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Overnight on Mekong and Halong Cruises

Essential information of Vietnam cruises including in Halong bay Mekong river such as: how a cruise looks like generally? What are typical programs? What are included? The important notice of combining your cruise with other Vietnam tours and much more.
Vietnam has over 3000 km coastline and thousands of rivers. But there are only two places suitable for cruising due to weather and water conditions, Mekong River and Halong bay.
 

Cruise in Mekong River


Cruising in Mekong tour is a river cruise that means it very much depends on water level seasons. Mekong cruises sail along Mekong River then the board on and off points are different. There are 3 main types of cruising there.
  • First, the big and luxurious cruises connecting Vietnam and Cambodia along Mekong River. Start up from Cai be (Vietnam) and end up at Siem reap (Cambodia). The cruise programs often take place in 7-8 days. The price is from 2000US$/cabin all inclusive. The rooms get fully extremely quickly. HIT Vietnam suggests you should look for and book at least 6 months in advance.
  • Secondly, the smaller ones operate mostly around Cai Be – Can tho area in 2-3 days programs – that is the most popular cruise itineraries. Those Mekong cruises are deluxe and comfortable enough with the price around 300-400US$/cabin for 2 days tour (see sample here) or 600-700US$/cabin for 3 days tour.
  • The last smallest one, actually sampans but fully equipped, run on the private charter basis in 2 - 3 days program. These small sampans can take you to untouched and remote places of Mekong than two mentioned above due to their sizes with price about 400US$/sampan. (see sample here)

Suggested Mekong cruises:​

  • Top luxury: Mekong Jahan and Jayavarman cruise. Carefully designed staterooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors that open onto a private balcony and many thoughtful touches offering privacy and uncompromised luxury. All balcony staterooms with being fully furnished definitely will make you feel satisfied. 
  • Deluxe and affordable: Bassac cruise. There are 6 cabins in the front of the main deck: 4 with twin bedding, 2 with a double bed. These comfortable cabins are set in the front of the Bassac and well insulated so as to provide the passengers with a good night's sleep even if under way. In addition, the 500 square feet at the stern of the main deck accommodate the restaurant and the bar can be completely opened to outside for you to enjoy the evening.
  •  Private Sampan: Sông Xanh sampans and Cái bè princess. These private sampans have many amenities in salon, bathroom, bed room, sun deck. Further, there is 1 small roawing boat attached at the back ("Xuong") with bicycles for deeper canals discovery.
Tip: for big Mekong cruises connecting Vietnam - Cambodia, you will need an original letter of approval for Visa to across Vietnam-Cambodia border. No copies of fax or scan accepted.

For more informations: View full list of HIT Vietnam selected Mekong cruises.

Cruise in Halong bay


Cruise in Halong is ocean bay cruise but not that big ships. Cruises here are mostly wooden with 3-4 stories as tallest. The cruise programs in Halong bay run with 2 and 3 days programs only. Most of them are joined in cruises. The passengers will have a private room with en-suite bathroom. Halong cruise program sails as a circle then the board on and off pier are the same.

Suggested Halong bay cruise:
•    Top Luxury: Violet cruise. It fitted out in the 1930’s Indochine style and featured a boutique dinning room, library & lounge, Spa & Gym and 6 individual theme cabins with marble bathroom, jacuzzi & balcony. The junk also cruise its own routine away from the crowd to untouched areas of the bay.
•    Luxury cruise 5 stars: Valentine cruise. It provides many perfect facilities for your trip like large room size, massage and Rainfall Showers and separate Tub/Jacuzzi and high-quality White Bed Linen. You can join Valentine cruise on your special occasions like honeymoon, wedding aniversary, birthday ...
•    Deluxe cruise 4 stars: Indochina Sails. Indochina Sails's boats feature spacious, well-appointed cabins and suites with large en-suite bathrooms, large sundecks with comfortable lounging furniture and elegant dining rooms and bars. It has designed and fitted its boats to international standards while maintaining traditional styling, creating the perfect balance of modern comforts and nostalgic ambiance. 
•    Comfortable cruise 3 stars: V’Spirit boats were designed in Vietnamese traditional style from the main colors are brown and yellow, to fine decorative vignettes on the boats. Area of each cabin is from 16m² to 23m²and all of ones have large window and secluded bathroom, air conditional and complete comforts. Especially, in V’Spirit Classic boats have VIP room with private balcony where passengers can enjoy fully magnificent views of Halong bay. Restaurant in the boat is designed with surrounded glass doors and it creates opened space for people both contemplate the beauty of Halong bay and enjoy delecious foods. 


For more informations: View full list of HIT Vietnam selected Halong cruises.

Cruise classification

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has never given a star rating to Vietnam cruises so they are classified mostly by themselves and based on similar standards applied to hotels. The official ratings are claimed on their official website.

Cruise agents may look into their customer rating and give the ratings somehow different. That is the reason why star ratings may be recognized differently from agent to agent.

What included?

All cruises in Vietnam offer all inclusive programs such as meals, guide, room, entrance fees, insurances etc. The sole thing you need to add is transfer to and from cruise pier.
  • For Halong cruise, the transfer starts from and to Hanoi city – 170km away up to 4 hours transfer.
  • For Mekong cruise, transfer starts from and to Ho Chi Minh City to Cai be pier – 100km away up to 2.5 hours drive.

Most cruises start from 12.30 pm then you need to start from Hanoi at 8.30am and/or Sai gon at 9.30AM as the latest. Otherwise, the cruise company will charge extra for tenders to help you catch up the main cruise.
 

Connect with other Vietnam tour programs

Generally speaking, HIT Vietnam suggest you should leave your cruise as a separated portion without combining other activities in the starting and ending days of cruise program.

For those ones has limited time, the ending days can be combined with flight or train connecting to other places. With flights, you will need at least 02 hours prior international flights and 01 hour prior domestic flights. While transfer time are:
  • From Halong – Hanoi: 4 hours, cruise ends 12.00PM. The earliest schedule is 17.00 for domestic and 18.00 for international
  • From Cai be – Sai gon: 2.5 hours, cruise ends 10.30AM. The earliest schedule is 14.00 for domestic and 15.00 for international
  • From Can tho – Sai gon: 4 hours, cruise ends 10.30AM. the earliest schedule is 15.30 for domestic and 16.30 for international
  • From Sadec – Sai gon : 3 hours, cruise ends 10.30AM. the earliest schedule is 15.00 for domestic and 16.00 for international

Important notes:
1 - The different cruises have slightly different cruise disembarking time. This is a guide for you to calculate the schedule. Contact to our team when booking for exact timing.

2 - This is the earliest timing while HIT Vietnam tours suggest you should manage “safe” timing that is adding 01 (one) more hour spare for all risks possibly on road such as heavy traffic.
 
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