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Why The Paradise Grand Cruise In Lan Ha Bay, Halong Bay Is A Must

A 2 day/1 night cruise through Lan Ha Bay on the Paradise Grand ship is the perfect way to see the incredible limestone karst islands of Halong Bay in Vietnam in style.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Halong Bay is a breathtaking natural wonder, and while many people opt for just a short one day boat trip to see it, if you really want to see the most beautiful parts you need to go on an overnight cruise!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

This allows you to get further into the bay, experience more of the stunning untouched landscapes, as well as escape the hordes of touristic day boats!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

You’ll also get to see the local life in remote villages, as well as enjoy the beautiful sunsets and sunrises in Halong Bay!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village

We recently got back from the 2 day/1 night overnight cruise with Paradise Grand as part of our babymoon trip around Asia and had such a great time!

It was so luxurious and was honestly the perfect way to break up our busy Northern Vietnam itinerary.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

We relaxed, enjoyed spectacular food and views, as well as got to do some really unique excursions! Here’s all you need to know!   

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam         

Why We Chose Paradise Grand To Explore Halong Bay

When you start looking into cruises in Halong Bay, you’ll quickly discover that there are so many companies that offer cruises in Halong Bay.

All the choices can be so confusing and it gets very overwhelming to try and decide which boat to pick. 

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

There were several reasons we decided to go with Paradise Grand:

  • Paradise Grand ship was only unveiled a couple of years ago so everything on board is very modern and fresh. So many boats you will see in Halong Bay are old and need upgrading but this is definitely not the case with Paradise Grand.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

  • We prefer smaller and more intimate cruise ships as opposed to larger commercial ones. So with just 39 cabins/suites onboard Paradise Grand – all with their own balconies, even if the ship is full it never feels overcrowded which is great. 

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

  • Paradise Grand specialises not just in cruising, but in luxury cruising, and has really set the benchmark for luxury cruising in the area! If we are on a cruise just for one night, we want all the luxury we can get!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

  • The menu onboard Paradise Grand is designed by a Michelin starred chef, so you know the food onboard is top notch! Plus – all the food is included!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

  • Paradise Grand is one of several boats owned by the Paradise Vietnam company, which is known for its excellent service and amenities, so we knew it was a trustworthy company.

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  • Activities and excursions are included in the price, plus they have a jacuzzi on the top deck!

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  • Paradise Grand explores the Lan Ha Bay area of Halong Bay, and not the typical Halong Bay spots that have become overridden with tourists, so you’ll have a much more pleasant experience.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Where Is Lan Ha Bay?

Lan Ha Bay is located in Northeast Vietnam, in the Hai Phong province about 160 km (100 miles) east of Hanoi – Vietnam’s lively capital city.

It lies within the Cat Ba archipelago, just south of Halong Bay.

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As the landscapes of Lan Ha Bay and Halong Bay are almost identical, with the limestone islands covered in rainforest surrounded by emerald waters, many people class Lan Ha Bay as an extension of Halong Bay.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Lan Ha Bay is home to more than 300 limestone karst mountains, as opposed to the more than thousand islands in Halong Bay. That being said, Lan Ha Bay still feels so big!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

As Halong Bay is a staple destination on any South East Asia bucket list itinerary, it has become a victim to over tourism and pollution over the last few years.

Therefore, nowadays more and more people are choosing to visit the waters of Lan Ha Bay as opposed to Halong Bay.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam 

I have been to both Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay and honestly the landscapes look the exact same to me!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Lan Ha Bay just has clearer water and less boats – like Halong Bay used to be back in the day before it became too popular.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Where Does The Paradise Grand Lan Ha Bay 2D/1N Cruise Depart From?

The Paradise Grand 2D/1N cruise starts and finishes at Tuan Chau Marina, which is located on Tuan Chau Island just outside of Ha Long City. 

Tuan Chau Marina is easy to access – from Hanoi it takes around 2.5 hours to drive there.

You may wish to either stay in Hanoi the night before, and drive over to Tuan Chau in the morning, or you can do as we did (and I totally recommend!), and stay overnight at the boutique Paradise Suites Hotel by Tuan Chau Marina the night before your cruise.

The hotel is just opposite the check-in point for the cruise, meaning you can have a relaxed morning before your cruise!

Plus, the rooms at Paradise Suites Hotel are a really reasonable price. They are very luxurious, the food is great and the hotel even has their own private beach!

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Paradise Grand Cruise Lan Ha Bay 2D/1N Itinerary

Day 1: 

At midday we arrived at Tuan Chau Marina and did the check-in.

Everything was really smooth, the staff kindly took our luggage for us and we were taken on a big speedboat to the Paradise Grand cruise ship.

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The boat ride was so smooth and the views along the way of the limestone karst mountains was just incredible.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

This was my third time visiting Halong Bay, but every time I visit, I’m speechless at the views.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

We were welcomed onto the Paradise Grand with a welcome drink, and as the ship started to sail, we had a delicious buffet lunch full of so many options.

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We had our own private table for the whole cruise, looking out onto the views outside which was lovely. Plus we had our own waitress throughout the cruise who was so kind.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

The service and food onboard was honestly incredible and the drink prices were very reasonable.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Exploring Paradise Grand Ship

After lunch we explored the ship – the open top deck had a jacuzzi and lots of seats to sit and enjoy the views, as well as a bar where you could order drinks.

