Choose the best Lan Ha Bay cruises and tour 2024, written by local experts


Best Lan Ha Bay cruises

Choose the best cruises for your Lan Ha bay tour

Thinking of choosing the best Lan Ha Bay cruises and tour? You’re probably feeling a little confused about which one you should pick! There are lots of options on offer for every taste, so read our tips below and hopefully, you will find the perfect one for you!

There is just so much on offer amongst the cruise companies serving Lan Ha Bay that you could be forgiven for feeling like you just don’t know how to make a decision. There are literally dozens of competing overnight tours offered by different tour agencies, all offering a slightly different take on a cruise of Lan Ha Bay.

Many offers are given only locally, so doing research in advance is a bit tricky. Hanoi Eco Tour hopes the tips below will help you break down the available itineraries.

Overview Lan Ha Bay

Overnight cruise Lan Ha Bay

Overnight cruise anchoring at night on Lan Ha Bay

The beautiful Lan Ha Bay is found a bit further south of the famous Halong Bay. Here you will find the gorgeous Cat Ba Island amongst other stunning treasures and islets amongst the Cat Ba National Park.

There are plenty of options for cruises in the area, and you can even couple them with a tour of Halong Bay to see both splendors together, as the areas are easily accessible.Lan Ha Bay is a good option for those wanting to take a trip away from the major tourist route. Halong Bay is well known and often quite crowded, and you can enjoy Lan Ha Bay more relaxedly.

For the best value, we recommend you book yourself a complete all-inclusive itinerary – this will ensure all your meals, accommodation and excursion activities are included and you can enjoy your trip without worrying about what happens next. A cruise is the only way to explore this beautiful bay, and under the guide of your experienced tour leaders and captain, you will be able to get to parts of the bay that are unreachable by foot.

How to choose the best Lan Ha Bay cruises tour for you

Suitable Duration for a Lan Ha bay tour

You have numerous things to take in to consideration as you plan your cruise of Lan Ha Bay. There are multiple durations available so you can pick what best fits in to your tour of Vietnam. For those with limited time, pick the half-day cruises that depart from the beautiful Cat Ba Island. This means you can even come from Hanoi and back within the same day – perfect for those on a tight timeline.

These short cruises will give you a little glimpse into the stunning area around Lan Ha Bay. You will be delighted to see the little islets dotted around the bay. If you are coming directly from Hanoi for a half day cruise you will be trying to pack a lot into a short time, and you may leave feeling like you wish you could stay forever, or at least for more than a few hours.

If you can spare the time to spend a night or two we definitely recommend it for the experience of sleeping on a boat alone and awaking to the sounds and views of the Bay. You will have more time to get your bearings and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

There are a selection of overnight cruises available, starting at a simple overnighter and those that last 3 nights and 4 days and include a longer stretch of time on the bay, and a trip to Cat Ba Island. These slightly longer cruises will get you right into the bay, exploring more hidden areas and are definitely a great option for those wanting to relax away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.

Overall, 2 days work for those with limited time and 3 days for those who want to relax cruise. 

Itinerary Selection for Lan Ha Bay

Lan Ha bay kayaking

Kayaking in Lan Ha bay

The area in which Lan Ha Bay is found is overshadowed by the more well-known Halong Bay, however, each of the three bays in this area is equally stunning – Halong, Bai Tu Long and Lan Ha. Surrounded by limestone mountains, little coves, and pristine sands they are all worth a visit. As Halong Bay is often overcrowded, Lan Ha Bay is a real contender for those wanting to see similar scenery at a more relaxed pace with more fun things to do like kayaking through caves, and swimming.  There is the bonus of a visit to Cat Ba Island with its gorgeous beaches and rolling hills to boot, so Lan Ha Bay offers everything the discerning tourist can wish for.

Most visitors will pick a cruise that stops at the Ti Top Island, Surprising Cave and the bamboo boat trip through Luon cave. Overnight cruises are popular, but are much less crowded in Lan Ha than competing Halong Bay, and offer visitors the chance to take in the sights with fewer tour boats in the vicinity. Others opt for a trip around Bai Tu Long Bay, however this often works out more expensive. As a result, we recommend Lan Ha Bay! I found that there is lots of cruise for Lan ha bay from Cat Ba with really affordable price, from 125 USD per person included round trip transfer from Hanoi

Getting to Lan Ha Bay

Most visitors arrive after spending some time in Hanoi. The journey is about 3 ½ hours, 2 hours and 15 drive from Hanoi to Dong Bai Ferry, Ferry crossing for half an hour and 40 40-minute drive to Beo Pier in Cat Ba island. But lots of luxury cruises that depart from Got Pier which is only 2 hours 20 minutes drive from Hanoi. Many of the tour operators will include the journey in the price of the tour. If you prefer to arrange your travel or travel independently, you can decide to take the bus.

