The purpose of my trip to Hanoi was to visit Halong Bay. It was indeed worth the 3.5-hour mini-van journey from Hanoi.
I booked a 2 night cruise on Huong Hai Sealife Cruise. After a few exchanges of email with its sales representative Ms Nga Nguyen, I made my purchase through PayPal. Initially I was hesitant in pre-booking, but I promised Ms Nga Nguyen that I would write a good review if my trip turns out to be a good one. In fact, it was superb.
On the first day, we were picked up at our hotel in Old Quarter promptly by a 13-seater mini-van. We drove past interesting rural and agricultural areas, in stark contrast to the built settlements in Hanoi.
When we arrived at the pier, a ship's personnel came to welcome us and tag the baggage to be checked in. We took a tender boat from the pier to the ship (approx 10 mins). Wearing lifejacket is a must, after safety measures have been stepped up by the local authorities.
We had our buffet lunch, sailed to Sung Sot (Surprising Cave) of amazing stalactites and stalagmites. I have been to many caves in China, but never before seen a cave where the interior width is as wide as Sung Sot. This cave requires some moderate climbing. On exiting from the cave at the top, you'll not regret climbing as you are treated to a picture postcard view of Halong Bay. Tour duration: Approx 1 hour, guided tour by the ship'
The final stop was Titop Island for beach-goers. Bath towels are provided for Huong Hai cruise passengers (not too sure if other cruise lines provide them as well). 1 hour on the beach before returning to the ship.
Activities on board include Vietnamese spring roll making session on the first evening before gala dinner, squid fishing after dinner, and Taichi session on the next morning before a visit to Luon Cave by either kayaking (USD18 per pax) or traditional row boat (included).
We checked out of our cabin and had our breakfast on board at around 9am, after visiting Luon Cave. Remaining time was spent on the sun deck until approx 11.30am when we arrived back at pier.
Waited for about an hour at a pierside lounge operated by the ship's company before our driver came to pick us up.
Reached Hanoi around 4.30pm. So plan your activities or flight only after that time.
Glad to have chosen Huong Hai Sealife. Great food, friendly crew, clean and new ship since Feb 2013
We had a wonderful two days with a small group on the newly launched Huong Hai Sealife Cruises with a crews who made it that bit more amazing, great friendly service. Firstly, thanks so much for Go Asia Travel with their good advices and nice service. In providing a review, we must mention 'Man' our guide, he engaged us all and our young kids were captivated, I wish i had tipped twice what I did after experiencing the rest of Vietnam after this trip but one day we will be back. "Man' you are the best. Travel to Halong you should take Huong Hai Sealife for a high end service and reasonable price.
Visited July 2013
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" The staff are very friendly , we would recommend our friend come here "
Visited on 23/3/2015 on the 2nd floor Huong Hai Sealife Cruise Cabin
We took the 2-day Halong bay tour with Huong Hai Sealife Cruise which was recommended by my friends. We paid more than 180 USD/1 person, which was alittle bit more expensive than other companies but we didn't regret it. The package included
- hotel pick-up in the morning and drop-off at your hotel in the next afternoon
- mini bus transfer to Halong bay in a relatively new car with properly working A/C (driver was no maniac: careful, whereby this doesn't mean he was driving too slow)
- 2 small bottles of water FREE
- very big boat and totally new.
- My room is very big and with a private balcony
- delicious and extensive lunch buffet, dinner, breakfast + welcome drink + 2 wet & cold refreshing towels
- visiting the cave (very beautiful)
- kayaking (we had a special deal with my tour agent that this is included)
- very nice tour guide (Mr Quyen) who spoke a good English and very attentive
- Ms Nga in Huong Hai Sealife Halong Cruise is very helpful arranging my trip from the beginning to the end.
Whether it is necessary to stop on the way to and back from Halong bay at a place where you can buy overpriced souvenirs for half an hour each may remain questionable, but our impression is that all tour operators do it.
We were absolutely happy with Sealife Cruise and would use them for other trips as well if we had more time! 100% recommendation!
Really Halong overnight Cruise Huong Hai Sealife Just coming back from Sealife Cruise, after hand-on experience, I was really happy with my trip 2 days 1 night and it is a totally new boat at level from the facility to personal services. I booked on Booking.com and also got pick up service (extra 25 usd/1 person) from this company office in Hanoi. The transferring bus was clean, on time and with a polite driver. At first, I was greeted by a cruise manager – Mr Quyn at the dock cafe shop and he also took the best care of us always from the beginning to the end. Other staff on boat was very friendly, skillful and very good sense of services. My room (205) is too big for only me with a private balcony, good bathroom, safety box, air con, hot water…Because of new cruise, so you will not find any dirty on the room. The highlight of my trip on Sealife Cruise was the great food. I was served 1 lunch, 1 buffet dinner (barbecue) and 1 gorgeous breakfast on the next day. In fact, I travelled to Vietnam for 2 weeks and trip to Halong was at the end of my holiday, but I have to say that the food on Sealife was the best in all Vietnam. Sealife cruise is Costa Rica cruise in Halong bay. Highly recommended this cruise
Huong Hai Sealife cruise but it was really the highlight of my Vietnam trip to Halong bay. I was amazed by the way they welcomed guests on board: just when the tender brought us to the Sealife cruise, the staff started playing rub-a-dub which made me feel like having joined the festival right on boat. It’s such a good feeling followed me throughout my journey. The room is very nice, decorated with big wall picture of some sea animals, the bathroom with ceramic basin. I like the private balcony where I relaxed and read the book “Vietnamese Cooking” I borrowed from Sealife library. The staffs: well done staffs. Huong Hai Sealife was cruising more in the afternoon getting to the place to sleep overnight. It’s absolutely quiet area. If you really want to get out of stress after all year working, highly recommend Huong Hai Sealife. I really enjoyed it all.
Booked the cruise overnight in Halong bay over Go Asia Travel and came to Huong Hai Sealife Cruise. Very nice Cruise, safe, brand new, with sun-deck and nice flowers. The crew was very nice and attentive. Especially the guide Thang alias "Jackie" was almost the best part of the trip, very attentive and sympathic. Food was 4/5 considering you're on a boat with only limited cooking facilities.
The boat is big with 26 cabins. Cabins are with ensuite bathroom and with a private balcony. The overall impression was good
It was surely worth the money. 33yr old couple from Austria