Recently crowned one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Halong Bay is shrouded in fantastical mystery.
Your journey with the family will be a fascinating one! Halong, in Vietnamese, means descending dragon, and the bay is steeped in magical folklore and legend. It’s believed that the Vietnamese people descended from the origin of the dragon. Various mythology tells of hostile invaders attempting to conquer the country by sea. The much-revered Jade Emporer called upon the Gods to send the mother dragon and her offspring to help the country’s people defeat their enemies. With ferocity, they came to challenge the attackers and destroyed them in a blaze of fire and brimstone. As the enemy was defeated, giant emeralds appeared and were scattered throughout Halong Bay to form an impenetrable barrier to discourage future invasions. Peace returned to the country, and after a millennium, the emerald walls formed thousands of islands, islets, and caves you can discover today.
When you visit Halong Bay, you can expect to experience diverse natural landscapes from gloriously long white sandy beaches, thousand-year-old castle-like limestone karsts, and many breathtaking hidden caves.
With so many cruises available, deciding which is the most suitable for you and your family is tricky.
Halong Bay is tropical, and the weather is either hot and humid or rainy and chilly. Regarded as off-peak season, May to September can be hot and humid, with temperatures soaring to 30 degrees Celcius; in August, you will likely experience tropical storms. March and April are the best months to travel to Vietnam; the temperatures range between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius, the sun is pleasant, and there is very little rain making it the perfect time for exploring the extraordinary sites and landscapes. The end of September through to the end of October is another great time to visit. November to February is cold, with temperatures dropping as low as 10 degrees Celcius, but you will experience mood-enhancing thick early-morning fog.
The Vietnamese people love to celebrate; throughout the year, there are many festivals, including Tet which celebrates the lunar new year. If you happen to be in Ho Chi Minh for New Year's Eve, you'll be spoilt with a magnificent fireworks display. Across Vietnam, you'll see kumquat trees and peach blossom, which resembles the wealth they will receive the following year. Halong Bay Carnival draws thousands of people from all over the world. Highlights include vibrant street parades, performances, dazzling fireworks, and endless local culture. The carnival coincides with the best weather. You'll also discover Yen Tu Festival after the Tet celebrations and the Bach Dang festival in April or May.
You could happily spend a week in Hanoi and Halong Bay without the kids getting bored! But if you are planning a whistle-stop tour, you could easily spend two or three nights on a cruise to take advantage of the glorious scenery. A two-day cruise will give you an excellent taster of Halong Bay, but if you want to explore the scenery with fewer tourists, go for three nights!
If you intend to explore Hoi An and Da Nang while you are in Vietnam, take a look at the ultimate Little Steps Guide.
Luxury wooden cruises orientated around children offer exceptional service, itineraries, and food as you traverse Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay. The signature cruises accommodate families in their luxurious family cabins. Considered the most beautiful ship in the bay, the Signature family cabins accommodate up to four people with 32 square meters of space at the front of the boat and boast a private terrace with a 270-degree view of the ever-changing landscapes. Each member of the family can be kept busy with a host of on and off-board activities. You can learn traditional Vietnamese squid-fishing techniques and enjoy incredible views from the rooftop sun deck. Enjoy the incredible cuisine prepared by talented chefs or learn some tips and tricks in the cooking class. The cruise commences in Hon Gai Wharf and traverses Vung Vieng Fishing Village, Ban Chan Island, Thien Canh Son Cave and Cong Dam.
Signature Cruise Halong Vietnam, 4th Floor, 1 Dinh Le, Trang Tien Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 24 3927699, email@example.com, https://www.signaturehalongcruise.com/
With your choice of cruise, you can consider the 24-meter L’Azalée Classic Cruise accommodating up to 40 guests, single-cabin premium cruises, or deluxe cruises with 12 cabins and two suites, ideal for small groups of friends and family. Explore Halong Bay your way with various cruise experiences operated under strict and certified marine standards. The L’Azalée Cruises seamlessly combine heritage and culture with international resort standards. You can enjoy the sheer beauty and magnitude of Halong's breathtaking scenery and experience traditional Vietnamese culture through authentic cuisine and fascinating excursions, including a floating fishing village and pearl farm. There are one or two-night options, or you can travel in your very own yacht with a crew of five to look after your every whim.
