First Time Cruisers: Tips and Advice

Halong Bay Cruise 1 Night or 2 Nights: Which One You Should Choose?

Overnight cruises are the best way to experience Halong Bay at its fullest. The remaining question is whether to take 1-night or 2-night cruises. With similarities in itineraries and activities, options may make you confused.

Halong Bay Cruise 1 Night or 2 Nights: Which One You Should Choose?

The key depends on your expectation for places of interest to see, activities to do, and a budget that you can pay. In this article, we make a detailed comparison between 1-night and 2-night cruises in the Halong Bay area to help you have an easier option.

1. Itinerary comparison

1.1 Halong bay route

Junk boats docking near Titop Island (Halong bay area)

What is it like being on 1-night and 2-night cruises on Halong Bay? Have a look at Paradise Elegance cruise, a prominent cruise operator on Halong Bay:

1.1.1 2D1N itinerary on Paradise Elegance cruise

Paradise Elegance Cruise

Day 1

Your excursion starts with a visit to Tung Sau pearl farm and Titop island where you can enjoy kayaking, swimming, and island trekking. Back to the boat at the end of the day, it is a great time for sipping cocktails, eating dinner, and then joining the party.

Day 2

In the morning, you visit Sung Sot cave, the biggest and most beautiful cave on Halong Bay. After that, return to the boat and check out.

1.1.2 3D2N itinerary on Paradise Elegance cruise

This itinerary is applied a few days a week only.

Day 1

You visit Tung Sau pearl farm, a famous spot for kayaking and learning about pearl making process. The trip continues with a visit to Titop island, a famous spot for swimming and watching the bay's views from above. Evening entertainment programs onboard include a sunset party, Happy Hour, romantic dining, live music performances, and squid fishing.

Day 2 

On day 2, you have a chance to do kayaking at Luon cave with charming limestone mountains and serene waters. After that, the tender boat takes you to Cua Van fishing village, one of the largest and oldest villages on Halong Bay. Here you can get to know local fishermen's daily activities and admire the quaint scenery.

Day 3

In the morning, after a light breakfast, you will visit Sung Sot cave, the largest and most marvelous cave on the bay. It is around 10.000sqm and comprises magnificent rock formations dating back thousands of years ago. Then you return to Tuan Chau harbor and farewell with the cruise crew.

Another reputable cruise line on Halong Bay with a well-researched 3D2N itinerary on Halong Bay is Bhaya cruises

1.1.3 3D2N itinerary on Bhaya cruise

Bhaya Cruise Fleet

Day 1

On the first day of Bhaya cruise, you will experience fantastic kayaking in the Tung Sau area. This is the main pearl farm in Halong Bay. At the end of the day, you are offered a sumptuous dinner in the restaurant and take part in interesting night activities onboard.

Day 2

The main tourist attractions on day 2 are Luon cave, Cua Van fishing village, and Trinh Nu area. You will have the opportunity to do kayaking, explore the old fishing village, and contemplate the natural scenery closely on a bamboo boat.

Day 3

Wake up early in the morning to join a tai chi session on the sun deck. Then, you will visit Sung Sot cave, an amazing cave with spacious chambers and marvelous stalactites and stalagmites. End of the tour and you will come back the port.

In summary

 

1-night itinerary 

2-night itinerary

Cruise port

Tuan Chau pier, Halong international port

Duration

24 hours 

48 hours

Main attractions

Sung Sot cave, Tung Sau pearl farm, Titop island

Sung Sot Cave, Tung Sau pearl farm, Titop island, Cua Van fishing village, Luon cave

Main activities

Kayaking, bamboo boat rowing, swimming, mountain climbing, cave exploring

Kayaking, bamboo boat rowing, swimming, mountain climbing, cave exploring

Recommended cruises

Paradise Elegance cruise, Bhaya cruises, Athena Luxury cruise, Glory Legend cruise

1.2 Lan Ha Bay route

Heritage Cruises on Lan Ha Bay

Lan Ha Bay is also a primary destination for tourists with multiple overnight cruises. We will have a look at 1-night and 2-night itineraries of the Orchid Classic Cruise and Stellar of the Seas cruise.

1.2.1 2D1N itinerary on Orchid Classic cruise

Orchid Classic Cruise

Day 1

You stop over a less populated area on Lan Ha Bay called Tra Bau area. Here you can take a nice swim in the cool water and do kayaking. Afterward, return to the cruise and join other entertainment activities onboard like a sunset party, Happy Hour, dinner, squid fishing, and movie night.