On the deck below – on the same level as where the breakfast, lunch and dinner were served, was the piano bar where afternoon tea is served.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam  

It’s a lovely relaxing spot on the ship, with a library in the corner and lots of comfy sofas and chairs to sit and take in the views.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

A balcony went the whole way around the outside of the ship so there were also plenty of quiet spots to sit outside and enjoy the ever changing views.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam         

Our bedroom was the Grand Balcony Suite that had its own spacious terrace at the back of the ship!

Our terrace was a lot bigger than the regular balconies in the other rooms, plus we had a bathtub in front of the bathroom window so you could sit having a soak and watch the world go by – I loved this!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

There was a separate shower too, plus we had a king size bed that was so comfortable, and full length windows so there was so much light which was great.

The suite came with dressing gowns, slippers, complimentary water and air-conditioning – it was honestly far more luxurious than we ever imagined!

Excursion To Viet Hai Village On Cat Ba Island

We enjoyed the stunning views of the limestone karsts and islets from the balcony, before jumping on the tenders to visit the local fishing village Viet Hai, located in Cat Ba National Park on Cat Ba Island.

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This was a really interesting experience – you could cycle to the village or hop on the electric buggy (which we opted for as it was a few kilometres away and I was pregnant!).

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village     

There were no cars around so it was very peaceful and you could enjoy all the greenery and views.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village

Arriving at Viet Hai Village, the locals welcomed us and showed us a traditional old Vietnamese house from a hundred years ago.

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paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village  paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village  

There was a nice little lake behind the houses with animals in the fields.

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paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village 

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village

But the favourite part for most people was trying the home made wines as well as the fish pond foot massage!

You put your feet in the fish pond and all the little fish come and nibble on your feet, getting rid of all the dead skin and making them smooth!

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It feels very ticklish and everyone was laughing as the fish were nibbling.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam viet hai village

After a while, we headed back to the boat where we had afternoon tea and then relaxed on the top deck as they had happy hour before dinner so Sergio enjoyed a couple of beers.

A Filipino band was playing some really good music – it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere! 

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam    

Evening Onboard Paradise Grand

The dinner onboard was absolutely fantastic. The menu was a four course a la carte menu, and all the dishes were presented exceptionally and tasted so good!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

After dinner, a pianist played the piano in the piano room for a while, and then the band played some great music.

We went up to the top deck and enjoyed lying on the sunbeds, looking out to the stars and admiring the views at night.

There were a couple of boats anchored nearby, and it was a full moon so we could see the shapes of the mountains in the background which was magical.

The team will also play a movie featuring Halong Bay on the projector once the band has finished playing, or you could join the crew squid fishing at the back of the boat.

I was pretty tired so opted for an early night, but I was so impressed there were so many things to keep you entertained! The bed was so comfy so I had such a good night’s sleep.

Day 2:

If you’re an early bird, you can join in the sunrise Tai Chi session on the sundeck! I had great plans to go, and woke up on time, but ended up enjoying a relaxing bath instead.

We couldn’t have this amazing Suite and not make use of the bathtub after all!

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Excursion To Dark And Bright Cave

The excursion for day 2 was to the Dark & Bright Cave. It involved us taking the tender boat to a little dock where we got on bamboo boats, with locals rowing us into the caves.

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You could alternatively go by kayak instead of bamboo boat, but being a not so great kayaker, I thought the bamboo boat was the best option for me.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

It was interesting going through the small cave and enjoying the impressive landscapes, and was a nice relaxing start to the day.

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Saying Goodbye To Lan Ha Bay  

After the excursion we had a delicious buffet breakfast, before heading back to our rooms to pack up.

We enjoyed the last of the views on the sundeck as we sailed back, and by midday we were back at Tuan Chau Marina!

It was a short but sweet trip, providing us with some much needed down time in between our hectic days in Hanoi.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Complimentary Activities 

We were really impressed by all the complimentary activities offered on the Paradise Grand. The complimentary activities included:

  • Vietnamese cooking classes
  • Both excursions (Viet Hai Village and Dark & Bright Caves – including bicycle/kayak/bamboo boat ride)
  • Squid fishing
  • Tai Chi
  • All meals
  • Transfers to and from the marina

All food was included – the only thing you needed to pay for was drinks, plus any spa treatments. 

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Overall View Of Paradise Grand

We honestly had such a great time onboard Paradise Grand and were blown away by the level of luxuriousness.

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

The staff were so professional and treated us so well, the food and our room was exceptional, and even though the ship was full, it never seemed crowded which was great!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Sometimes we would even have the whole deck to ourselves!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

We loved how the cruise was luxurious yet there were many adventurous and cultural activities for us to do.

Overall, we had the most perfect time onboard Paradise Grand and would absolutely recommend the 2D/1N Lan Ha cruise to anyone planning to visit Halong Bay!

paradise cruise halong bay lan ha bay overnight vietnam

Where To After Halong Bay?

If you’ll be staying around and plan to visit Ha Long City before or after your cruise, check out this article on Poem Mountain where you can get the most stunning views of Halong Bay.

Be warned though, it’s a very difficult hike and is sometimes closed.

Alternatively, if you’ll be spending some time in Hanoi, as most people do on a trip to Northern Vietnam, be sure to check out this one day Hanoi itinerary and this four day Hanoi itinerary.

It’s one of my favourite cities in the world and I’ve been more times than I can even remember! It’s chaotic, authentic, exciting and beautiful all at once!

 

This post was sponsored by Paradise Vietnam. All views however are my own.