In traveling to Vietnam, visiting Halong Bay was super high on our list. While you can technically do a day tour of Halong Bay, I would not recommend it, especially with kids. There’s so much beauty to experience, and it was magical being able to stay out in the middle of it and not have a crazy long day going out and back. Plus, you can get to some less crowded areas by staying overnight, as well.
Here are the details of our Halong Bay cruise with kids!
How Long To Spend at Halong Bay
Before visiting, we had multiple people tell us that a 2 day/1 night tour of Halong Bay was plenty and that our kids would likely get antsy with a longer sail. So we planned that amount of time for our excursion with Indochina Junk.
However, 2 days before sailing, we realized that it was supposed to rain – a LOT. The weather looked clear for part of a couple days, so since they still had space, we decided to switch to the 3 day/2 night sail so we could give ourselves a bit of extra time to try to catch some sunshine.
I’m SO glad we did.
It turns out the weather was beautiful for most of the time but we were really happy to have the extra time sailing. The longer sail meant it was a bit more relaxing with all the kids, that we had time for a full kayaking tour plus another shorter one, a longer time on a gorgeous beach with lunch there, and more time to enjoy the other stops and boat views. We didn’t feel bored at all and loved the extra time. Plus, the rooms were beautiful and relaxing and we loved being there.
That said, if you’re on a tighter timeline, we had a number of friends do the 2 day/1 night tour and love it, so you’d absolutely be fine doing that, too!
When To Visit Halong Bay
If you want a really good chance of nice weather, March – May and September – November are great times to visit Halong Bay. Those seasons tend to be dry and not oppressively warm. However, we visited in July because that’s when it worked for our family – right in the middle of wet season and when it is typically VERY hot and humid.
Despite that, we still had an amazing time. It did rain one morning for a little while when we explored the cave, but it was no big deal and the crew simply switched around some of the scheduling. It was still incredible and made it so it was really lovely getting in the water at the beach since it was so warm. It was beautiful eating out on the deck in the evenings with the warm breeze, and we didn’t have trouble with availability.
How Much Is A Halong Bay Cruise
Pricing obviously varies a lot by the level of luxury, amount of time, and how many people. For our family, Indochina Junk felt like a great balance of lovely food & accommodations & staff while still not being crazy expensive. (We did receive a discount for sharing with our community, but we happily would’ve paid full price for this experience!)
In general, I would expect to pay around $200-300 per person for a two-day tour, which includes transfers, accommodations, food, and activities.
What Are the Accommodations Like On A Halong Bay Cruise?
We actually super loved the accommodations on our sail. They felt luxurious and beautiful and really comfortable. We had 3 rooms for our family – Dan and I were in one room along with baby S (who slept in her pop up tent) and M (who was 3.5 at the time and slept comfortably on the seating area they had by the window, which they set up with extra sheets & pillows).
Two kids each were in the two other rooms, one of which connected to ours, and each of which had a queen bed. None of the rooms had balconies, which I really preferred with young kids so I didn’t have to stress about climbing. All the sheets were SUPER comfortable and the bathrooms were spacious and nice.
Food In Halong Bay
Our overnight Halong Bay cruise included all meals, which were amazing. I’m not always a fan of all-inclusives because. I feel the food is not always the best quality, but this was REALLY well done. As vegetarians, I wasn’t sure how it would go, especially with a meat- and seafood- heavy cuisine. But they went out of their way to provide incredible, tasty, diverse options for us as vegetarians. We loved every meal, and there were plenty of options for kids, too.
The one thing to note is they don’t provide snacks, so especially if you have kids. who get hungry in between meals, it’s a good idea to bring. some of your own.
Overall, we really loved our Halong Bay family cruise and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Vietnam. Feel free to drop any questions in the comments!
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