any contraband found and remove any individual from the island without refund if they are putting themselves or others at risk.
Conditions of Travel and Liability
In circumstances beyond the control of Vietnam Backpacker Hostels and the associated tour operators, such as weather conditions, mechanical failure, and/or restrictions placed by the National Park Authorities, we reserve the right to alter the route or itinerary of any of the tours. No refunds will be given in these circumstances, or in the event of any delay, curtailment or alteration of the trip.
Whilst Vietnam Backpackers Hostels make every effort to safeguard their clients and their belongings, they cannot be held responsible for personal injury or loss due to events beyond our control. They also cannot be held liable for operations conducted by local contracted service providers. Due to circumstances beyond their control, they cannot guarantee pick-up and drop-off times and are not liable for passenger failure to connect with other transport, such as flights, or any associated costs incurred.