Our Halong Bay Cruise with Bhaya

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Bhaya Cruises have a long history of running amazing cruises on Halong Bay. Over the years they have been able to refine, tailor and perfect their Halong Bay 3 days 2-night cruise into the great product you experience today. And we here at Wyld Family Travel got to experience it first hand.

How did we get to Halong Bay?

We were picked up at our Hanoi accommodation by a luxury minivan for our Halong Bay 3 day 2-night cruise. This mini-van was so comfortable. We had 4 big and comfortable individual leather chairs to sit it, with a bottle of water waiting for us in the cup holders. The 2.5-hour ride flew past in comfort as we relaxed in our chairs with free WiFi and charging points.

As we cruised the freeway we did wonder about a toilet stop on the way especially going to Halong Bay with kids. There was nothing to worry about as we pulled into a small car park. On-site was a coffee shop and an oyster farm where you could purchase pearls.

Are you looking for a luxury stay in Hanoi? Look no further than the amazing Wyndham Gardens for your nights in Hanoi.

Our arrival at the Bhaya Cruise Center

Once we arrived at the Bhaya Cruise Centre in Halong Bay our luggage was taken from the mini-van for us and checked in while we confirmed our booking. We were then directed to the second floor for a welcome drink and some free canapes to wait in air-conditioned comfort for our boarding time.

The upstairs terminal has comfy chairs to relax on and more charging stations for you to use while you wait to be called for your boarding time for one of the best Halong Luxury Cruises available

While we were waiting we met our cruise director Sam who gave us our room key and chatted to us about what we should expect while cruising Halong Bay with Bhaya Cruises.

This was where we also got to pick the scent for our room! Yes, you have a choice of three amazing fragrances to have in your room. We chose Jasmine while the girls decided on Peppermint. The one left out was Lemongrass.

Sam would become a familiar face and constant source of information over the next 3 days to us all while we cruised Halong Bay in Vietnam.

room on Halong bay cruise with Bhaya

Boarding the Au Co

At 12.30 we walked to the jetty where The Au Co was waiting for us and boarded to the waves of the crew and the beating of drums! It was a great way to be greeted while walking to our home for the next few days. We had an adjoining family room so we were able to be close to the girls at all times. The girls had their room with 2 single beds and we had ours with a generous and extremely comfy Queen size bed.

Our rooms on the Au Co

The rooms featured air-conditioning, a private balcony, a bar fridge, a safe, private bathroom, robes and slip on’s. The air conditioning would become invaluable in the heat of Vietnam and with the scent, it was absolutely perfect.

Highlights of our Halong Luxury Cruise with Bhaya

While there was so much we loved about our Halong Bay cruise with Bhaya there were a few standouts for us when we were on the Au Co.

food on Halong bay luxury cruise

The food

The dining was first class with every meal absolutely special. We had a variety of foods served to us and all dietary requirements are taken into consideration if you have any. Your cruise consists of 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and two dinners

Among the standouts for us were:

The Grilled Prawn Thermidor served with wasabi mash and salad 

Wild Mushroom soup with tempura

Dragonfruit and scallops salad

Beef with 5 spices

Sea Bass with salad and noodles

BBQ buffet dinner with, beef, seafood and chicken.

The breakfast buffet featured fruits, cold meats, cheese, cereal, yoghurt, fried noodles, baked beans, bread, pastries and more. In the morning the fresh and well-brewed coffee was always appreciated. There is enough variety at breakfast to satisfy even the fussiest child onboard.

The Activities with Bhaya Cruises

Kayaking in Halong Bay was available on both day 1 and day 2. Around 45 minutes to an hour was available on day one and then you could kayak Halong bay fishing villages on the day 2 excursion of the Halong luxury cruise.

floating village in Haling Bay

Swimming on day one was at a private beach for Bhaya Cruise guests only. You reached this sheltered cove by climbing through an amazing cave. It was a great way to start our Halong Luxury cruise and beat the crowds as well. While swimming we were also able to meet some of the other people on our Halong Bay Cruise.

