Halong Bay, Vietnam
At a Glance
The crew on board are exceptional and really make your trip extra special
With no fixed itinerary, you can tailor-make your days to suit you
The boats are spacious so you never feel on top of each other
Visit secluded white sandy beaches in remote areas and undiscovered areas of Bai Tu Long Bay
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The best time of year to visit Halong Bay is during the spring or autumn. Because the bay is situated in the northern part of the country, it can get colder in the winter. The rainy season here is at its peak in July to September. July is the hottest month, January the coolest. The dry season runs from November to April.
To start planning your holiday to Bhaya Cruises
Bhaya operates cruises through Halong Bay and the Gulf of Tonkin. They have a range of fleets to suit your preferences whether you want an private experience or to meet other guests on board. Enjoy 2-4 day itineraries in this dramatic bay.
The Bhaya Legend fleet are traditional and simple wooden junk boats which take you on an unforgettable journey through the renowned Halong Bay. They have different boats to suit different needs - whether you want to charter your own boat for a more intimate experience or if you want to go on one of the larger boats which offer better facilities.
Itineraries usually last between 2-4 days. Destinations en-route can include Bai Tu Long Bay, Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island; you will never tire of the dramatic scenery! Excursions include activities such as visiting a local fishing village on a rowing boat, swimming off a private beach, fishing with locals and visiting caves. On board you can enjoy cooking classes, sunbathing, tai chi, wine tasting and massages.
There are four different boats, each with a different number of cabins to suit different party sizes. But they are all very similar in terms of the decoration and service that is provided.
Bhaya Legend is their smaller boat and you will take this on an private basis. They have 1,2,3 and 4 cabin boats and you can enjoy a private personalised cruise itinerary.
Bhaya Classic is the original Bhaya junk boat and they have either 15 or 18 cabins on board and you can enjoy either 1 or 2 night itineraries.
Bhaya Premium has fewer cabins between 5-7 so is much smaller and all the rooms have balconies. Again this can be for 1 or 2 nights.
The Au Co boat is the most luxurious one and it specialises in 2-night itineraries only. There are 30 cabins on board and they are very spacious as well as there being an on board spa and Jacuzzi.
The culinary experience you journey through is superb. Unsurprisingly much of the food is fresh, bought from markets or sourced from the sea and the talented chefs are very creative in meeting preferences. Meal times on board the boat are a grand affair and always looked forward to.
The cabins are all fairly similar with natural wooden floors and hand-made furniture. They are equipped with air-conditioning and an well-appointed en-suite bathroom. They can mostly be configured with either a king or twin beds and all those on Au Co and Bhaya Premium have balconies. Some of Classic and Legend do too.
Children are welcome on board the Bhaya boats. As the itinerary is so bespoke they are great for families as you can tailor-in specific child friendly activities. However, parents are responsible for their children at all times. Babysitters can be arranged with prior notice if parents would like some time out. Interconnecting cabins are available on Au Co and Bhaya Premium.
All your meals are included during your stay, menus will vary from boat to boat as the chefs all have their specialities. Some will be buffet, some will be a la carte and others will be set menus. Dietary requirements can easily be catered for. On the Bhaya Legend boats but you can choose to eat meals when it suits you and wherever you would like - a candlelit dinner on the beach, a lunchtime picnic in the jungle or breakfast on deck, the choice is yours.
On board all the boats there is a sundeck with long chairs and shade for you to relax on. You can enjoy some spa and beauty treatments. They also have kayaking, snorkelling and fishing equipment on board which is at your disposal. Au Co has an onboard spa and a bar too.
You will enjoy a cruise through Halong Bay stopping off at some of the main attractions such as the Bright and Dark Caves and the Dau Go Cave. On longer itineraries you will explore further afield heading out to Cat Ba Island and Bai Tu Long Bay stopping off at fishing villages and local villages. Activities also include fishing, cycling, swimming and snorkelling.
Jack Mace (Staff)
The Bhaya cruises were a great mix of being both smart and traditional. They were perfectly turned out and the service was fantastic. I'd recommend families taking either the 2 or 3 bed 'Legend' boats - they are the nicest in the fleet and would be perfect for a Scott Dunn family for sole occupancy! The good thing about hiring out the whole boat is that you can decide the itinerary - it's great having the flexibility to go where you'd like to go and avoid crowds!
Clare Barratt (Staff)
Bhaya cruises are a traditional way to explore the stunning Halong Bay. They have a big fleet of junk boats catering for all travellers. If you want something more high end with luxurious cabins, a more professional service and you dont mind there being 30 cabins, the Au Co is a good bet! If you want something a bit more low key, opt for the Classic or Premium boats and if you want a very exclusive experience and charter your own boat book a legend boat so you can tailor-make your itinerary.
Sarah Baxter (Staff)
This superbly run cruise offers you incredibly friendly staff aboard a well-equipped junk. There is plenty to do to keep you occupied if you are feeling active, including a gorgeous swim in the late afternoon, cave exploring and an early morning tai chi class. Alternatively you can relax on the sundeck and take in the stunning surroundings. All ages are welcome on this boat. There are a variety of food options at breakfast and lunch and I was offered a meat or fish dinner choice. Not to be forgotten is the 2 for 1 cocktail happy hour!
Location & directions
Halong Bay, Vietnam
170 kilometres from Hanoi, in northeastern Vietnam, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth.
How to get there
15-hour international flight (one change) to Hanoi's Nah Bai International Airport followed by a 3-hour 30-minute drive to Halong Bay.
- 100% financial protection
- 24/7 emergency assistance
- Firsthand knowledge
- Renowned service
- Award-winning tour operator