Day 2

You will have the opportunity to join a tai chi class in the early morning before breakfast. The cruise takes you to the Dark & Bright cave with stunning limestone structures. After brunch, you will disembark the cruise and back to the harbor.

1.2.2 3D2N itinerary on Orchid Classic cruise

Day 1

The journey to explore the natural wonders on Lan Ha Bay starts with a visit to the Tra Bau area - a primitive destination for swimming and kayaking on emerald waters. At the end of the day, you will join the sunset party with sumptuous drinks on the deck. In the evening, after dinner, there are many exciting night entertainment activities like board games, squid fishing, and singing.

Day 2

Orchid Classic cruise takes you to Viet Hai village, a famous fishing village with pristine beaches and natural scenery. It is a great idea to get on a bike and explore the village on your own or you can sit leisurely in an electric car. The next activity is to swim in the Ba Trai Dao area. Back to the boat for a sunset party and mouth-watering dinner.

Day 3

The tour continues with a trip to Dark & Bright cave with exciting kayaking and bamboo rowing boat activities. You will then enjoy a delightful brunch before coming back to the port.

1.2.3 2D1N itinerary on Stellar of the Seas cruise

Stellar of The Seas

Day 1

From Tuan Chau marina, the cruise takes you to Lan Ha Bay with less-touristy and beautiful places of interest. The first attraction is a Lagoon natural area where you can enjoy kayaking, swimming, and sunbathing. Return to the boat, there are a lot of things awaiting you to explore. You can swim in the seasonal pool, play golf, drink cocktails and watch the sunset. A great BBQ dinner is served in the evening.

Day 2

In the morning, after breakfast, the cruise sails you to Dark & Bright cave, a prominent attraction on Lan Ha Bay. You can either choose to kayak or enjoy the view on a bamboo boat. Disembark the cruise at noon.

1.2.4 3D2N itinerary on Stellar of the Seas cruise

Day 1

After lunch onboard, your journey exploring Lan Ha Bay starts with a visit to a Lagoon natural area where you can swim or do kayaking. Entertainment activities onboard are also plentiful namely playing golf, swimming, joining sunset party, watching movies, and squid fishing.

Day 2

Day 2 on the Stellar of the Seas cruise is full of energetic activities. You can ride a bicycle around Viet Hai village, swim in a natural beach area, and join onboard entertainment in the evening.

Day 3

On the last day, kick off your day with a tai chi session. Then after a light breakfast, you will explore Dark & Bright cave on your own on a kayak or a bamboo boat rowed by a local. Disembark the cruise and return to the port.

In summary

 

1-night itinerary

2-night itinerary

Cruise port

Tuan Chau pier, Got pier

Duration

24 hours

48 hours

Main attractions

Tra Bau area, a Lagoon natural area, Dark & Bright cave

Tra Bau area, Viet Hai fishing village, a Lagoon natural area, Dark & Bright cave, Ba Trai Dao beach

Main activities

Swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, onboard entertainment

Swimming, kayaking, rowing bamboo boat, sunbathing, biking, night entertainment activities onboard

Recommended cruises

Orchid Classic cruise, Stellar of the Seas cruise, Mon Cheri cruise, Scarlet Pearl cruise, Peony cruise

Price comparison

Cruises

1-night itinerary

2-night itinerary

Paradise Elegance cruise

USD$357/room

USD$859/room

Bhaya cruises

USD$342/room

USD$684/room

Orchid Classic cruise

USD$556/room

USD$939/room

Stellar of the Seas cruise

USD$544/room

USD$1205/room

Conclusion

Itinerary 

Pros

Cons

2 days 1 night

- Cheaper

- Good for those who are time constraint

- You can still experience almost all typical activities on the bay

- You have less time to experience the beauty of Halong Bay

- It is not suitable for those who want like to relax and enjoy other activities onboard

3 days 2 nights

- You have more leisure time to relax onboard

- There are more tourist sites and activities added in the itinerary

- More expensive

- Limited options as not many cruises offer 3D2N itineraries, especially on Halong Bay. Most 3D2N tours are taken place on Lan Ha Bay

Fun facts: According to the tourism authority of Quang Ninh, 65% of tourists to Halong Bay take a 2D1N cruise itinerary, 20% of them choose a 3D2N itinerary, and only 10% of those visitors opt for a day cruise. Other options make up 5%.

In general, whether Halong Bay is best to be visited for 1 night or 2 nights depends mostly on your time and budget. If you expect a longer period of time onboard and have more opportunities to experience, you should definitely choose the 3D2N tour. In case, you are pressed for time or want to save time for other activities on land, the 2D1N itinerary is still good enough for typical activities.

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