You also get to visit a floating fishing village on day 2 in the morning. See how life on the bay is for locals farming fish. These floating villages are amazing and form their own little communities. Their life is lived and money is made on Halong Bay.

There is also an engine and wheelhouse tour on day 2 in the afternoon showing some of the mechanical and navigation aspects of The Au Co

In the afternoon of day 2, we took a boat to Cat Ba Bay. Bhaya Cruises sponsors a sustainable village project. You could either ride a bike ride or take a buggy the 5km to the village.  We did a tour of their vegetable and herb gardens. We also watched a video in a local homestay about the endangered Langur which Bhaya is also trying to bring more attention to.

Having reliable internet and calls is a must when travelling. Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact with who you need is a top priority. Plan your trip out and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data and calls.

riding bikes on Cat ba island

Back on the boat our cruise director Sam suggested a quick spot of swimming off the side of the boat. It was so hot on day 2 the cooling waters of Cat Ba bay was amazing. It was that hot some of the staff were allowed to join us including Sam. Our daughter is a real water baby and she loved the opportunity for a chance to get back in the waters

You really need to do the Halong bay 3-day cruise to give yourself a chance to see and do everything on offer. A Halong Bay 1 day cruise would just not be enough to enjoy this magical piece of earth.

The drinks onboard

drinks are on the boat

There is a bar on level 3 of the Au Co that is open all day and late into the evening. Happy hour is from 5.30-7.00 with buy one, get one free, it is the most popular time. The bar serves beer, cocktails, mocktails, fruit smoothies, neat shots and mixers, as well as the usual red and white wine varieties. This area was a social affair most evenings as all aboard would meet up here for a drink and a chat prior to dinner being served.

Onboard Entertainment

masterchief on out Halong Bay Cruise

On our first night on board just before dinner, there was a Masterchef contest held on the deck. The contestants (my family included) had to make a Vietnamese spring roll and have it judged by the other guests onboard.

After dinner both nights when the sun went down, there was squid fishing and movie watching on the deck. Our oldest daughter was able to watch the new version of the jungle book one evening. On the second night, we had a fruit carving exhibit, more fishing and movies available. Tai Chi was available at 6.15 am every morning on the upper deck as well.

Bhaya Cruise from above
The Gulf of Tonkin from above

The boat Au Co Gulf of Tolkin is both comfortable and luxurious. The staff are amazing with attention to detail and their constant delivery of impeccable customer service. The cruise was certainly family-friendly with other families also on board.

I would highly recommend the 2 night 3-day option as anything less on Halong Bay would be cheating yourself of one of the great places on this earth to experience.

Bhaya Cruise should be your first choice for your time on Halong Bay. Bhaya is the best luxury cruise on Halong Bay Vietnam going around today. We hope this post from us here at Wyld Family Travel has given you all of the best information on choosing an amazing Halong Bay cruise with Bhaya Cruises.

For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Vietnam click through to our Vietnam Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

More travel inspiration for your trip to Vietnam

Where to stay in Hanoi

We choose to stay at the brand new Wyndham Garden Hanoi hotel. This hotel has well-appointed and comfortable adjoining rooms for families, doubles and singles. Pool, day spa, bars, cafes and restaurants onsite to make your visit amazing.

Hanoi has many accommodation options ranging from 5 Star to budget from hotel to hostel from apartment to homestay. There is literally something for everyone and every budget in Hanoi. Search here for accommodation options

Rebecca Wyld


Content Creator/SEO Editor

Co-founder and SEO editor here at Wyld Family Travel. Bec has travelled to over 45 countries across 3 continents and is a journey with kids advocate. When Bec is not planning travel, she creates content for our family travel blog or does local community service work. You can find all of Bec’s detailed travel guides here on Wyld Family Travel and on other popular websites such as Lonely Planet.

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