Lily’s Ultimate Guide to Medium Budget Halong Bay Tours

We know that all travellers visiting Vietnam will have a Halong Bay tour high on their wish-list. We also know that most of you are on a budget but you are also looking for the highest quality experience possible. With hundreds of budget Halong Bay tours on offer it can be overwhelming, especially trying to find a Halong Bay cruise that fits your budget without compromising on quality or fun!

That is where Lily’s Travel Agency can help. We’ve been sending people to Halong Bay for years and we know the small distinctions of the good, the bad and the ugly Halong Bay tours.

budget halong bay

Halong Bay Tours

2-3 star cruises
$90 – $110

Don’t let the star rating put you off these fantastic budget cruises. The following cruises all offer clean boats, good food and English speaking tour guides, plus itineraries with great activities.

The Fantasea Cruise

This is the cheapest option that we recommend to travellers as their boats are slightly older. Note that there are plenty of cheaper options but we recommend you avoid these! The service, the tour guide and food are good and the only criticism we have is that, while they offer great activities, they fit them all into day 1 which can feel a bit rushed for some people.

The Apricot

The Apricot boats are nicer quality compared to the Fantasea Cruise and they also have more activities, including a morning tai chi class on the sundeck of the boat. With lovely rooms and a fantastic contract rate with Lily’s Travel Agency, we can offer this 3 star cruise at a 2 star price.  

The Lemon Cruise

The highlight of a Halong Bay tour with Lemon Cruise is that you actually go as far as Bai tu Long, which means you are more likely to have some of the islands and coves to yourself. The quality of the food and the boat are sometimes rated lower than the other cruises but for travellers looking to explore a beautiful and less busy area, this is a good choice. It is also one of the cheapest options out there for Bai Tu Long.

Bai Tu Long Tours

3-4 star cruises
$125 – $135
Swan Cruise

If you looking for a good service with friendly staff and a beautiful cruising area, this cruise is one of the best while maintaining a reasonable price. While we would rate the boat as a 3 star option because it is an older boat, the quality of service is definitely 5 star. They have hundreds of 5-stars reviews on tripadvisor!

Garden Bay Cruise

This cruise is another favourite choice for Bai Tu Long with comparable quality to the Swan Cruise. A highlight on this trip is the BBQ dinner on the sundeck and the quality of their rooms are even nicer.

Other unique options:

Cristina Diamond Cruise

In Halong Bay there is the option to travel on an iron boat with rooms that have their own private balcony. Cristina Diamond Cruises are our preferred choice for iron boats and their food is fantastic.

Legacy Cruise

This cruise has the classic itinerary of Halong Bay but in the more remote Lan Ha Bay area, which is far less crowded and just as beautiful.

High Quality Cruises

4-5 stars
$120-$150
Grayline Cruise:

This 4-star quality boat also cruises further down to Lan Ha Bay and always gets compliments on its fantastic food.

Paloma Cruise

Want to know the best reason to book your Halong Bay cruise with a travel agent in Hanoi? We can often get you last minute deals for 5 star cruises to the Bai Tu Long area! The Paloma cruise is one of our favourite choices.

Royal Wings Cruise

This 5-star iron boat has all the usual luxuries of the Halong experience as well as Jacuzzi baths in the rooms! Travelling to Bai Tu Long, this cruise is all about quality service and a peaceful, personal atmosphere.

budget halong bay tours

Halong Bay Cruises with an Island Stay

Staying on one of the many remote islands in Halong Bay is a truly memorable experience, giving you more time to relax, swim and kayak in the clear waters of the bay.

Imperial Cruises

On this cruise you move to a smaller boat for your second day in Lan Ha bay and then stay in a bungalow on Nam Cat island. With this tour you have more time for kayaking, swimming and relaxing on the private beach.

Apricot Cruises

You can do a 2 night stay with Apricot cruises where you will stay on a private beach on Monkey Island in a beautiful private bungalow with A/C. For many, this is a true island paradise!

We hope this list has given you a good idea of what is available in Halong Bay and which Halong Bay cruise may be the right one for you. Book with us via email, on Facebook or in person at our shop in Hanoi to get the best Halong Bay cruise deals!

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