L’Azalée Cruises, T7 Villa, Tuan Chau Marina, Halong, Vietnam, + 84 965 890 499, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.lazaleecruises.vn/
Founded in 2007, Bhaya Cruises offers the highest standards in sustainable tourism and has Bhaya Classic, Bhaya Premium, Bhaya Legend private cruise, and The Au Co boats in its fleet, which will give you an experience of a lifetime. With the vision of helping people appreciate the rare beauty of Halong Bay, Bhaya Cruises adhere to responsible practices on its cruises so that generations to come can explore this new natural wonder of the world. The cruise routes are off-the-beaten-track, allowing you to explore less-known parts of the bay. Experience a hands-on cooking demonstration and a traditional tea ceremony and enjoy local life at a floating fishing village or Viet Hai Village on a nearby island. Little Steps loved the Au Co cruise with prettily decorated suites and an open-air moonlight cinema through the Gulf of Tonkin. If you have a few more days, then why not embark on the Bhaya Legend and experience Cap La, Tra San, Vung Vieng Fishermen Village, Tra Bau and Trinh Nu, and Sung Sot Cave?
Bhaya Cruises, 47 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoan Kiem, Halong, Vietnam, +84 24 3944 6777, email@example.com, https://bhayacruises.com/
For over two decades, Indochina Sails has provided inspirational journeys for travelers from around the world. With new itineraries for each of its boats, the Indochina Sails, was the first luxury yacht experience provider giving cruisers an extraordinary insight into the breathtaking Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay. Indochine Cruise, Valentine Premium Ha Long, and the Indochine Premium Cruise Ha Long will provide you and your family with a vacation connected to the water with exceptional service. If you've never flown in a seaplane, try the two-day, one-night cruise and seaplane package, it's great fun! You and the kids can experience a candlelit dinner in a cave, dinner on the sundeck, a secluded beach, or sunset drinks at the floating bar. You'll be in harmony with nature and surrounded by warm, friendly staff. They have enviable relationships with the local communities and believe in sustainable tourism that benefits them.
Indochina Sails, 27A6 Dam Trau, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 24 3984 2362, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.indochinasails.com/
Founded in 1910 with sightseeing bus tours in Washington DC, Gray Line soon expanded its offerings worldwide and is now one of the global tourism leaders. Halong Bay cruises were launched on its centenary, and they set sail in overnight junks in various-sized cruises. Each cruise offers unique activities and routes to embrace spontaneous meetings with local communities and visits to fishing villages and pearl farms as they traverse the centrally protected areas of Halong Bay and further afield. Gray Line offers a wide range of cabins ideal for families and a low guest-to-crew ratio. The cruise teams are dedicated to sustainability and protecting the fragile environment. The popular 03-cabin cruises are ideal for family trips; the small boats feature three comfortable limited edition cabins allowing a friendly and personalized service, two decks, a restaurant, and an expansive deck for sunbathing. If you choose to take over the entire boat, you can even request your own off-the-beaten-track route and anchor for swimming whenever you please!
Gray Line Halong, 125 Hong Ha, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 24 3717 3366, email@example.com, https://www.graylinehalong.com/
For an unforgettable experience, Stellar of the Seas offers a new definition of contemporary luxury with a carefully researched itinerary, attentive service, authentic décor, and delicious food. With only 22 cabins, a seasonal 50 square meter swimming pool, spa, and massage facilities, fine dining with a wine and cigar cellar, a panoramic bar, a kid's playground, and a golf club, your family will never be short of activities. Little Steps loves the three-day, two-night cruise that meanders through jaw-dropping landscapes so that you and your family can enjoy the miracle of nature, swimming, kayaking, and rowing boats and discover the extraordinary vistas of Lan Ha Bay and the small village of Viet Hai. Consider one of the executive suites with a private sun terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a free-standing bath with ever-changing views.
Stellar Of The Seas, Suite 803, ACB Building 10 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 24 3933 5419, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.stellaroftheseas.com/
Explore Cat Ba island, a forgotten paradise that retains its natural and peaceful beauty as you sail through 400-million-year-old limestone karsts, islands, natural beaches, and clear blue waters. With three cruises to choose from, Premium, Classic, and Trendy, choose the five-star Orchid Classic Cruises to explore the northeast gateway of Vietnam. Orchid Classic offers a family suite with a spectacular balcony, sitting room, and interconnecting king and single rooms to accommodate families of four or more. Explore pristine bays by kayak and discover hidden caves and secret beaches. Little Steps loves the three-day, two-night cruise aboard the Indochine-inspired cruise with wooden interiors, a sundeck with Jacuzzi, and exquisite dining. Enjoy the breathtaking sunrise and sunset each day as you unravel the mysteries of this wonder of the world.