From Hanoi

Some companies offer buses from Hanoi to Cat Ba such as Cat Ba Express, Daichi Travel, Good Morning Cat Ba

Rate: $13 per person

Duration : 3 hours and 30 minutes

Read more : Getting to Cat island from Hanoi

From Ninh Binh

Take a bus with The Long or Daiichi bus company for 2.5 hours bus drive at $8 per person

When to go to take a Lan Ha bay trip

Lan Ha bay weather

Lan Ha bay weather : Source :

With tours available year-round, you should pick your time of year depending on what you intend to see and do, but the best time to visit is usually spring as the weather is nice. However, with the nice weather comes crowds of tourists, so if you can brave the rainy season and gamble on potential weather-related cancellations, you will have a less crowded space to tour. Autumn is also a good time to visit however, again the weather is unpredictable, and in winter the weather is colder so you may not be able to take advantage of the beautiful swimming options.

I recommend travelling Lan Ha Bay from August to April. From May to July is the high tourist season for Vietnamese, you may get stuck with a ferry crossing, cable car is an alternative. Or taking the Daiichi bus company where they have their speed boat crossing route without waiting a LONG time. 

Best travel tips for choosing a right Lan Ha bay cruise

How to see as much as possible:

A quirk of local council rules means that unfortunately tourists cannot do a “double tour” of both Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu, or both Lan Ha and Halong. However, if you are set on taking in both bays, you could just take a tour of each separately. The best way to do this is to book an official tour of Halong Bay, and then the next day head over by hydrofoil to Cat Ba Island. Spend some time getting to know this island before you then take the half-day cruise to Lan Ha.

Read more : Cat Ba island transfer guide from Hanoi

Managing your budget

Be prepared to spend a little money on these tours, but with a little bit of careful research, you cannot break the bank. If you are tempted to take the cheapest option available to you, make sure you read all the reviews you can find about the accommodation, especially if you are taking an overnight cruise. No one wants to be stranded on the water in sub-standard accommodation. Once you have reviewed the potential vessel, coupled with your findings on the best all-inclusive deal, you should be able to decide on good quality versus price.

How much does a Lan Ha bay tour cost?

Departing Hanoi :

Day trip to Lan Ha Bay starts from $95  per person for a seat in coach tour and $155 per person for a private tour

2 days trips in Lan Ha Bay with an overnight onboard starting from

Standard quality starts from $130 to $165 for a group tour and $380 to $495 for a private charter cruise for a group of 4 persons above

Medium and high quality starts from $250 to $350 per person for a group tour

3 days trips in Lan Ha Bay with 1 night on board and  1 night either in Viet Hai village or a hotel in Cat Ba island

Group tour starts from  $195 to $225

Lan Ha 3 days 2 nights tour with 2 nights on a cruise is from $350 to $450 for a seat in coach tour

If you are looking for private charter cruise, Lan Ha bay is a great option since the price is lots more affordable than the same type of cruises in Bai Tu Long bay and Ha Long bay, the more people, the cheaper. You could think about 300 USD per person for a group of 4 people to take a private cruise in Lan Ha bay

Departing Cat Ba 

Day trip from Cat Ba island starts from $30 to $50

2 days and one night starts from $135 to $185

3 days trip starts from $270 to $370

Ensuring you are getting the best deal

Most of the tours on offer to Lan Ha Bay will be all-inclusive. This would mean all your meals, any overnight stays, excursions and the services of an experienced guide. It usually doesn’t include alcoholic beverages however, and we recommend you take a look over the included options as detailed in your itinerary to ensure you are getting the best deal and will not be hit with any hidden extras. Some Lan Ha Bay tours even include the journey from Hanoi, making your choice even easier!

Check the boat you will be on

As there is a big variation on what is provided across different tours, it is important to research the vessel that will be provided on your tour. Spend some time checking out the vessel online, or perhaps reading some reviews. Check also the boat’s capacity – if it is a huge boat serving 50 people, you may compete for dinner space and views. If you have the cash, you could commandeer your own personal tour, but for the majority of people, a shared tour will be the only option.

Accommodation too should be checked before you book – are you sharing a cabin with others or is it a private space.

Choose your tour operator wisely

Ensure your tour operator is recognized on Trip Advisor as a reputable firm. Unfortunately, there are some agencies who target tourists with scams. Your hotel may also be able to recommend the best ones to use, and ensure they have an operating website, active phone line and good reviews from fellow travelers.

