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Halong Bay Boats

In a place operated by shady operators from another era, we charter only boats on Halong of the highest quality. These wooden cruisers, or mistakenly labeled "junks," are not the sleek chrome and fiberglass yachts with amenities you would expect in the Carribean or in the nearby Gulf of Thailand as the governent does not allow foreign operators at this time. However, they are well maintained and comfortable with an attentive crew. Newer boats are launched each season, and some of the boats below may no longer be offered. We do not recommend the larger cruise boats, such as the 36-cabin Emeraude or Halong Ginger, both also constructed entirely of thin sheets of wood and are crowded and noisy.
Valentine
Valentine
Valentine Deck
For a mid-size group, The Valentine was launched in January, 2007 and recently revamped. It remains the finest boat on the bay.

The 5 cabin boat is smaller (19 meters) and more intimate than the Huong Hai (below) and sleeps up to ten in four deluxe cabins and one, upper deck suite.

 

 

Ideal for families and groups of two to ten persons, leaving plenty of space to lounge on the spacious deck (right) or below decks.

We recommend the Valentine for groups of six to ten who are seeking the finest luxury boat and crew services on the bay. Currently, we have been leasing the Valentine for the last two seasons to rave reviews.

 

For couples or smaller families, please see the Lagoon Explorer below. This is a popular boat for those on a honeymoon.

 

 

 

 

Features:

Cabin
Deluxe Cabin

- 5 Cabins with private toilet
- Air conditioning
- 5 Staff (cook, captain, mates)
- Sun and fishing lounges
- Fresh meals and bottled water
- Licensed Kayak guide with 5 years minimum experience

Ideal for: Friends and families. The crews on both boats are excellent with children of all ages.

Prince I & Prince II
Prince
Prince I
The Prince I & II offer boat sizes and cost between the Valentine (above) and the Lagoon Explorer (below). The Prince I has two cabins: one large suite, double room in the front, and one smaller deluxe twin room. Suggested for families

The Prince II has four cabins and can be converted between double and twin beds. This boat is newer, more spacious and more expensive than the Lagoon Explorer (below), but good size and cost in between that boat and the Valentine.

The Prince I
Launched in September 2007
Length: 24.0 meters
Width: 6.2 meters
Two Deluxe Cabins (one Double, One Triple)
One Upper Luxury Dinning Areas: In and Outdoors
One Spacious Sunbathing and Relaxing Areas
One Staff Section
One Kitchen

Cabin
Prince II Cabin

The Prince II
Launched in March 2009
Length: 24.0 meters
Width: 6.2 meters
Four Deluxe Cabins
One Lounge Deck for Dinning
One Sunbathing and Relaxing Deck
One Staff Section
One Kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Room amenities

  • Individually controlled air-conditioning
  • Slippers
  • Wardrobe
  • Separate glass-standing-shower cabin
  • Hair dryer
  • Bathroom amenities
  • 24 hour room service
  • Bottle of water on available

 

Bar & dinning room: 15m2 (in front of the boat), maximum 15 pax

Sport facilities & activities:                                                                                                     

  • Traditional fishing*
  • Tender & Bamboo row-boat
  • Kayaking
  • Lunch on beach

* Upon request

  • Cooking lession*
  • Caving
  • Swimming
  • Dinner in cave*

Special events:                                                                               

  • Wedding anniversary
  • Birthday parties
  • Beach party
  • Inside – cave party.

Staff on boat: 06

  • Captain
  • Supervisor
  • Waiter
  • Mechanic
  • Chef
  • Tour guide

Ship equipment: generators, fresh water tank, safety equipment, alarm systems, life vests, and life raft.

Lagoon Explorer
Valentine
Lagoon Explorer
For private, more intimate boat experience the Lagoon Explorer is an perfect choice.

The 3.5 cabin boat is smaller and more intimate than the Valentine, sleeping up to seven in 3 deluxe and 1 studio cabin.

 

We recommend the Lagoon Explorer for private trips for smaller groups, including honeymooners and small families. The crew on this boat is adept at getting you away from the crowds and the standard tour cruise.

Of course, kayaking, even for beginners, is a perfect way to explore the placid waters. If you are not inclinded to kayak, we can arrange use of smaller boat to transfer travelers to and from sights.

 

 

Features:

Cabin
On Deck

- 3.5 Cabins with private toilet
- Air conditioning
- 5 Staff (cook, captain, mates)
- Restaurant and Bar
- Outdoor lounge
- 24-hour electrical
- Fresh meals and bottled water
- Licensed Kayak guide with 5 years minimum experience

Ideal for: Couples, Honeymoon, small families. The crews on both boats are excellent with children of all ages.

Tropical Sails
Tropical Sails
Update 2008: We no longer use the Tropical Sails or Halong Ginger, the neweer boats above offer better quality. Tropical Sails was launched in July, 2005 and is currently the nicest larger boat on Halong Bay. We have leased this boat for the entire 2005/2006 season.

The 3.5 cabin boat is smaller (22 meters) and more intimate than the Huong Hai (below) and sleeps 5 in comfort and is ideal for families and couples to groups of 3 to 7 persons. Click on this link to display a floorplan of lower and upper decks.

- 3.5 Cabins with shared toilet
- Air conditioning
- 6 Staff (cook, captain, mates)
- Sun and fishing lounges
- Fresh meals and bottled water
- Licensed Kayak guide with 5 years minimum experience

Ideal for: Friends and families. The crews on both boats are excellent with children of all ages.

Comments

"We had a wonderful time on Halong. The boat was beautiful and very comfortable - in fact it didn't really feel like we were on a boat, with hot showers & airconditioning in our room. The crew looked after us extremely well . We had wonderful food which was always beautifully served, and everything was spotlessly clean.

We moored in quiet places away from other boats and visited the tourist sites at times when there were not many others there, which was very nice. Tao was a great guide! She was so enthusiastic about Vietnam & her job, and was happy to tell us anything we wanted to know. Her instructions for kayaking were very clear & helpful, & She was also a fun holiday companion, providing a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere." ~ J. Lawson, Tokyo Japan
Huong Hai

Notes: phased out in 2006 but remodeled in 2010. The Huong Hai, one of the nicest full-size boat on Halong Bay (right). We lease a deluxe model that is well-maintained.

 

A large eight-cabin boat with plenty of deck space. Good for groups of six or more. The best, larger size boat currently cruising Halong Bay.

- 8 Cabins with private bath and toilet
- Luxury dining area
- 5 Staff (cook, captain, mates)
- Camping or deck sleeping options
- Fresh meals and bottled water
- Licensed Kayak guide with 5 years minimum experience

Ideal for: large groups of 6-16 people.

Junk Sails
Fisherman at Halong mount fan-shaped Chinese junk sails on their boats, the same sort of sails once deployed by pirates in these waters. Junks have been used for centuries by the Chinese, Japanese and Javanese for fishing and transportation, and often as living quarters; a junk commonly includes a deck, high masts, and several cotton sails.

Halong is one of the last places where junk sails are still handmade by families of sailmakers. Coarse cotton panels are sewn together with silk thread -- every seam sewn by hand. To discourage rot and mildew, the completed sail is dipped in a liquid that comes from a beetroot-like member of the yam family. The sail is dipped and dried three or four times; a process that gives its dark red-tan color.

The sails are braced flat by bamboo strips or battens. the bamboo must be treated for quite a different problem — bamboo parasites can literally shred the wood while at sea. Bamboo may be treated with japanese lilac leaves, pounded into a paste with lime and seawater. Lacquering can also render bamboo less susceptible to borers.