Join an Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay tour to explore the remarkable karst formations eroded over millennia by the rising and receding emerald waters. The warm, calm Halong Bay off the Gulf of Tonkin is northern Vietnam’s best-known scenic attraction. It became famous after earning a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 1992 for its unusual geologic formations. Travelers from around the world now explore this vast bay hidden among mist-shrouded mountains on day or overnight excursions.
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Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay tours operates two sleek, five-star cruise vessels plying Halong Bay on one, two or three-day itineraries. Larger than many competitors, Ambassador I and Ambassador II provide an upscale experience with a variety of amenities families will appreciate. There’s no need to worry about seasickness on these very stable ships. Guests with disabilities have an elevator to access the three decks. And the fun glass bridge jutting 20 feet over the water is the perfect selfie location for a di Caprio “Titanic” moment.
Things to Know About the Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay Tour
- Ambassador Cruise makes Halong Bay excursions of any length easy by providing comfortable minibus transport from your Hanoi hotel directly to the company’s offices in Ha Long. They may have last-minute day trip or overnight options available to fit your travel schedule.
- Day cruise rates include a guided exploration of the bay, buffet lunch, onboard insurance, tax and service charges, sightseeing fees, and afternoon tea on the sundeck. Overnight cruises feature an early morning coffee and pastry bar, hearty breakfast and lunch buffets. Elegant dinners of gourmet seafood, and Asian and Continental cuisine are served a la carte. Excursions by tender, admission fees, and onboard activities are all included.
- Halong Bay is extremely popular, with dozens of sightseeing tour options. Travelers with time to spare can show up at the pier early and join a day cruise. Ferries, themed junks, and larger cruise ships may have last-minute spaces as well. Budget watchers often choose to spend time at a hostel on Cat Ba Island near the Halong Bay Park. However, those with limited time will appreciate that the multilingual Ambassador Cruise staff has organized everything for you in one relaxing, luxury package.
- The 105 guests on our Ambassador Cruise I overnight trip ranged from infants to grandparents, with many multigenerational families. About a third of the guests were couples and honeymooners, some were adult siblings. The gregarious crowd was mostly from Singapore, Australia, India, and Europe.
- The numerous karst formations and limestone pillars jutting from the bay are a visual feast and very photogenic. Pack extra batteries and SD cards for photos.
- The Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay itineraries include a stop at some of the hidden grottoes and illuminated caves. After seeing so many verdant islets, discovering the majestic Sun Sat Cave was a big surprise.
Important Details to Know About Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay Cruises
Although the water is generally very calm, weather impacts the cruise experience on Halong Bay. Vietnam’s hot rainy season runs May to October. The sporadic daily rain is heaviest in the south so it has less impact on Halong Bay in the north. The dry season, which stretches from November to April, is usually more pleasant but there is still sometimes rain. Temperatures can cool down to the 60s Fahrenheit, so a light jacket is advisable. Inclement weather at any time of year may force the ship to skip certain shore excursions.
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Travelers are often dismayed by the floating garbage. Heavy rains can flush trash from fishing villages and the hundreds of ships on the water into Halong Bay. Single use plastics are prohibited within the park but remain a constant challenge. Conservation signage aboard the ship and touring this beautiful park are a constant reminder of how fragile our planet is.
Day-trippers sail by several hidden caves and the fishermen’s huts in the Cua Van Floating Village. Disembark at Titov Island (Ti Top in Vietnamese) to climb up to a small temple for stunning bay views. Families may prefer to relax, swim, or play games at the sand beach next to the pier.
Overnight cruises call on the floating Tung Sau Pearl Farm, where you can learn how pearls are raised, buy jewelry, or take two-person kayaks out on the bay. The following day, explore the hidden Sun Sat Cave on Bo Hon Island before breakfast. Tenders have a life jacket at every seat. Chilled washcloths and ginger tea with lemongrass greet passengers as they reboard the ship.
Activities Onboard Ship
A daily schedule of events and shore excursions can be found in each cabin. Depending on the length of your cruise, there will be one or two daily excursions.
Many passengers prefer to just sightsee while taking afternoon tea on the two large sundecks with very comfortable couches and daybeds. Others choose to soak in the large jacuzzi and look out over the passing karst obelisks.
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At sunset, Happy Hour is celebrated with half price beverages and music on the top deck. Passengers tend to opt for the fine dining option onboard, because this cruise line is known for its cuisine. After supper, there’s live music at the indoor piano bar. Onboard activities may include a Vietnamese cuisine cooking class, Tai Chi lessons, and squid fishing after dark from the stern. Ask the Cruise Director to arrange access to the bridge—all ages will admire this cruise ship’s electronics lining the control room.
Ambassador is the company that notably debuted in 2018 with a Halong Bay dinner cruise prepared by Michelin chef John Burton-Race. The company’s continued attention to gastronomy promises delicious, healthy and varied cuisine—included in rates. The friendly staff ask about and respect allergies, religious restrictions, and vegetarian food preferences.
Early morning, coffee, tea, and pastries are available in the Piano Lounge. Later, a lavish breakfast buffet features Western and Asian foods, ranging from congee rice porridge to steamed buns, omelets, and fresh pastries.
The luncheon seafood buffet may include crispy prawn, grilled oysters, squid salad, and green mussels in the Vietnamese style, plus more continental fare. The a la carte dinner of Asian-influenced European fare is a bit more formal. Couples, for example, may request the romantic, elegantly upholstered booths. High quality wine, cocktails, and beverages are available for a fee.
State Room Accommodations
Cabin classes range in size from deluxe to suites, but all are comfortable and boast floor-to-ceiling picture windows and balconies. Thoughtful touches include an in-room coffee and tea setup, bathrobes, slippers, a workspace, bottled water, and toiletries. Each cabin also has a flatscreen TV.
Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay Cruises are highly rated. Tripadvisor gives the Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay tour 5/5 stars and rates them #1 of 242 Halong Bay activities. Booking.com gives the company an 8.7 out of 10 rating. Expedia users give Ambassador Cruises a 10 out of 10.
Best for/Worst for
Ambassador Cruise Halong Bay Cruises are well organized. Excellent service and attention to detail make them feel luxurious. Staying at least one night is highly recommended for travelers interested in spending time together. Those with disabilities can access the entire ship because it has elevators, but may have trouble with the tenders and shore excursions. Young children will need constant supervision on the expansive decks. School-age children and older will benefit most from the scenery and active adventures in nature.
Price and Booking
Ambassador Day Cruise II is priced from US$92 per person. The Ambassador Halong Bay Cruise I starts at US$326 for two adults overnight in a double room with children’s rates from $80 depending on age. Two-night cruises begin at US$432. There are a variety of Ambassador Cruise packages available, some including a Hanoi hotel room for one pre- or post-cruise night, onboard spa treatments, or a heli-flightseeing tour at sea.
Book Ambassador Halong Bay Cruises departures on Viator, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, or on AmbassadorCruise.com. For questions, email the company at email@example.com or call +84 1900 3045 from within Vietnam.