Things to do on a Lan Ha Bay tour

Monkey island Cat Ba

Monkey island is one of a nice place to see in Cat ba island

  • Visting local floating village for more understanding about local living
  • Cool off in the crystal clear waters
  • Go bouldering on Cat Ba Island
  • Tour monkey island (You are not allowed to go to Monkey island anymore due to the government law)
  • Kayaking to explore the hidden tunnel of Dark and Light cave
  • Pay a visit to historic hospital cave
  • Cycling around Cat Ba island
  • Take a cooking class with a local chef
  • Enjoy a relaxing Tai Chi session*
  • Stop at Viet Hai settlement and disembark to tour its sights
  • Spend time out on a boat with fishermen or try to catch some squid


Organized tours don’t suit everyone, but they are a great option for a cruise of Lan Ha Bay. You can let your tour leader organize everything, and you will be sure that you don’t have to think about sorting dinner or entertaining yourself if you book an all-inclusive option. Hopefully, this handy guide will give you good enough advice to help you pick the tour of a lifetime. To help you on your way take a look at these tour providers and see if there is one for you!

Departing Cat Ba:

  • Asia Outdoors (is now closed)
  • Hanoi Eco
  • Cat Ba vision
  • Cat Ba ventures
  • Cat Ba local
  • Blue swimmer adventure

Departing Hanoi

Lan Ha tours with Hanoi Eco Tours, a reliable agent for eco tours in Lan Ha Bay

The best Lan Ha Bay cruises recommendation 2021

Good tour companies for day trip to Lan Ha Bay

  • Jade Sail
  • Serenity cruise
  • Good Morning
  • Hanoi Eco Tour

Standard cruise Lan ha Bay

Cruise from Cat Ba 

  • Ocean cruise
  • Sunlight cruise
  • Venezia cruise
  • Severity cruise

Cruise from Got Pier/Tuan Chau

Calypso Cruise

Vspirit cruise

Mid-range Lan Ha Bay cruise

  • Lapinta Cruise
  • Lan Ha lotus
  • Rosy cruise
  • Unicharm cruise
  • La Pandora boutique cruise
  • Sena boutique cruise

Luxury Cruises in Lan Ha Bay

  • Orchid cruise
  • Nostalgia Cruise
  • Mon Cheri Cruise
  • Peony cruise
  • La Regina Legend Cruise
  • Le Theatre cruise
  • Capela cruise (Water slide)
  • Era cruise
  • Doris cruise
  • Gloria cruise
  • Heritage line
  • Ginger cruise
  • Genesis Regal cruise
  • Sealife Legend
  • Indochine cruise
  • Stellar of the sea

High-end cruise in Lan Ha bay

  • Elite of The sea
  • Ylang cruise

Family private cruise in Lan Ha bay

  • Ocean cruise
  • Sunlight Premium cruise
  • Orchid cruise

Lan Ha bay review

If you are in search of something similar to Halong bay but a less-touristy bay and enjoying more outdoor activities, Lan Ha Bay is a perfect choice. On the other hand, you can also access the deserted beach, kayak in the hidden lagoon and jump off the boat for swimming or unwind on a private beach.

Frequently asked questions for  Lan Ha bay

Which is the closest airport to Lan Ha Bay?

Van Don Airport and Cat Bi Airport is the closest ones to Lan Ha Bay. It takes 1.5 hour to Van Don Airport and half an hour to Cai Bi airport but there are more flights to get from/to Central and South Vietnam from Cat Bi airport

Which port to go for a Lan Ha bay cruise?

Got Pier is the only one for taking a cruise in Lan Ha Bay, with 2.5 hour’s drive via the new Expressway

What to do after a cruise tour?

If you have some free time, exploring Hai Phong city is an interesting to do. The city has a lot to offer such as sightseeing, food, local living, and more.

Is there any problem with seasick when cruising?

No, it isn’t. The seawater is calm, and gentle to make sure you’ll have a safe and sound trip.

Can I see Lan Ha Bay without staying on board?

You can easily join a day tour from Hanoi or Cat Ba island. The option is to stay in a hotel in Cat Ba after the tour.

Best photos shoot in Lan Ha Bay

Cat Ba island Vietnam

Cat Ba island Vietnam from above

Lan Ha Bay sky view

An island view from above in Lan Ha Bay

Sunrise in Lan Ha bay

Lan Ha bay, Hai Phong : Morning time

Lan Ha Bay Vietnam Photo

Lan Ha Bay Vietnam : A great place for day trip and overnight trip in Northern Vietnam

Lan Ha Bay Vietnam view

Sunrise in Lan Ha Bay, Northern Vietnam

Karst island in Lan Ha bay

There are 300 limestone karst islands in Lan Ha Bay

Awesome view in Lan ha island, Hai Phong

Lan Ha Bay is a great place for outdoor activities: kayaking, swimming, jumping off the boat and so on

See the very best pictures taken by a drone in Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba island by @Vu Ngoc Son

Hope you guys pick the best Lan Ha Bay cruises and tours with this insightful tips.

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Hanoi Eco Tours offer Lan Ha Bay day trip, overnight cruise and Cat Ba and Lan Ha Bay adventure 2 days

Recommend tours for Lan Ha Bay by Hanoi Eco Tour

Lan Ha Bay day trip

Private Lan Ha bay boutique cruise 2 days

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David from Hanoi Eco Tour

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