Sailing the Majestic Halong Bay

Breathtaking view of Halong Bay from the summit of Ti Top island

Breathtaking view of Halong Bay from the summit of Ti Top island (Photos by Ronald G. Jayme)

Halong BayHalong BayIt was indeed a dream come true for book author and writer Olga Menendez from Mexico to visit Vietnam, especially cruising along the majestic waters of Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Gulf of Tonkin and a three-hour drive from Hanoi.  Together with other 33 guests of different nationalities on board the Paradise Luxury (one of the nine luxury vessels owned by Paradise Cruises), Menendez was truly charmed by Halong Bay’s natural wonders – emerald waters, blue skies, and rock formations (approximately 2,000 limestone islets).

The unique cruising experience typically starts on Tuan Chau Island where guests are welcomed at the Paradise Cruises’ own marina with a café-restaurant-lounge area. It provides passengers with some refreshment and comfort while waiting for their scheduled tour.

“We would like to bring a different image and experience to tourists from all over the world that there are good facilities, excellent services, and distinct hospitality in Vietnam,” shares Nguyen Cao Son, general manager of Paradise Cruises.  “We focus on our clients and take care of their needs.  When they cruise with us, we are not only offering first-rate amenities but also delightful memories and experiences worth their time and money,” he adds.

As the vessel (resembling a traditional Vietnamese boat) sails through the calm waters of Halong or “Bay of Descending Dragon,” a relaxing spectacle of nature’s bounty comes into view inch by inch – a compelling antidote of the capital’s rapidly changing modern landscape.

The three-day-two-night itinerary offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience where every guest can take pleasure in all the essentials for a luxury cruise: hospitable and dedicated crew; wide-ranging cuisines; exciting package of activities and adventure.

Floating Store

Floating Store
Paradise Explorer's sun deck area

Paradise Explorer's sun deck area Paradise Explorer’s sun deck area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Paradise Cruises’ café-restaurant-lounge area provides passengers with some refreshment and comfort while waiting for their scheduled tour.

  • Charming Vietnamese young ladies in traditional dress

  • A secluded lagoon at Luon Cave

  • Ti Top island offers guests with exciting outdoor adventures – swimming, playing around on the beach or a trek to its summit of about 400 steps to have a panoramic view of Halong Bay.

  • Dining inside a cave with Vietnamese Symphony Orchestra is one of the special offerings by Paradise Cruises.

  • Sung Sot or Surprise Grotto has thousands of stalactites and stalagmites along the 500-meter paved passage.

  • Vung Vieng fishing village was established in 19th century. It is now composed of 72 households living in the area.

  • Pearl implantation process

  • A typical floating house

  • A stop at the Dark Cave and Light Cave area where guests can enjoy swimming, kayaking, or be at peace with nature.

ABOUT PARADISE CRUISES

Paradise CruisesParadise Cruises is a Five Star cruise company launched in 2008. It operates in Halong Bay with nine luxury vessels divided into four categories: four Paradise Luxury boats, 17 cabins each (34 passengers per boat); two Paradise Privilege boats, three cabins each (six passengers per boat); one Paradise Peak, high-end vessel, large boat with only eight suites (16 passengers per boat), high level of luxury, spa, massage, fitness, library, one personal butler per cabin, à la carte breakfast/lunch/dinner, à la carte excursions; two Paradise Explorer for day cruising without cabins.

For more information, visit www.paradisecruises.vn or call WLink Travel Manila at (02) 559-8615 / 0917-958-0335 or email info@wlinktravel.com.

 

Vietnam Airlines

(Vietnam Airlines flies to and from Manila to Ho Chi Minh City [Saigon] through a Code Share agreement with Philippine Airlines every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It also flies from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi daily.  For more information, call Vietnam Airlines Philippine branch office at (02) 830-2335 or (02) 830-2336 or visit www.vietnamairlines.com.)

 

When is the best time to visit Halong Bay?

When Is The Best Time To Visit Halong Bay?Halong Bay has a humid tropical climate. There are, however, four seasons in the North. Winter lasts from December to March; temperatures can drop down to 12°C-17°C. Summer is from May until September, mostly sunny but rain showers are frequent as the humidity is higher. Spring and autumn are nicely warm, October to early December being the best time to visit the area.

Travellers to Vietnam and Halong Bay should be aware that the weather is rather unpredictable and can vary greatly even within one single day. However, there is charm and enchantment whether rain or shine: overcast weather and fog make the scenery more mystical and dramatic, bright sun accentuates the various shades of grey of the seascape, etc.
What should I wear on the boat?

No dress code is imposed onboard Paradise boats. It is advised to take light garments in summer, sweaters and/or a jacket in winter as it can get pretty chilly, especially at night. A raincoat will be useful any time of the year.

If you intend to do kayaking, plan to have a change of clothes as you will easily get wet.
As for shoes, choose what is appropriate according to the temperatures and bring along trainers/walking shoes for the excursions (visiting caves, hiking, cycling, etc.). Don’t forget your bathing suit!

If you are cruising for three days/two nights, you will be transferred on the second day, from about 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Paradise Explorer. You can plan to have a small backpack to take to the day boat as you will be able to leave the rest of your baggage in your cabin.

 


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