Orchid Classic Cruise, 32, Anh Dao St, Halong City, Vietnam, +84 20 3384 6810, email@example.com, https://www.orchidcruises.com/
Create special memories with your family on Scarlet Pearl with various activities in Lan Ha Bay that offer unforgettable experiences with the locals and immerse yourself in its beautiful nature. Their mission is to offer their guests the best cruise experience in the unique UNESCO World Heritage site Halong Bay with its stunning scenery forged over millions of years. Inspired by the traditional pearl farming industry, Scarlet Pearl strives to encourage sustainable travel, preserve the natural environment and employ only local people. They specialize in Lan Ha Bay, a pristine and less-crowded destination. Explore Cat Ba Island; if you are lucky, you might see the Cat Ba Langur, a critically endangered primate. The modern cruise boasts an environmentally friendly waste system and is committed to using natural products and locally-crafted furniture. Enjoy a two- or three-day cruise and participate in many activities such as kayaking, sailing, yoga, and exploring charmingly picturesque villages or rejuvenate your soul in the Akoya Spa. There are 23 cabins of four pearl themed suites to choose from.
Scarlet Pearl Cruises, No.3, Floor 1, Ha Long International Cruise Port, Halong Road, Bai Chay Ward, Halong, Vietnam +84 24 3232 3082, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.scarletpearlcruises.com/
Sister of Stella of the Seas, the contemporary cruise, Elite of the Seas promises to bring you and your family a memorable experience with 35 elegant and spacious cabins, fine dining, indoor and alfresco bars, a wine cellar, a large swimming pools, sauna, fitness room, and children's playroom. With up to five days and four nights of cruising, you'll find the perfect experience to discover the wonders of Halong Bay. Soak up the breathtaking views of Lan Ha Bay and kayak through the floating houses and the seemingly endless hidden caves, enjoy being rowed by a local in a boat to experience local life, take part in a cooking demonstration, try your hand at squid fishing or take a Tai Chi class. Treat yourself to the stunning Elite President Suite with a large terrace and ocean-view bathtub. Bliss!
Elite Of The Seas, Suite 803, ACB Building, 10 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 24 3933 5419, email@example.com, https://eliteoftheseas.com/
With a mission to deliver unforgettable cruise experiences and showcase Vietnam’s heritage, Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan's cruises are artful and elegant. Each of the suites is sumptuous, and the crew is exceptionally attentive; they’ll ensure your every whim is taken care of, and you'll fall in love with Halong Bay. Heritage Cruises strives to create a better place for people to live and is committed to socially responsible travel through education and reducing its carbon footprint. In 1995, the founder explored each island in Halong Bay, sometimes camping for up to a week on isolated beaches and exploring remote islands by kayak; he shares his inimitable knowledge with the crew. His mission is to deliver happiness, heritage, culture, and history. The cruise boat has four categories of suites, including the captain and regal limited edition collection. Explore 'where the dragon descends' and sail deep into Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Lan Ha Bay, and trek the Cat Ba National Park, and experience breathtaking sunsets over thousands of limestone karsts each night.
Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan, 456 Lac Long Quan Street, Tay Ho Dist, Hanoi, +84 24 3223 9988, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://heritagecruises.com/
The symbol of beauty in Vietnam, Peony Cruises is a perfect blend of European sophistication and rustic Vietnamese styling. With 40 spacious cabins, each with a private balcony, you’ll be able to enjoy the peace and beauty of the ever-changing scenery as the cruise meanders through Halong Bay. Little Steps loves the deluxe family cabins with interconnecting rooms decorated with traditional artisan-crafted wooden touches. Your family will enjoy various activities, including a bamboo boat trip, cooking classes, kayaking, early morning Tai Chi classes, board games, and late-night squid fishing. There is also a children's play area with games, toys, and a babysitting service. Peony Cruises regularly supports local children in crisis and partners with the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which works to rescue street kids, and children trapped in slavery and forced labor.
Peony Cruises, 34 Au No. 2, Tuan Chau International Ship Port, Halong, +84 24 3933 5728, email@example.com, https://www.peonycruises.com/
With over 15 years of cruising experience, Paradise Elegance Cruise is a leading cruise in Halong Bay, setting high standards for world-class maritime tourism. Providing service from the heart and contributing to sustainable tourism supporting the natural environment and local communities, the cruise offers your family high-class itineraries and leisure experiences through discovery. The sleek, modern cruise fuses contemporary styling with Vietnamese design concepts. It boasts a piano bar, spa and wellness center, full butler service, and an imaginative range of dining options. Little Steps loves the two-day cruise that includes activities such as visiting Sung Sot Cave, kayaking around Tung Sau Pearl Farm, and conquering the peaks of Titop Island for impressive views across Halong Bay. Enjoy a cooking demonstration and a Tai Chi class.
Paradise Elegance Cruise, Gate 3, 4 Tuan Chau International Port, Tuan Chau, Halong, Vietnam, +84 24 3941 6666, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.paradisevietnam.com/