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Halong Bay Cruise

3 Days Cruising

Virgin Holidays' view

A cruise through the towering limestone castes of Halong Bay should be on every Far East explorer’s wish list. Thousands of ragged islands jut majestically from the ocean creating one of the most beautiful places on earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its picturesque blend of land and sea, this is one of the world's most precious natural attractions and an essential part of any Vietnam trip.


Day 1: Hanoi — Halong Bay

The Bay of Wonders — relax on the crystal blue ocean or charming white sand beaches, enjoy your journey to the land of pleasure with wonderful landscapes, fresh and tasty seafood, and a peaceful atmosphere.

9:00am - You will be collected from your Hanoi hotel and transferred to the cruise terminal — Cat Hai Town, Haiphong City. We aim to arrive around 11:30am. 

12:00pm - Time to board your tender to the Orchid Cruise or similar.

12:15pm - Welcome on board the Orchid Cruise where you will spend the next two nights in a Suite Balcony Cabin. Before settling in and enjoying the on board facilities, you are required to have a cruise briefing including some safety instructions. Enjoy a welcome drink before heading for your cabin. Your cruise will now commence exploring the beautiful Halong Bay — one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

12:40pm - The cruise will continue to Da Chong islet, where you'll be able to see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. Lunch will be provided while passing via the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan. These amazing limestone karst formations rise up out of the sea in an immersive manner.

3:00pm - You will continue to Ba Trai Dao beach area of Lan Ha Bay. The region is renowned for its pristine beaches and spectacular beauty. You may wish to try your hand at kayaking or simply just enjoy a swim immersed in the crystal-clear water of the bay (from October to May, you will visit Lan Ha Bay. From June to September, you will visit Tra Bau).

6:00pm - It's time to try the authentic well-known local liquor as "Ba Kick liquor", this is not compulsory but a great opportunity to experience a very tasty purple liquor.

6:30pm - After spending time some time swimming in the crystal clear waters, you'll return back to the ship. You can watch the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. Whilst onboard you may wish to join a traditional cooking class. The chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnam dishes. In the early evening, sit back and enjoy drinks at the bar during happy hour. 

7:30pm - Dinner will be served which will be delicious local food, prepared and served for you by the wonderful onboard catering staff.

9:30pm - After dinner, why not head up to the top deck to enjoy a drink or two from the bar* taking in the landscape of the bay at night. You may wish to try your hand at some night squid fishing, kick back and watch a movie or treat yourself to a massage*.

11:00pm - End of day one, overnight on board. (B/L/D)

Day 2: Halong Bay

6:00am - The day starts early on board with a Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Coffee, tea and pastries are served in the dining room, with a view of the bay's landscape. Continue on your journey.

8:30am - Transfer to a day boat for a visit to Viet Hai Village. You will take the bicycle trip along the village path and go through rain forests and dark tunnels. Enjoy stunning scenery of rice fields on the way, and stop at the village to relax. Visit an ancient local house, made from straw, mud and bamboo. You'll have the chance to see the local life on a valley of local people. Optional electric car service is available*.

1:30pm - Visit Lan Ha Bay for free kayaking and swimming at Ba Ham Lake area, situated in the middle of a narrow, rectangular area, with all four sides enclosed by vertical cliffs (weather permitting).

4:00pm - Return to the ship where you can watch the sunset over the Gulf. You may want to join a traditional cooking class. The chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnam dishes. Watch the magnificient sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. In the early evening the ship has its Happy Hour. 

7:30pm - Dinner is served. Enjoy delicious local food prepared and served for you by the wonderful onboard catering staff.

9:30pm - Enjoy the landscape of the bay at night up on the top deck, relax whilst enjoying drinks from the bar, try your hand at night squid fishing, or watch a movie in the restaurant.

11:00pm - End of day two, overnight on board. (B/L/D)

Day 3: Halong Bay — Hanoi

6:00am - Why not rise early to witness the bay at its very best, whilst enjoying and invigorating Tai Chi session on the sundeck. After, a light breakfast is served. We will then continue with the journey and head out in canoes to explore the bay where Toi Sang Cave is located. 

9:30am - Time to head back to the ship for check-out. 

10:00am - Whilst cruising back to Halong Bay, you will be served a delightful brunch. 

10:30am - Enjoy a Vietnamese tea ceremony in the restaurant and learn how to enjoy local tea and culture. Your tea ceremony will be held with your crew team giving you time to mingle. 

11:35am - The time has come to bid farewell to your crew as your Halong Bay cruise comes to an end. Return by road to Hanoi (approximately 2 hours drive), and drop off at your chosen hotel or transfer to the airport for an onward flight.

Please note: the itinerary for the Orchid Cruise is subject to change due to weather or tidal conditions without prior notice.

Please note: the ship being used for this cruise is subject to change. 

Please note: the timings displayed in the above itinerary are for your reference and guidance only, and are subject to change. 

Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner. 

This is a set tour itinerary, if you have booked any pre/post or optional tour arrangements, please refer to your separate vouchers and final documents. 

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the tour itinerary and additional tour notes.

Pre/Post Tour Options

This is a short tour which works well as part of a full Vietnam holiday. We recommend staying in Hanoi before the Halong Bay cruise and then flying onwards to Danang on day 3 for a few nights in Hoi An.

Time difference

GMT +7 hours (summer) +8 hours (winter)

Tour inclusions

  • Air conditioned transport throughout 
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Sightseeing as detailed including entrance fees
  • English speaking local guides.

Tour exclusions

  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, camera fees at monumentsAnything not detailed on the itinerary.

Dining inclusions

2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners.

Included activities

Tours listed in the itinerary.

Journey times

Vietnam is a vast country and journey times between destinations can sometimes be long. Journey times are listed in the itinerary and are approximate.

Visa requirements

British nationals do not need a visa for Vietnam if travelling before 30 Jun ’21 for up to 15 days stay. If travelling longer than 15 days then holders of UK Passports will require a visa to visit Vietnam. If you would like to obtain your visas prior to travel we recommend processing your visa directly with ‘CIBT’ who will obtain all visas and return your passport to you by registered post. Contact them on or 0844 800 4650.


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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

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Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

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Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans

We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned

If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding

Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

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To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

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