Our cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay (the less touristed sister of Halong Bay) aboard Swan was truly a highlight of our Vietnam trip. I chose Swan primarily because they were a well-reviewed, mid-range option that promised to take us away from the hordes of crowds in Halong Bay--and boy did they deliver. We soaked up the solitude and snapped hundreds of photos of the setting sun aboard our kayaks, with nary another pesky tourist group in sight.
But what truly set our trip apart was our guide, Duke, as well as our bartender, Quang. Duke was incredibly funny, knowledgable, patient, helpful, and his self-taught English was impeccable. Quang even took the time to show me his special recipe for his egg coffee.
Also of note: our drop-off at a midpoint where a taxi picked us up and drove us to the Hanoi Airport went off without a hitch. Wifi on the bus also worked like a dream. Our room aboard the boat was spacious and comfortable. Only minor issue was that the shower water was frigid, and the boat's outlets inexplicably fried almost all of our USB cables/plugs. November weather was perfect...not too hot, not too cold!
Our only mistake was that we chose the 2 day tour instead of the 3 day tour; we wish we had more time aboard Swan. Next time!!
If you take the 2 days 1 night cruise, you spend about 24 hours on the cruise only. But the crew is quite amazing and makes it worth your while. Luna was our guide and she made sure that we were all comfortable and happy. She gladly took pictures for us, explained what to expect from the tour and showed us around as well. Overall, the experience was really good, thanks to the friendly staff. A special shout out to Luna, who proved to be a fun guide and a great person!
We did a tour with team DAISYYY!!! It was really beautiful and quiet boat ride! The trip went to a bay where there were very few other boats. We loved the beach and wished we could have stayed longer. The cabins and boat were clean and the staff was really friendly. Daisy gave us a lot of information on the bus ride and her English is super good. She has a good sense of humour and was like a walking encyclopaedia! Daisy took good care of us during our trip and made sure we had everything we needed. The trip was a lot fancier than we anticipated, but we would definitely recommend taking it!
Trip was well organised n the tour people provided warm n hospitable service. Food was good n served like in a fine dining restaurant. The activities were good n not too hectic with time for private time as well as interesting activities on the water. I kind of prefer small groups so this tour is to my liking. I would surely recommend to my friends as they can be assured they will be well taken care of.
The tour was well organised as our guide (Kien) schedule us ahead of crowd on the cave visit and kayaking. No need to cramp with other tourists. Food was great (5 course for Lunch & Dinner). Room and cruise was clean. All staff are friendly and smile all the time. Beautiful scenery throughout the journey. Great weather. I even won free beer from mini games on board.
Got to experience squid fishing too. Managed to fish one but unfortunately it fell back into the sea before I could get hold of it.
Learnt to cook Banh Cuon. It was delicious and simple. Definitely can replicate it back home.
One thing to note - Ha Long bay is now plastic free. So, the cruise provides glass bottle and water refill for the guests. Well done.
Overall, I had a wonderful time and experience on board. Our guide (Kien) took good care of us. Definitely beyond my expectation.