Great experience - beautiful spot to visit - friendly staff. The cave experience was out of this world - highly recommend on your visit to Hanoi
This is a great mid-range tour. The crew are very friendly and really keen to do everything they can to make passengers happy. For example, we left a small package of coffee on the bus on the way back to Hanoi, and they tracked us down at our hotel that evening to return it to us. The boat is clean and reasonably comfortable, although the beds were made for short people and the airconditioning was inconsistent but okay. A large variety of plentiful food was served, which was tasty although not very exciting. The highlights were the Vietnamese coffee, spring rolls and fresh fruit. The bartender didn't really speak English, but he knows how to mix a cocktail!. I recommend the 3-day tour above the 2-day tour, because the 3-day tour includes a bicycle ride across beautiful Cat Ba island with a visit to a local village and a swim in a quiet bay with the chance to chill out on a secluded beach.
The first and last day of our three day cruise were pretty standard tourist-friendly fare. I imagine it was just like the myriad of other cruise boats littering the bay. Spectacular views, mediocre food, marginal air conditioning. A staff that was friendly enough, but pushed hard on the upscale of drinks during dinner. What made this a four star trip was the middle-day excursion to Cat Ba island. Slipping away from the crowds, we took a bike tour through the local farms and villages of the island. The vistas were stunning. Following the bike tour we were taken to a secluded beach which we had previously seen on postcards and stock photos. Here we felt like we were part of something special and not just another cog in the tourist wheel. If you do a two night trip to Halong Bay you will probably have a good time and enjoy some nice views, but for an unforgettable experience take the time for a 3-day excursion.
The tour was okay but they made a mistake on our reservations. They thought our booking was 2 days only but it is actually 3 days. We have to insist before they believed us.
Halong Bay in incredible, so it would be hard to say that we didn't enjoy our tour because the landscape is impressive, but the tour was far from what I expected. Except for the guide, nobody in the boat crew could speak English. The guide in the first day didn't give us any useful information, he was only worried about ensuring passengers were respecting the timetable. Some of the activities included in the add didn't happen, such as the Tai Chi Chuan classes and the bike ride, with no explanation why. In the 2nd day, the guide told us early in the morning that we couldn't do the tour scheduled for that day and, when asked about the options, we were told we could return to Hanoi, which was completely unacceptable as we had paid for the 3 days tour. In the boat we were charged more drinks than we actually consumed and, when asked, the crew couldn't explain why and we had to pay for this. Also the driver who drove us from Hanoi to Halong Bay and back drove like crazy and it was quite hard to have a relaxing ride, specially given that it takes 3,5 hours to get to Halong Bay. Overall food and drinks were good, the guide that replaced the 1st one in the end of the 2nd day was good and it was an OK time to relax, but I wouldn't do this tour with this company again.
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